Thursday, December 3, 2015

Zoe vs. the Dear Santa Letter

Christmas, the season of joy, of wonder, of small children, their eyes aglow with acquisitive zeal. In the immortal words of Sally Brown: "All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share." 
Zoe concurs. With some edits. "All I want is what I have coming to me as well as what everyone else has coming to them. Fair share? Who's that?"

Zoe's only five so I suppose I can't expect her to understand selfless gift-giving and fellowship of man, etc.  Every time we attend a birthday party I have to explain that the gift I'm wrapping is for her friend, not for her. And she counters that a friend wouldn't mind if she opened it and played with it first because we're all supposed to share, aren't we, or was that a lie, Mother?
So not only has she had, cruelly, dangled in front of her the gifts others were getting, poor child, but she's had to suffer through TV commercials parading before her toys she doesn't own . . . yet. How does she bear it?
After months of her begging for "a new show, one I haven't seen before," now Nick Jr. has delivered. I wonder if that's so they can get more little eyes on the toys in their ads? I say to myself with false innocence as I watch Zoe salivate over Barbie and her horse.
Zoe only wants two things: It and all.
Therefore I thought she'd be primed when I said it was time to write Santa a letter (now that she's learning to write in kindergarten) and tell him what she wants for Christmas.
To my surprise, she drew a blank. Well, not literally.
One thing about having a kid, it allows you to set up fun experiments where you tell them to do something without giving any instructions and then sit back and wait for the comic or tragic results.
Turns out Zoe doesn't give an elf about proper formatting. Her letter started out as one giant salutation right in the middle of the page. Then she circled it, a hovering island of greeting and bon homie. After that she was stumped so she drew . . . something. Don't ask me what.
Then she asked me how to spell cat. As I answered, my heart took a nosedive. Ever since our cat Harley died she's been asking when we were getting a new cat, and I keep putting her off, a path I now continued to traverse but with a slight detour I call Blaming the Man in Red.
"Santa can't bring cats because the sleigh doesn't have a litter box," I told her. 
She thought for a bit then asked how to spell toy. I told her, again my heart plummeting at this open-ended request. Could she be more general?
But then she placed "toy" in front of "cat." 
Hmmm. I could work with that.
Then she asked how to spell dog, and wrote "toy" above that.
A theme had emerged.  
Her finishing touch was to write "car" after "cat." I wasn't sure if these were meant to be separate items so I said, "You have lots of cars already . . . or is this a cat who drives a car?"
Her response: "Like the new show."
I had no idea what she was talking about, so later I asked the Husband if he knew. He didn't either. But I was reminded of this old cartoon where a cat drove a car. Did the Husband know what I was talking about?
"Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse?" he suggested.

Cats like convertibles so their capes can catch the breeze.

"Oh, I remember that show, but no. It was a cat who wore a mask and a trench coat."
It's important to note here that it was in our wedding vows that the Husband must figure out what I'm talking about from incomplete, and possibly incorrect, information. It might be strange but it works for us. Well, for me.
Anyway, eventually he figured out I meant Secret Squirrel.
"You thought Secret Squirrel was a cat?" he said.
"I don't know. Maybe that was his secret."

If you ignore the bushy tail, and the protruding tooth, it's a cat.

In any case, the identity of Zoe's car-driving cat is still a mystery, one that Santa will have to unravel when he gets her letter. Even though she didn't sign it, I suspect he'll still know it's hers because . . .
Zoe: 119; Universe: 0

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 

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