I’m taking a departure from (ir)regular project posts to share a heartwarming story from our family’s Christmas season of Yuletide Cheer! (sarcasm, friends, lots of sarcasm)
Husband and I decided to get the kids a trampoline for Christmas. Two of The Boy’s friends have trampolines, and it’s his most favorite thing to do when he’s at their houses. And The Girl has always loved going to the trampoline park. Husband and I were pretty proud of ourselves for thinking of this – it would be a HUGE hit, and Santa wouldn’t even be getting the credit – WE would!
Without even thinking of measuring, we ordered it from Amazon late one night and were thrilled that it would be delivered in just a few days! (Fast forward to Christmas Eve, when Husband and I are bundled up, assembling this 15 ft diameter behemoth and trimming our landscaping IN THE DARK because the trampoline doesn’t fit anywhere in our backyard. But now we’ve got 176.71 square feet of jumping pleasure, so it’s totally fine.)
(See kids? You will totally use those geometric formulas in the future. Area of circle = pi r squared. BOOM.)
I started making plans about how to hide the boxes in the garage, and the day it was due to arrive, I wouldn’t let the kids go outside or walk up to the door without me checking first.
Sidebar: For the past few years, Husband and I have followed the Want, Need, Wear, Read idea for gifts for the kids – they get 4 gifts from us that fall into these categories. They know what to expect, they get the same number of presents, and they even help brainstorm ideas for these categories. BB had already started giving us suggestions for things. Like a lightweight raincoat.
Well, the night of the trampoline delivery, it still hadn’t arrived, and I had book club. I told Husband to listen for the delivery, and we discussed where we could hide the boxes.
When I pulled into the garage that night, the headlight beams hit the enormous boxes, which said “TRAMPOLINE BOX 1 OF 2” and “TRAMPOLINE BOX 2 OF 2” in huge letters on the side, right out in the middle of the garage.
Me (coming into the house): So, we need to go move the trampoline boxes.
Husband (reading a book): The kids have already seen them.
Me: WHAT?! Why did you let them see them??
Husband: Well, when I saw the delivery guy walking up the path, I opened the door, and he said, “HEY! I’ve got a TRAMPOLINE here for ya!”
Me: (still no words)
Me: Are you freaking kidding me?? It’s December 11th!! What on earth does he think the trampoline is for? A purchase for ourselves? Just for FUN??
Husband: Well, he did say, “Uh, I mean, maybe this is for neighbors….?”
Me: So, where were the kids when he was saying all of this?
Husband: They were in The Boy’s room, but they heard it all pretty clearly.
Me: And? What did they say??
Husband: Actually, they seemed a little confused. They DID hear him say “neighbor”, and I told them I didn’t really know anything about it.
Me: Crap. So, what are we going to do?
Husband (going back to his book): We don’t have to do anything right now.
Me (pacing and pulling my hair and gnashing my teeth): What? Yes we do! We need a plan! We need to have this figured out before they wake up in the morning. They will ask about it immediately.
Husband: Nah, I think it’s fine. They probably won’t even remember it in the morning.
Me: Do you KNOW OUR CHILDREN?
I immediately text-vent to two friends about the situation and about the INCOMPETENCY of the delivery man. I also text our neighbor that has kids to see if maybe we can come up with a “story” (read: bald-faced lie) to tell our kids. We are in luck! The neighbors do not have a trampoline, so we are going to tell our kids that we are storing it for the neighbors for Christmas and that the kids CANNOT tell their kids about it because it’s a surprise.
I’m still feeling shaky and grumpy about the whole thing, but I am finally able to go to sleep.
In the morning, as soon as The Boy walks out of his room:
The Boy: MOM! Did you know there’s a trampoline in our garage?
Me: Yeah, I saw that.
B: Do you know whose it is?
Me: Yes, it’s The Bartlett’s trampoline. Daddy said Mr. Bartlett got it for their kids, and we are storing it for them until Christmas.
B: Oh, phew! Thank goodness! I didn’t want a trampoline!
Me: What? You don’t want a trampoline?
B: Yeah, because, if I got a trampoline, I would only maybe have one present under the tree. And I REALLY want that raincoat.
Editor’s Note: The children LOVE the trampoline. Both of them. They’ve spent hours and hours on it already, making up funny moves and tricks and inventing games with stress balls and duct tape and having Nacho Libre wrestling matches – I don’t even know. Anyway, it was a huge hit, and Husband and I are the BEST PARENTS EVER.
At least for this month.
Editor’s Note #2: What is happening in the world that delivery truck drivers announce their packages when they arrive? I mean, it’s less than two weeks before Christmas. You haven’t been trained to deliver packages as covertly as possible?! And is it only during the holidays, or will all packages start being announced? “HEY! I’ve got that PLUNGER you ordered right here!” or “ALRIGHT! Looks like you’re getting some LICE TREATMENT today! Lucky you!”
Editor’s Note #3: Before you think The Boy was the only one acting a little bit ungrateful (unknowingly, of course), another story:
This year, we also decided to let the kids spend their own money on gifts for each other. I thought this might be met with some resistance, but they LOVED the idea. I told them they could spend a max of $5 of their allowance money, and I took each kid shopping individually. It was actually really sweet – The Girl picked out a small pack of Pokemon cards for The Boy, and The Boy picked out a little Hatchimal for The Girl – very thoughtful gifts that showed they really know each other. But then, the very next day, The Girl and I are at Target, and she happens to see the display of little Hatchimals that The Boy shopped from, and she says, “You know, I’d never really want one of those little ones. They are just too small.”
Editor’s Note #4: She LOVES the little Hatchimal. She was so touched that he picked it out for her, and it didn’t leave her side, day or night, for a week.
Editor’s Note #5: My lesson in all this? Don’t ever believe anything your children say.