Long winters nap my &*^

The elves ‘prank’ the eve of Christmas Eve was to pull up the NORAD tracker on my daughter’s Kindle so she could keep track of the fat man.  It was cute, at first.

“India” she would randomly shout from up the stairs as I flitted about downstairs getting ready for company.

“Africa”. she announced before…be still my heart…asking if she could help get ready for Christmas Eve dinner. Guess knowing where Santa was was prompting her to do a little last-minute campaigning to insure she was on the ‘good list’.

“Croatia,”  she chanted.  “What?” I asked.  She mumbled her answer.  “What?” I asked again.  She answered.  I turned off the mixer, stopped making the dessert for the evenings dinner party and asked AGAIN what she had just said.  When she announced Santa’s exact current location in a tone that implied I was too dense to know where that was I suddenly didn’t think the little NORAD tracker was so cute any more.

“China.”  I heard.  “Yes, I would like you to set the table. What a big helper!”  Turns out she was giving Santa’s location. I thought she was trying to help.

“Greece.”  To which I answered, “China.”  “No, he’s already been to China.” was the snotty answer.  “Santa’s been to China but you still haven’t put OUT THE CHINA.  Set the table.”

At 6ish, with her grandparents in the house, she insisted I watch a short informational video on  exactly what NORAD was and how they tracked their prey.  Trying to be full of Christmas spirit I complied.  With gritted teeth.

At 7:30 after a brief lesson on the world’s population and where the gift count was,  she asked when she could go to bed.  I was tempted to say NOW.

At 8:00p when she told us Santa was in England and asked AGAIN, at the dinner table as we were all eating, when she could go to bed I was even more tempted to say RIGHT NOW. It wasn’t long after that particular update that I did tell her, ” NOW”.

By 10ish we all got our wish and she did go to bed.  Tradition has it that all of them sleep in our room so that they wake up, wake us up and we all see the Santa treats together.  Up until this year that seemed like such a good idea.  After 3 fights on who got to sleep where they were finally down.  Kinsley with her NORAD tracker plugged into the wall.  Sadie snuggled beside her engaged in the play-by-play of Santa’s trek.  Colton on the far side of the room by my side of the bed. One last skirmish when I kissed him first (sigh) and then all was well.

There was no immediate settling in for a ‘long winters nap’ in this household.  “When out on the lawn there arouse such a clatter that I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.”  Here in Bogart the skirmish wasn’t on the lawn and it wasn’t Santa.  I sprang from the couch to referee the 10-year-old and the 2-year-old.  The 2-year-old was no longer able to convince herself that Santa was NEyeCee and didn’t want him in the house.

“Visions of sugar plums” were not forthcoming.  There was, however,  a fruit basket turnover.  Sadie to my bed with her Daddy.  Kinsley, alone, on the floor tracking Santa.  Let’s try this again.  SEALS have nothing on this child.

Time passes.  On the TV the traditional holiday movie, “PIRANHA” plays.  My phone starts blurting and burping text notifications.  Seems as if the hider of goods is ready for bed and needs to empty the coffers.  NOW.  Ignoring the text is not an option after the 10th bell.  As my eyes droop I decide that someone has to get this show on the road.  Text “front door” to the ‘hider’ and then I begin to unhide the hidden.  Let’s just pause here.  Has anyone else noticed how loud large retail bags rattle?  Anyone else notice that the tape holding boxes together explodes with the sound of a incendiary Iraqi warhead when you are trying to secretly open it? How does a box that goes into a closet suddenly NOT fit and have to be pried and coerced out of the closet?  I’ll never understand.

11:00.  Daddy is out…not fully awake but back on duty and ready to ‘get this party started’.  Another pause….just how small do they have to make the screws on the battery casings?  Is there a REAL point to that or is it sick, sadistic bastards idea of a joke?  The moron who invented the micro-sized screw is on my FIND list right next to the inventor of pantyhose, cheap undergarments and candy shelves at check out lines.  I digress.  Daddy goes on a battery hunt because well, who knew STUFFED ANIMALS need juice in this day and age, as I frantically searched for that random eyeglass repair kit with the appropriate sized screw driver.  Sure–a spare eyeglass repair kit is an easy thing to find.   “Fa-la-la’s” weren’t being used much at this point though I did hear another f word.  Cranky Daddy finds what he seeks.  Now we can’t change the channel off the riveting PIRANHA but the lights work on the firefly.  Priorities.

“He’s in Louisiana.” OUT OF NOWHERE WE HEAR THIS.  There is complete and utter stillness.  Kinsley stands just inside the kitchen doorway to announce Santa’s current location.  It is 11:39pm.  If she moves a SINGLE STEP then all is lost.  I try to look nonchalant as a I shimmy to cause the couch pillows to cascade down, down, down and over the items piled in artistic presentation just below me.  “Then you’d better hurry and get to sleep,”  I manage to croak.  She nods and turns on her heels to get back to our room.  AGH!

12:13.  Done.  We head to bed.  I slide into the covers–wearily seeking the warmth that will lull me to sleep.  Instead…I find wet.  Lots of wet.  Guess Sadie’s night diaper mal-functioned.  Sigh.  Logistically nightmare.  I dodge Colton, find the extra sheets in the dark, instruct Daddy on picking up the urine machine and commence to change the sheets. In the dark.  Done.  Take 2.  Crawl back into bed. Snuggle up and cozy down into the pillow.  Hmm…still a little cold.  I pull the quilt tighter. Nope. I reach behind and….two words.  PILLOW TOP mattress.

Now I”ve got the giggles.  Kinsley says, “I know, right?”  What?  “I can’t sleep either. I am too excited.”  We talk for a bit as Daddy lays down a towel for us to sleep on.  “Alabama” she says.  I tell her that is right next door and we have to go to sleep in a hurry!

‘thawp, thwap, thwap’ I hear.  Colton stands up, stretches and makes that slappy, morning mouth sound.  He  yawns loudly and gives an old man ‘hrrmph”.  “Okay.”  he says after he’s completed his little ritual.  “Okay, what?”  Why are my children talking in code all of a sudden?  “Let’s go,” he answers sort of stumbling to the door.  “Where?”  I ask.  He looks at me like I am stupid.  “Santa.”  Oh. MY.  Goodness.  He thinks it’s time to get up!!!  “Dude.”  Yes, I used the word Dude. “we haven’t even been to bed yet!”

Four  hours later we get up for good.  So much for ‘long winters night nap.’


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