We woke up at 7 a.m. (letting Mommy sleep far later than the Christmas mornings of her childhood) and descended the steep not-to-code stairs. Jon had brewed a pot of coffee for Grandma Nancy â€“ of which I greedily availed myself to as well. As we gathered caffeine cups and black Hefty bags for wrapping paper containment, I truly felt like a parent for the first time.
Oh my god, I am my mother.
(Since the muppets were old enough to quasi-comprehend the concept of wrapping paper, the Hefty bag was pretty much rendered useless as the boys were far more interested in ripping things to shreds.)
Santa came! But way more prolific in the gift-purchasing department, Grandma was here!
Dear god â€“ Toys R Us has exploded in my house. I am not making this up.
Also, Santa brought a playhouse with a slide. And a rock climbing wall. Just THINK of the endless ER possibilities this fantastic could bring â€“ and thatâ€™s before you add in the potential for angry brothers shoving each other off various ledges. Over/under for the first split lip was 8 a.m.
And then we dove in. Itâ€™s a new millennium, a new generation. And we are very Silicon Valley chic here in these parts â€“ both Grandmas came bearing baby laptops and iPads. Guess what? There were no reminiscent memories from my childhood of such toys.
Search went absolutely ballistic â€“ full-blown exorcist style tantrum replete with biting and tearing at the packaging as Jon untangled the childproof/anyone-without-sawzall-proof box. Once we breached the nuclear bunker outer guard, the little muppet toddled off to happily type away on his new toy.
I wonder where he learned that. The apple does not fall farâ€¦
Yet, Destroy was thrilled to be stirring and stirring his new plastic vegetable steamer pot that makes vaguely sexual-sounding statements like, â€œOhhhh the nutrientsâ€¦â€ And we all know the apple of culinary creations isnâ€™t even from the same orchard as mine.
There were also the old-school tried and true cardboard blocks. They come flat. They need to be puzzled together. Remember those standardized tests that presented you with a shape and five multiple choice options of, â€œWhat would this look like when folded?â€ I failed those tests; they told me my career trajectory was â€œnot doing anything that requires visual expertise.â€ (Lookitme writing stuff.)
Also along the lines of classic toys, Grandpa Gary bestowed upon the muppets their very first t-ball set. So weâ€™ve either got two baseball Hall-of-Famers in the making (Stream really is a great name: â€œAnd Stream takes the mound! The crowd goes wild!â€) or weâ€™re about to see a reenactment of the hammer-wielding legend of Thor, as two 25-pounders try to beat each other at a game of muppet whack-a-mole.
Grandma Nancy argued with the different size folding blocks, while I assembled the new police cruiser Little Tykes Cozy Coupe. With only one minor break requiring me to storm out into the garage in search of power tools (manual screwdrivers be damned), I was relatively successful. However, Jon has since informed me I put the front wheels on backward.
I moved on to assemble Lucky the Rocking Horse. Thatâ€™s right. My kids got a pony for Christmas. (Guess where that came from.) The boys love it. Search rocks that sucker like heâ€™s gunning for 8 seconds at the Salinas Rodeo (itâ€™s the only one Iâ€™ve been too so it gets credit). Theyâ€™ve only fallen off a couple times. And they seem to get a big kick out of Luckyâ€™s bleating song â€“ which Iâ€™m pretty sure is a mash-up of Frosty the Snowman and Lyle Lovettâ€™s â€œIf I Had a Boat.â€
You may think the insanity stopped once weâ€™d survived the onslaught of grandparents. You would be wrong.
Especially if you realize we have family members that work at Mattel.
I walked in the door this afternoon to find two motorized Toy Story 3 Big Wheels charging in the kitchen. TWO! Because we hadnâ€™t quite figured out which present would cause the most muppet mayhem. Uncle Paul and Aunt Steph wanted to be CERTAIN their gift would be a strong contender for the first ER vist.
Ladies and gentleman â€“ place your betsâ€¦
Finally it was over. I could almost see the living room floor once again. The muppets were giddily gleeful to the point of utter exhaustion, refusing to take off their new rain boots. (Stay tuned for that post â€“ itâ€™s coming.) GrammaJ pointed to one final bag; the last present of the 2011 holiday. And it was for me.
Three bottles of Pinot Noir and a hearty selection of dark chocolate truffles to counteract the motorized muppet mobiles.
Well played, sister. Well played. This is why you are my favorite.