I was still in a bathrobe this morning and pulling out Christmas decorations when there was a pounding on my front door. Recognizing the vigor and height of the sound as belonging to the efforts of my most frequent visitor, 4-year-old O. from next door, I opened the door in spite of my attire. O. was there with his mom J., who had run over to ask me the first name of a neighbor so she could address a gift properly. O., of course, came right into the house and went straight for the Christmas decorations.
"Who are those stockings for? What are these? What's this? A gingerbread man! I want a gingerbread man! Can I hang this one? Where's the star? What do you put on top of your tree? We put a star. Where's your star? Why is it Harry Potter? We have a STAR. Can I hang up Harry Potter? Why not? Can I hang this one? What's this? Can I hang this one? I wanna hang THAT one!"
Actually, it was not at all unlike working with a roomful of 7th graders; the stream of questions isn't all that much different.
And now the decorations are placed on the tree -- all of them on the branches that hang at eye level to a 4-year-old (except for Harry Potter on his broom and reaching for the snitch, which is in its proper place at the top).
O. got the gingerbread man he coveted (as I had put it in the pile to give away anyway), and, in a few minutes, I'm going to go and move most of the decorations onto the upper limbs. O. will never notice.