Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Thing #78: The Gingerbread House of Shoddy Construction

*note: I started this much earlier and then was interrupted by a bout of screaming-due-to-teething, so I'm finally able to finish this now. Late, late, late. Story of my life.*

I've come to conclusion that I am much like Clark Griswold, the Chevy Chase character in one of my all-time favourite movies, "Christmas Vacation". Clark just wants to have his family together for Christmas to have fun and do various activities together. Of course, it all happens with predictably disastrous results. I, I know that I do the same. I make these big expectations and want everything to be perfect, failing to factor in that sometimes I lack the talent to make it happen and that the LP are still very young. They have limited attention spans and their agenda doesn't always coincide with mine. And that's okay. I suspect if you were to go back and re-read this blog, you'll see that this has happened many, many times...and that I always say it's the effort that counts. Because I think that it does.

In my Clark Griswoldian fashion, I had a vision of the three of us making a gorgeous gingerbread house. Christmas music on the radio, sitting together in the warm kitchen, laughing and working together as we started a family tradition. Because, you know, I never seem to learn. As I tucked LP1 into bed on Wednesday night, I told her we would be making a gingerbread house the next day. I like to tell her something to look forward to in the morning so she will settle down and go to sleep. Oh, she looked forward to it. So much so that on Thursday morning, it was the only thing she could think of. No breakfast. No doing other things. We. Must. Make. That. House. She even found the kit Daddy and I had purchased and took it upon herself to drag her chair over to the counter, pull it down and bring it to me.

Based on this box, you would think we would be capable of reproducing a house that looks like this, right? Ding dong, you're wrong.

I should mention that I've never actually made a gingerbread house on my own. Or with two squirmy little people, either. We had to take the pieces out, separate them and apply icing like glue so they would all somehow stick together. We managed to get the pieces of the house pulled apart but while we were doing Santa's sleigh and the reindeer that were supposed to accompany the house, LP1 broke a reindeer in half, rendering it unusable. Somehow it got decided that we should just eat the pieces of the sleigh instead. And that's how we all ended up having gingerbread for breakfast.

Making the gingerbread house was difficult, to say the least. Getting the pieces to stay together was next to impossible. The icing was horrible to put on and I should have put it into a decorator bag and used a tip, instead of trying to squeeze it out of the bag it came in and spreading it on with a spatula. The LP were much more interested in eating the candy, rather than placing it on the house. And that is how we all ended up having some candy to go with our gingerbread. I should probably get us all tested for diabetes.

We finally got the house together and I got some of the candy to stick. Naturally, at this point, the roof caved in on one side.

The first-time buyers of this Gingertown estate had been facing delay after delay in construction. To add insult to injury, the roof collapsed on their move-in day. A lawsuit is forthcoming against the builders. They also suspect the builders were hoarding materials for themselves. A very un-Merry Christmas, indeed.

I said many bad words in my head and sent Daddy a message, saying I didn't think this house would qualify for insurance. He suggested going to a high-risk insurance market. Insurance brokers are hilarious. Actually, it did make me laugh and I was able to continue.

We had put candy sticks on the edge of the roof. LP1 decided she needed to eat one, so we lost a candy eavestrough. It was at this point that I gave up the dream of a magazine-worthy gingerbread house and just started putting things wherever I could. As Santa had lost his sleigh, he got stuck with icing glue next to the door. He kind of looks like he's about to burgle the joint. This appeals to me.

The LP began to get restless and it was evident they had had enough. I now know that I should listen to them and stop trying to force something. We finished up the house and went on to other things. They were very proud to show it off later in the day and I think we might take it to Cousin B's birthday party this weekend. Hey, it may not be the most gorgeous house, but it was one we made together. And really? When it comes time to eat a house of gingerbread, nobody really cares how it looks. 

Is Santa fleeing the scene of his crime?!

Yes, the wall on the right is bowing out and the window trim is crooked. But I do hope this is the start of a Christmas tradition for us. And that maybe each year, our house surpasses the one from the year before. If not...well, that's okay. It's all in the doing, right? But we certainly can't get much worse than this!

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