Monday, December 18, 2006

Keeping Things Under Wraps

I'm not sure how much more mileage my daughter's going to get out of the whole Santa thing. When I was little, the thought that there was anything dubious about the identity of Father Christmas never even crossed my mind. I was just happy that a magical fat guy rocked up once a year with presents.

Not so my little girl. At five years old, she's already in possession of investigative skills that would do Woodward and Bernstein proud. Nothing - nothing - is getting past her. She knows something's up with Santa.

She knows.

The plan was simple enough: leave the house early to take my son into daycare and stop off on the way back to pick up a pile of presents we've had on lay-by at the shops. After all, the kids can't see them if they're not in the house, right?

I'm halfway out the door when a little voice behind me says, 'Can I come?'

My wife stepped in with a lengthy excuse about how she needed my daughter to stay at home and help with things, and off I went. Returning an hour later, I flung a blanket over the gear in the boot of the car and turned to go indoors.

My little girl's standing by the gate. 'You were gone a long time.'

'Yes. I ... had to talk to Sean's teachers.'

'What about?'

'Oh, you know. Stuff.' (God, it's no wonder she's suspicious!)

'Oh. What's the blanket for?'

'Sally [our dog]. In case she comes back wet from the beach.'

'We went to the beach yesterday, not today.'

'That's right! And we might be going again some time.'

'Oh,' she replied, the look in her eyes plainly declaring that this was not the end of it. Not by a long way.

The rest of the day has been a running battle of hide and seek, as my wife and I tag-teamed minding our offspring while handling secret Christmas business. And every time we've tried to do something, she's been there. Watching.

In the end I bundled her into the car to come with me to pick my son up, hoping my wife would make better progress with us both gone. Returning later, I glanced about to make sure everything was hidden away. Excellent.

My boy runs into the house, takes one look at the supposedly secure room and his face lights up.

'Train set! I love train set!'


Post a Comment

<< Home