Wednesday 11 December 2013

Men with beards are scary

I had my work Christmas party recently. The company goes to a lot of effort to make it a family day, I guess to recognise that as a consultant, long hours happen, so let's reward the partners and families and recognise it takes effort from them too. Anyway, they pick a venue where there is plenty of room and make sure there is appropriate entertainment. This year there was a live band, a giant slide, a jumping castle and a face painter.

The band was a bit of a hit. Ellie was toddling around and walked in front of them and just started dancing. It was all kinds of cute really. We also tried out the face painter. I had to bribe Ellie to stay still with a biscuit but we got there in the end. I think she looks adorable!

Unfortunately it didn't stay put for long, and to stop her looking like some sort of swamp monster with smeared colours everywhere, I relented and wiped it all off again. Mr Fork took her on the jumping castle, but I don't think she really enjoyed it with all the bigger kids making it very unsteady for her. We didn't even attempt the slide. It really was one of those giant ones you slide down on hessian sacks, and even the bigger kids were getting huge amounts of speed on it. Neither Mr Fork nor I could be convinced to give it a go.

After the lunch, Santa came out. A few months back, Ellie went through a phase of being afraid of men. I don't know why, but it was especially apparent at day care where she would scream as soon as a male walked into the nursery. Which was annoying as I'd specifically chosen her centre because they had males on the staff. It also happened when going to people she knew, even my dad, which he found hurtful. She has mostly moved past that stage, but we did a lot of work with respecting boundaries and not forcing her to go to people she didn't like. There is still a lingering fear of men with facial hair.

Which, I totally forgot when it came time to take Ellie up to get her present from Santa. I just didn't think and put her on Santa's knee for a photo. He did have a magnificent beard. I think this picture says it all:

Look at that look of abject fear. Santa was also taken aback at the loud and piercing screams she emitted. I had to zoom in on this picture so far to get that expression that it reminds me of a grainy still from Monkey Magic... is it terrible that it makes this picture even funnier to me?

I suppose in some ways, it's a good thing that she is leery of strange men who try to give her presents for no good reason. The girl has smarts! One of my Facebook friends commented that the world is changing and that even Tom Baker's (Dr Who) offers of jellybabies wouldn't fly these days. Makes sense really - we spend all our time trying to teach children stranger danger, but it's ok to sit on a fat man in a red suit's knee and accept presents? Exactly.

How are you coping with the Christmas party season? Any fearful moments for you yet?

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