There is nothing like a little gift un-wrapping to bring a couple together in the most meaningful way. Past Christmases have been much simpler; Wolf goes to bed on demand, Bear was too little to want to stay awake looking up the chimney for Santa Claus. Gifts came with little, if any, assembly, required. Just like the holiday itself. Until this year.
Pagent complete (Yukon did a spectacular job as the Anonymous Townsman, btw), the Kirkland clan ate its traditional Chinese dinner at the local Mongolian Grill and Tsing-Chao hut, and went home to get the children all nestled snug in their beds with visions of I-Pods and candy dancing in their poor little heads.
Two hours later, with Bear popping out of his room every ten minutes with a "is it morning yet?" screech that would wake my great-grandmother from her grave, Yukon and I finally shut his door with a bang and marched downstairs to begin a process that has plagued parents ever since Santa began Ho Ho-ing. Putting together the presents. Or, unwrapping the presents from their packaging, to be more specific.
I even read in an article this morning in our local paper about "wrap rage", and I did not laugh, for I understand these souls' anguish, who have spent too long untangling wires from the Go Diego Go Tub Time Boat, only to find out that a phillips screwdriver too small for a mouse is needed to disengage the actual boat from the pathetic cardboard packaging. Terrorism? The only terrorism in this country tonight is from parents who, with bleeding fingertips, will beat upon the lead-laden toy companies' front doors to ask them why, in the name of GOD, do they do this to us?
Three Hot Buttered Rums later, we finally resorted to using the Boy Scout pocket knife (I knew that thing would come in handy some day) to pry the stinking screw off of the boat and set the little plastic figurine inside. Exhausted, we collapsed on the sofa, only to discover that we had only undone ONE present, and had about a gazillion more to do.
Did our little Bear tenderly cradle his Diego boat on Christmas morning? Did he sweetly croon "Thank you Santa, for making my dreams come true!"? Not on your life.
He said "I wanted Dora."