Small Fry, being small, has no recollection of Trees of Christmases Past. So his relationship with this year's tree has thus far required a lot of "parental management". A LOT of it. And it's only been one day. Here's how the First Day of Christmas(Tree) panned out:
7:53am: Small Fry stands, starry-eyed, in front of the tree. His mesmerized state lasts approximately 0.4 seconds - just long enough for a misguided "Oh, he's so sweet! I should get the camera" synapse to fire in my brain - at which point his secret tree-worshipping pagan alter ego is released. Small Fry begins cataloguing ornaments by way of jabbing each one in turn with his chubby fingers and screaming its identity: 'Snowman! Mittens!! SANTA!!! CANDY CAAAAAANE!'.
7:53:20am: I am forced to intervene. "Sweetie, the ornaments are not for playing, only for looking at with our eyes. Okay?" I let up on the headlock enough for Small Fry to nod his assent.
7:59am: In what appears to be an exceedingly literal interpretation of my previous statement, I find Small Fry holding his eyes as wide open as they'll go and attempting to touch the ornaments with his naked eyeballs. I am forced to amend my statement: "Little one, you can't touch the ornaments with your eyes. You might hurt yourself! Eyes are only for looking at things, not for touching them. Just look at ornaments with your eyes, okay?" (Nod of assent.)
8:02am: Small Fry has lifted his pyjama shirt up to his chin and, keeping his head as far away from the tree as possible so as not to violate the terms of my previous cautionary statement, is trying to touch the ornaments with ... his chest? Swift intervention: "What are you doing?" "I'm touching de tree wif my nipples." "Oh my gawd. Listen, honey, you don't touch the tree with any parts of your body, do you understand? The tree is not for touching." (Emphatic nodding.)
8:07am: Small Fry has discovered a loophole in my phrasing and is now driving on the tree with a toy car. "Hey, cut that out! Don't touch the tree with any toys, either." (Assent.)
8:10am: Touching tree with dinosaur toy. "Hey! I said don't touch the tree with your toys!" "I'm not, he's eating de tree. Nomnomnom." "Your toys are not allowed to touch, or eat, or anything, alright? Just stay away from the tree!" (Assent.)
8:18am: Standing further away, touching tree with light sabre. Tree is not for touching with any parts of the body, or any things that you are holding on to in order to touch the tree. (Assent.)
8:25am: Rolling fire truck toward base of tree, from respectable distance away. Gaaah! No rolling things at the tree! (Assent.)
8:29am: Tossing sea creature finger puppets into branches of tree. No throwing things at the tree!
8:33am: Gently kicking ball at tree.
8:33:32am: Pitch fucking tree out window.
Okay, so I didn't really. But let me tell you, I was sorely tempted to pitch one of them out the window, and the small one looks way more aerodynamic.
We eventually arrived at an understanding of what constitutes an appropriate level of engagement with the Christmas tree, and Small Fry settled for dancing "special dances" and singing garbled Christmas carols for the tree, punctuated only occasionally by furtive gropings of ornaments.