Dec 10, 2010

P is for Presents

Santa Clause.
Naughty or nice?

For generations my family has passed down a Christmas tradition that I have been hoping to discontinue. When my mom was a little girl, she used to tip toe to the Christmas tree and admire her presents. Then she would pick them up. Sometimes even shake them to get an idea of what might be inside. Then she would guess what was inside. Then a few times she checked what was inside: by unwrapping them.  Just a few times, right mom? Then she would re-wrap them. Sneaky. Naughty. Genetic.

Her mom told her, "I hope you have a daughter just like you." And she did. I almost had no control over myself as a little girl. I too unwrapped, then re-wrapped my presents. And I never got caught. Until now. Sorry Mom and Dad. My husband just found out about this and told me that he thinks that it is worse than underage drinking...ummm ok. Anyways.

I have a hard time with surprises. For myself and for others. So last Christmas my little, sweet, obedient, one year old found her presents and unwrapped them early. So I let her have them. Not all of them. I went a little overboard so it seemed like she wouldn't miss a few on Christmas Day. So this year I decided. No more. I will buy her one big thing that she "needs" and be done with it.

She "needs" a really cute table and chair set. So Santa sent it to our house early and I'm keeping it for him. I hid it in the dark and dingy basement in a closet, behind the washer and dryer, and since there is no door on it, I placed an enormous box in in front of the doorway. This way it obstructed the view of the unwrapped presents and prohibited anyone tiny from physically accessing them.

Because her DNA necessitates that she see her presents early. She did. And it went a little bit. like. this.

So. I heard a little squeal. "EEEEEEEEE! Mommy! Did you buy these chairs for me and Gianna?!"

I was doing laundry and she started walking down the stairs. There had been a HUGE oversight. I did not consider the view of someone under 3ft. tall from the left side of the third stair.


Normally, I would just give it to her.  But this year, I only have this one big present for her. The cute table and chair set. And I really want her to run in Christmas morning and find it. Icannotgivein. I have no idea what to say to her. "Ummmmm. Uhhhhh." I know! I'll play dumb.
"What are you talking about Davy?"

She bolts down the stairs and using brute 2 1/2 year old force attempts to dislodge the giant box from its semi-permanent location. She is almost successful and before I could stop her, she is touching the chair.

"OOOOOO! Is it for me?"

"Uh. no. Maybe someone left them here. They're not for you. They're for the kids." Ok, what is wrong with me. Lame.

"Ohhhhh. They're for Therese?"

"Ummm. No. Oh my gosh! Where the heck is Gianna! We have to go find her!" Parenting technique of distraction, pleeeease work this time.

And it did. 

My mom also said to me, "I hope you have a daughter just like you." Look whose laughing now, turns out she's just like you, Grandma. And I think Davy is the one laughing.


  1. Davy (a couple of days ago) : Whatcha doing crazy lady? I am your Grandma and I am not getting any prettier.

    I guess she did learn more than just the present thing from her Grandma.

  2. I do believe that it was you de St. Aubin's that taught me your strategy for unwrapping gifts. Davy is hysterical.

  3. @Katie, how true that is.
    @Natasha, I'm glad I brought you down with me.


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