Title: Terrible Twos
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 12:45 AM (GMT)
The faint sound of Christmas carols played over the loud speaker at the Victoria Place Shopping Center. The plaza near the food court was bustling with crowds and excited chatter (although one could easily hear angry outbursts and children wailing and crying as well).
Leading up to a lovely display of a cushy red armchair, a fake fire, and green boughs and holly was a long line of children, waiting with their parents.
Little Annelise was up next.
The fearless little girl toddled up to Santa all by herself, while Caryn looked on, a proud smile on her face. The girl had with her a toy fire engine, which had belonged to her uncle Lou when he was young.
"Happy Christmas! And what would you like to have?" Santa boomed, as he lifted the toddler onto his knee.
Anni bit her lip, and stared blankly at the man.
"Would you like a new toy fire truck?" Santa pressed on, tapping Anni's truck gently.
"NO! MINE!" Anni said firmly, then she lifted her arm with as great of a force a two year old could handle, and smacked her firetruck square against Santa's cheek bone.
"UH!" Santa grunted, though he did his best to stay in character as Anni burst into a fit. She threw herself on the floor, and began to wail, while a very embarrassed Caryn rushed to her daughter at once.
"NOoooooo!" Anni cried, immediately trying to escape her mother's efforts.
"NO!" she shouted again, launching her truck into the crowd, which then took on flight---which wasn't normal, at least, not in the muggle world.
"Oh no!" Caryn murmured, pulling Anni away as her truck continued to fly over the crowd. She tried to stop it with a nonverbal, wandless spell, but Anni's wiggling about had her distracted.
Ethan Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 01:10 AM (GMT)
Ethan was more than familiar with that particular fire engine, so he wasn't at all upset when he botched up his spell and it bonked him right on the temple.
"Caryn!" He shouted through the crowd. "I've got it!" He waved the truck.
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 01:17 AM (GMT)
"Oh thank God---Ethan!" Caryn half muttered, finishing by yelling out her brother in law's name.
"Down! Want down! Lemme GO!" Anni said scathingly, wiggling in Caryn's arms as she made her way to Ethan.
"Thanks for this," Caryn breathed to Ethan, looking immensely stressed out as she took the truck.
"Uhhhh, MINE!" Anni started again, reaching for the truck, but with a quick, covert spell, Caryn made the truck disappear, sending it back to the Sagebrook house.
"No, Anni," Caryn said firmly.
"No more truck," she added, making the toddler start a fresh round of wailing.
"Er....should we--?" Caryn said to Ethan, nodding to a less crowded area, a table in the food court area.
Ethan Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 01:33 AM (GMT)
"Oh noooo. No more fire truck." Ethan cringed in a mock reiteration of Caryn's words.
"So I guess the 'Santa's Watching You' threat doesn't work on everyone, hmm?" Ethan chuckled as he gestured for the food court.
"I hope you at least got your photo."
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 01:53 AM (GMT)
"They handed it to me, yes," she said, fishing it out of her back pocket as they made their way to the table in question.
"Lovely. Just lovely," she remarked, making a face as she held it up for Ethan to see.
"Mid-tantrum," she stated, shaking her head.
"Is your head alright? Ugh...you'd better say sorry to Uncle Ethan, Anni! You gave him a boo-boo with your truck!"
Anni's face melted into a pout, and she hid her face into Caryn's hair, keeping one eye on her uncle.
"Boo-boo?" she asked him softly, frowning.
Ethan Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 02:01 AM (GMT)
"Priceless." Ethan smirked.
"I'm fine, Anni. Thanks for your concern." He nudged her playfully.
"Luca will just adore it! I'm actually nearly done with my Christmas shopping. Just the small matter of Jaden left." He told her and then made a face.
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 02:06 AM (GMT)
"For being such a small matter, that's quite a face," Caryn remarked, smirking a bit as she sat Anni in the seat next to her. She fished out a snack for the toddler, knowing her hunger was part of her crankiness.
"Not sure what to get her? Any ideas, at least?"
Ethan Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 04:21 AM (GMT)
"At this point, I think I should just strive to not ruin Christmas. We've been together for months, and everything still feels awkward. I'm awkward. Maybe she's too young for me....Although I've dated older, and that was a train wreck." He sighed.
"I would love for Christmas to be romantic for her. Especially after putting up with me all year. I just don't feel like we're that close yet. It's hard to open up to her that way."
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 21, 2011 11:43 PM (GMT)
"I've known Jaden a long time," Caryn said, smiling faintly.
"She must really be into you if she's still with you, because she's never held onto a boyfriend for more than a few weeks for as long as I've known her.
"So. You're...shooting for romance, then hm? Bottle of wine? Chocolates? a home-cooked candlelit dinner? If you do want my advice, however, I must caution you...only get the girl jewelry if you intend on your relationship staying long term. And as you don't feel that close to her yet...I'd hold off on that for now," she said, smirking a little.
"Om num num om yummy!" Anni chirped, grinning as she held out a handful of toddler rice puffs to share with her uncle.
Ethan Sagebrook - November 22, 2011 04:15 PM (GMT)
"My cooking skills aren't much better than my brothers." He chuckled. "And because I dearly hope this continues to last, so I'll spare myself the embarrassment of Luca's plated-take-out lie."
"Wine and chocolates I can do, and then...there's gifts like that." He smirked towards the entrance of a lingerie shop.
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 22, 2011 04:45 PM (GMT)
Caryn glanced over her shoulder, then turned back to Ethan in a grin, her eyes sparkling with a playful amusement.
"Get her that, and I think she'll take the hint," she remarked, giving a little nod and smirk.
"Bubye!" Anni said, promptly sliding off of her chair. She tried to zip off away from them, but Caryn quickly swiped her up.
"Where do you think you're going, hm?" she said teasingly, then wiggled her fingers around in a tickle attack. Anni responded with a squeal of giggles.
Ethan Sagebrook - November 22, 2011 04:50 PM (GMT)
Ethan turned bright red at that and steered the conversation away from himself.
"So how are things at school, with Julie?" Ethan asked with casual interest. "Now that daddy dearest isn't spying on every move?"
He giggled as he watched Anni.
Caryn Weasley-Sagebrook - November 22, 2011 05:25 PM (GMT)
"She's doing great, really," Caryn replied, shifting Anni to her other knee.
"Her marks are top, she's spending time with new friends...I think perhaps she feels she's supporting her dad by doing what she knows he wants from her. Most students hate the headmaster, but she especially hates him for sacking Luca. It's sort of a welcome release, though...he was entirely too stressed, working both jobs."