You know what they say, the best laid plans turn to total crap when a toddler is involved. Oh, that’s not the saying? Well, it should be.
Usually we buy our Christmas tree from the Home Depot parking lot. Romantic, I know. But when my daughter was two, Gabe and I wanted to make the excursion extra special for her. We decided to go to a tree farm and cut down our own tree. We wanted to do something memorable. Create a memory we just KNEW our daughter would love and cherish for the rest of her life. WTF were we thinking????
I found a farm inhabited by Santa and Mrs. Claus 30 minutes from our house. We all piled into the car and I held my puke in as Gabe drove like a manic down a winding mountainous road (don’t even get me started on his driving). When we pulled into the parking lot at the farm, I smiled smugly. “You are the best mom on earth,” I told myself.
We trudged into the woods, Gabe armed with a saw, me armed with a camera. The sun was shining through the crisp winter air. We were all smiling. The picture of the perfect family. My daughter and I picked out a beautiful tree and Gabe set to work.
He started to hack at the base of the pine. Now, I’m not saying he isn’t a strong guy or anything, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. He was hacking and hacking and hacking away for what seemed like hours, and the tree wouldn’t budge.
Fear started to creep into my daughter’s young eyes. She stepped back as her dad huffed and puffed and attacked the tree. She’d never seen him so focused on the kill before.
Finally the tree fell. Gabe and I were about to cheer, when we heard a blood-curdling scream.
“UT-OH Christmas tree!!!!!” my daughter wailed. “Ut-oh tree! Daddy, you killed the tree!! You killed the tree!!!!!”
She started flinging her tiny body through the woods, screaming that her daddy was a murderer. She made her way back to the barn where Santa and Mrs. Claus were posing for pictures with happy little children who had loved their trip to the tree farm and ran screaming through the crowd. When Mrs. Claus tried to calm her down, she spit on her black patent leather shoes and tried to kick her in her jolly belly. I swear I heard Mrs. Claus mutter the f-word under her breath.
An hour later, after my daughter finally calmed down, we shoved the murdered tree into the back of the car and drove home in silence. Shell-shocked and exhausted. Serves me right for trying to “make memories.” Needless to say, the next year we went back to Home Depot.