The first Christmas in the new house was great. I even got "this is the best Christmas thus far" from my pre-teen, Ryan. Statements like that are hard to come by these days from my older two, so I made sure to carefully place that one in the old mental scrapbook.
Speaking of mental scrapbook, we managed to land a page in Ella's and Ethan's scrapbooks, too. And not in an "aww, isn't that sweet and special" way. At some point on Thursday or Friday, Ella complained to Vern that his beard was scratchy when he was kissing her. So, on Friday night he shaved it. Completely. Smooth as a baby's bottom. Only one little problem: the last time he completely shaved, Ella was 6 months old. So what, you say? Well, that means Ella and Ethan have no memory of what he looked like without a beard. Which means, he appeared to be a complete stranger and scared the shit out of both of them. Ella more so than Ethan. The exchange with Ella on Saturday morning went a little something like this:
Ella: (approaching Vern while he's still lying in bed) Daddy, what are you doin-- WHAT? WHAT? (now screaming AND crying) WHAT DID YOU DO??!!?? WHAT DID YOU--
Vern: Ella, honey, it's okay. Daddy just shaved his beard. It's okay, now it's soft, see? Now it won't scratch you.
Ella: (screaming at the top of her lungs and still crying) I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!! (slams door)
While all of this was going on, Ethan was just quietly muttering in a whiny voice "I don't like it; I want your beard to come back" over and over.
After about twenty minutes, Ella calmed down, but she was still pretty mad. So, we did what any good parents would do: we bribed her. We broke out her new Easy Bake oven and let her make her very own chocolate chip cookies.