This is my second Christmas away from the madness in the USA. I don’t mind not having to come up with an alibi for every fake Santa Claus posing for photos. No sight of any so far. There must be one somewhere, but I would have to make the effort to find him and I am not about to. Yesterday we went to one of the major malls in the city and it was packed with people and Christmas decorations. I stuck to window shopping and working out my biceps and triceps via tug-of-war with the youngest. He is small enough to be stepped on, I am convinced, yet Mr. Independence wanted to sail the sea of shoppers on his own. I watched my eldest march over to a mat in front of a very large screen and start waving his hand as though he were putting it into a trance. Soon after he was virtually launching fluffy cartoon birds at virtual wooden block castles. My daughter, insisted on pointing out every toy her friends had… hint hint. Good for them now move it along kiddos!
Today we did our real Christmas shopping an hour away in the village of Pomaire. This indigenous village supplied all of Chile with their earthen flatware for centuries until the more recent arrival of foreign imports. In addition to the traditional clay pots there were plenty of other locally produced goods to choose from. I pointed out the wooden tops to the kids and said “Look, the original Bey Blade!”. They did not find any humor in that. At least with the wooden top if you loose the dang string you can cut off a new piece. Then came the doll ‘Oooooooh Mommy!’squealed my daughter. A glimmer of hope. A yarn doll in traditional Aymara dress was simply calling her name. Next came the “Mooooom! from my son who had attached himself to a hand carved slingshot and was not letting go without a fight. The ladies peddling toys out of barrels marched a marionette across my youngest’s path and well, now he is marching it across the dinner table.
I took this photo thinking how cool it was to be able fire off pebbles with a slingshot into a river. I later instructed my child in the time-honored way of carrying his new weapon, stuffed in his back pocket. My kids like their toys. They are playing with their toys. So much for Angry Birds….more like Happy Kids.