alternate title: Not a Good Way to Tell your Kids About Santa
So, Christmas. sigh.
Things were going per the usual, insanely busy, way but I knew we'd make it and have a great Christmas day with presents that would magically appear under the tree whether or not I had spend an entire week without sleep getting them finished in time.
Opie, however, is a thwarter.
Thwarter: one who thwarts/hinders/slows/and quite possible RUINS CHRISTMAS.
Two Bits received an MP3 player from Santa this year. She pretty much loves it, and hasn't really taken those headphones off since we gave them to her. Which is saying a lot since that MP3 player was the catalyst in the whole Opie ruined Christmas story.
The story goes like this:
Opie is a challenge. My own personal challenge. Sometimes I think he's in cahoots with the devil to see how many times a day I can yell loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
Opie steals, lies, poops his pants, punches and is quick to scream...at top volume. We have to lock up the pullups because he will take and hide the poopy ones thinking we won't find seven of them under his pillow. (Yeah, Opie just turned 6 - the pooping thing is a whole challenging topic of it's own.)
He climbs over the massive "kid-proof" gate, gets on top of my desk then takes and hides things like scissors, sharpies and staplers, then attacks things with them when we're not looking - - like his window sill or other things that are going to kick us in the financial butt we want to stop renting here.
We have to put food at impossible heights or it will disappear. He'll climb onto the kitchen counters to spoon sugar out of the container when I'm busy. He may have stolen candy from the grocery store the other day - I just can't find the proof.
Then after he does all these things he lies about them. And then screams at me for hours. And throws punches. Literal punches - closed fisted.
CHALLENGE. All capitals.
So two days before Christmas when Two Bits MP3 player went missing from inside the computer desk, behind a closed door/gate in a place that is not supposed to be accessed, it didn't take long to figure out what happened. I tried to deny it though. I thought, "No, I just put it somewhere else. No, Husband must have moved it." I search and hoped. But my first line of thinking was correct.
After questioning Opie 3 times and starting a room-trashing search, the kid finally admitted to taking it and throwing it in the bottom of Monkey and Number Four's closet. Under a big pile of toys. That scratched and smashed it.
Luckily it still worked and we had it back. Things should have been ok. But it was Two Bit's SANTA gift. And Two Bits and Opie had seen and played with and ran down the battery on it. And Two Bits and Opie still firmly believed in Santa. WITHOUT QUESTION.
Oh the innocence.
We had to shatter it. There were no options. We had no choice.
I was devastated. Opie's easy-to-anger flaw is pretty well rooted in genetics, and I have to say that I generally turn to it in times of utter devastation. But I was so upset I completely skipped that step and went onto uncontrollable sobbing. Which is saying a lot, since I only get to that point about twice a year.
There we were: I was sobbing, Husband was yelling and Opie was screaming, "I want to run away from home!!!" (Which is one of his favorite phrases when he gets in trouble.) So when we got Two Bits out of bed to tell her about Santa, I'm pretty sure she was terrified. In fact, she didn't even say anything. She just sat there all shell-shocked and then excused herself to go back to bed.
It's surely an experience my kids will be telling their therapists for years.
But, like I said, the MP3 player is a massive hit with Two Bits. And after all of that Opie was in pretty rare form, trying his hardest to not let Monkey and Number Four know about Santa's fakeness. In fact, he was doing such a good job that on Christmas Eve I said, "Uh, you do remember what we talked about last night, right?" And he looked over at Monkey, smiled, looked back to me and said, "How Santa is real?" And went on his merry way discussing what reindeer like to eat and how much milk to give the big guy with his cookies.
I'm just hoping that we can break the Santa news to Monkey and Number Four in a much less psyche damaging way - you know, when the next kid ruins Christmas.