This is the first year that Scooter has understood about Santa, and he was exceedingly excited Christmas Eve. He insisted on taking to bed all of his Thomas the Tank Engine Lego trains (that's the set we have at Grandma and Grandpa's), along with the brand new Cranky the Crane he had just opened--Santa made an early stop just to leave that for him. He was up until at least 11, and I'm not entirely sure he was asleep when we headed to bed.
Santa kindly left many of Scooter's gifts unwrapped so that he could dive right in when he woke up. He was especially fond of the Buzz Lightyear MegaBloks spaceship and the Hot Wheels tracks. His stocking also gave up some treasures, particularly some wind-up Thomas trains and a Lizzie from the movie Cars--she's a second-tier character, so we just hadn't found any others.
I didn't ask for much and so I got both of the books/sets I asked for: Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century, which will simultaneously make me feel like I'm not doing enough again and give me ideas for small changes I can make, and The Morning Star boxed set, Nick Bantock's second Griffin and Sabine trilogy (which I devoured Christmas morning). The in-laws also gave us a webcam so that they can see their grandchild more often; not really a surprising gift, given that we also got a digital camera and videocamera from them for various Christmases, so that they could see him more often.
The day after Christmas, Trillian and I decided to take advantage of the willing babysitters and headed into town for a nice lunch. Trillian's brother drove us in since he was going to have lunch with their dad. Trillian and I walked around the downtown area for a while, discovering that the two or three restaurants we'd thought about trying were either not open for lunch or closed for the day. We ended up back near her father's office and had a wonderful meal at a small Italian restaurant, including tiramisu and cannoli for dessert. We took a nice stroll afterwards to work off some of the calories and eventually met up with the rest of the family at the local bank--they have a huge model train display every Christmastime, and Scooter had been talking about it ever since he first saw it last year. He spent over an hour watching them and was still upset when we told him it was time to go.
We had heard from Trillian's brother that he and their mother had some trouble figuring out Scooter's carseat. We got the full story at dinner. Apparently uncle and grandmother had been sitting on either side of Scooter, trying to figure out what to do. Scooter was cracking up over their trouble and, at one point, turned to Trillian's brother and said, "Unca W., do you need some help?" The funniest moment in the retelling occurred when uncle said, "The hardest part was getting his boot through that loop." Trillian and I looked at each other and said in unison, "What loop?" and laughed even harder. We're still not sure exactly what the configuration was, but they assured us that he wouldn't have budged if they'd been in an accident.
Trillian and I took off again today and saw a movie, The Holiday. Pretty standard as far as romantic comedies go, but I always enjoy Kate Winslet and sometimes it's nice to see some brain candy. Makes me want to move off to a cottage outside of London.
We have a few more days left here and, depending on the weather, will have a quieter time as uncle and great-grandmother head home. Scooter is loving the attention. His conversation has improved an amazing amount in the week we've been here. I found myself just marvelling at him as we opened some late-arriving gifts this afternoon. It's very hard to make myself work on my paper and studying when I would rather be basking in the family time.