28 December 2013, Saturday
About 12:35pm, thereabouts. Dad, away on Christmas and busy on Boxing Day, wrapped and brought out a couple of Christmas presents. One for the two granddaughters to share, the other for the two grandsons to share.
A4, yet to be fully trained in recipient etiquette, blurted (twice or more too!)as she accepted the girls’ gift, “Why so small?”
The two pairs of kids immediately set about removing the gift wrappers to get to their gifts. The boys got a remote-controlled helicopter and the girls got a remote-controlled car, both with signaling devices that attach to iPhones for control by the latter.
Getting to the truth
2pm. The kids, seated on the couch, contemplated on how they’d play with their new toys which they had by then agreed to share between the genders (Not playing with the toys yet as they had been put to charge). … Their conversation soon turned to discussing whether Santa Claus is real.
I walked in on their conversation at some point. When the Santa debate came up, the kids tried to fish hints from me.
A3 did most, if not all, the dirty work. A1 might have instigated this discussion. A2 was just taking it all in, happy to leave the others conduct the investigation. I forget whether A4 was there among them or not.
“Parents are Santa Claus, right, mom?”
“And where do I get that kind of money to get?” was my standard reply.
“Then it must be Dad; Dad’s rich.”
“Dad’s not rich; definitely not! If we were rich, we’d already have / be …” (I gave them the usual spiel. We give them great education, enrichment, enjoyable experiences and some of the things they want (within reason / budget), but we are most definitely not rich; and they had better recognise that fast!)
At wit’s end as to how to get the truth out of me, A3 immediately devised a plan. A clever one too! But one that the kids can only carry out in 20 years’ time! I was impressed he could think that far!
With a deviant glint in his eyes and hint of a grin on his face, A3 says to me, “It’s OK if you don’t wanna tell. Since Santa is not the parents … as you say [deliberately dragging his words, plus strongest glint and grin at this point], … then when we become parents, we won’t give our kids any presents; we will see if they still get any presents or not from Santa. If they don’t get any presents, then Santa is not real.”
Immediately following that, A3 used guilt as a tool to try, just one more time, to dig out the truth from me. He said, “And if Santa is not real and is supposed to be the parents, the kids won’t get their Christmas presents. And it will be all your fault!”
For a deeper effect, the last phrase was emphasised with a cheeky accusing facial expression!
I smiled and didn’t continue the conversation except for “OK, you wait and see then.” By then, they’d already know the truth.
On the off-chance that they still don’t know the truth then, we would have pulled off the greatest hoax in the history of parenting. And I am thinking …
Oh, no! We’d have to keep up the clandestine way-past-midnight activities. Late supper of cookies and milk. Wrapping presents, if not done yet. Coming up with meaningful and using alien handwriting to pen replies to each of the grandkids who writes a note to Santa. Jumping out of my skin whenever something stirs (One or more of the kids might still be awake. Quick! Hide the evidence. Say something natural. Divert attention.
We’d better be as energetic, agile and quick-witted in our golden years!