The Elves are on strike

Christmas Eve with a two year old in the house.

It's midnight. The critter's finally asleep. Quick - everyone out of bed. We have to go build her Christmas presents.

This is our first time at this, really. I mean last year she was just 18 months old, so she was just really excited that Mommy and Daddy were actually encouraging her to tear the pretty paper. The year before, she was pretty much content to watch the pretty lights and drool on anything that didn't move too fast.

So we went all out: every time we go to someone's house or to her school where they have one of those kitchen playsets, she elbows us out of the way and makes a beeline for the make-believe microwave cutlets. (Which is really odd, seeing as the Grady household hasn't had a microwave since the elder Bush was in office.)

My bride went out and bought this modern megalith of a kitchen set called "The Complete Kitchen" (batteries and accessories not included).

The box was mammoth. So now it's midnight, I have a diet coke, 3 screwdrivers, a set of allen wrenches, and my Swedish-English dictionary handy. Ah... But you see all those nifty silver pipes crooking this way and that, holding the bits together? Oops. The elf at the factory apparently had a bit too much gluwein and left those parts out. I have the base. I have the fridge/oven-y bits. I have a sink. And a bunch of loose shelving. And it's now about three and a half hours until the monkey smells Santa and comes running downstairs.

Fortunately, we purchased enough plastic food to feed a plastic legion, and we're pretty sure she'll be more than content with that, no doubt, along with her other main present. A doll & doll's stroller.

I read the handbook they handed out when they gave her to us at the hospital. This wasn't covered.

Ain't parenting fun?