We had a little incident with taking down the Christmas tree Sunday afternoon. There was a cold, soaking rain coming down, the first real rain we'd had in months. Once we got the lights and ornaments off the tree, I hauled it outside to take off the stand.
Luke wanted to go with me. Well, it seemed like there was a lull in the rain, so we put a coat on him, and he came outside with me. "What the chree doin', Daddy?" Yeah, we're at that phase.
I explained that since Christmas was over, I was taking off the tree stand and then we would throw the Christmas tree in the woods to stay, and we would get another one next year.
Luke was silent but cogitating on something. A misty rain started coming down. Then he announced he was going to walk with me to take the tree to the woods. I assumed he probably wanted to see me throw it up into the air and into the bushes. So he walked with me.
When we got there, he furrowed his brow and asked, "Daddy, whatchoo doin' with that Chwismus chree?"
"Luke, Christmas is over, so now the Christmas tree goes back outside. We're finished with it."
I could tell he was not happy, and it wasn't because the cold rain was getting heavier.
After tossing the tree over into the briars, I said, "OK, let's go back in the house. It's cold and raining."
"Daddy, I don' want the Chwismus chree outside anymore-either." Anymore-either usually comes up from him when there's something he really, really doesn't want to do -- like take a nap or something horribly injurious to him like that.
"Where do you want it, Luke?"
"I want it go back in the house with us."
I explained the whole tree thing again and how Christmas is over and all that stuff again.
"Daddy, I goin' stay here."
"I goin' stay here with the Chwismus chree."
"Now come on, Luke. It's time to go in the house. It's cold and raining."
"Not either," and he welled up. His lip poked out and started quivering.
I didn't know what to do. I could pick him up and haul him back in the house, but that just didn't seem right at the moment. It was a precious Christmas moment I knew I'd remember the rest of my life.
"You stay here with the Christmas tree, Luke, OK?" I headed straight to the house to find his mom.
"Amanda, help. Luke won't come back in the house. He's down there about to cry in the cold rain because he wants the Christmas tree back in the house."
Amanda went down there while I stood sentinel watching them and at the same time making sure Rachel didn't pull another Houdini in her high chair.
In a few minutes they were back in the house, and Luke was happy. She wouldn't tell me her secret to getting him back into the house, but I have a suspicion it had something to do with cookies and play dough.
(Pictured: Luke at the Chwismus chree farm on Dec 8 with the tree he wanted to get. He had to settle for something Mommy and Daddy liked instead.)