On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true loves gave to me…..eleven all sorts licorice, ten handmade cards, nine yummy cookies, eight hours’ cleaning, seven minutes’ crying, six undone advents, a five seater Volvo SUV…….four Diego drawings, three tasty treats, two U.S. passports and a mushy brain with no memory.
It was another significant day in the Gort’s three and a half month long educational career: gingerbread house day. The parents had gotten letters from school requesting one parent or guardian to come to school and assist their prodigy in constructing a milk carton/graham cracker/frosting domicile.
So I went.
At the appointed hour, we were led to round tables surrounded by tiny chairs. Where we sat next to our spawn. There was no instruction – because their teacher is from Spain and she has no idea how to make a gingerbread house with a milk carton.
It is a strangely complicated enterprise: line sides and roof of carton with graham crackers? Put windows on top of graham crackers or leave openings for windows and door? I never know, so we winged it. All while I mentally chanted: ‘it doesn’t matter….it’s his gingerbread house, it doesn’t matter…it’s his gingerbread house.’
Because nobody wants to be the pushy mom who just takes over, so that her bored child leaves the table to go and play on the rug because clearly he’s not needed.
Which is why we ended up with red pieces of licorice ‘wrapped’ around the house; why we had a roof made with tiny marshmallows and all sorts licorice. And why we didn’t have a tree with ‘snow’ on it, ‘because I don’t like coconut’ he instructed me. It is possible I tried to sprinkle a few flakes on the back of the tree, in a small spot. Because the little girl next to us had a snowy tree and it looked really cute. Surely he could put aside his coconut phobia for an attractive tree?
As luck would have it, we ran out of frosting-cement. I halfheartedly suggested we could make more frosting at home and affix the rest of the candies. But I think we both knew it wasn’t going to happen. Why put them on a house when you can just put them directly in your mouth?