So, my blogs posts of late have been a tad sad. I know that I made some of you cry. I know this because you told me so. Sorry. I didn’t mean to. Writing really has helped me to process the death of my Dad, something that I didn’t anticipate. Whatever does it for you, I guess.
But I wouldn’t want ye to think that I haven’t embraced Chrimbo. How could I not with two eight year olds ?
As I write, my twinnies are running around the house in high pitched hystericia, with Star Wars eye masks on. In a moment of madness today, I bought them, thinking that these eye masks might settle then at night. Instead, the masks have become vehicles to turn my children into beings in need of an exorcism.
They have been at it now for 20 minutes and I waiting on one of them to come into me, crying hysterically, saying the other one hurt them. It’s inevitable that there will be tears. I shall resist saying ‘I told you so.’ That wild hysteria is a sure sign that Christmas is imminent. There was other give away signs too, apart from the ho-ho-ho tinsel stuff. The toaster has packed in and the septic tank is full. Oh yes, the stuff that always lands on ‘The Week Of …’. Murphy's Law and all that.
In the meantime, I’ve pretty much got Santa in the bag, well, in my Mam’s wardrobe actually. Let’s hope that there aren’t any games of Hide-and-Seek there before 25th.
The children did a letter to Santa at school a few weeks ago. Teacher very thoughtfully sent them home in the schoolbags. They were pretty good letters, with rather impressive punctuation, grammar and illustrations.
Little woman’s list was quite modest and doable. She will get a lovely big surprise that I’m excited about and I can’t wait to see her little face. Eek ! just remembered that I forgot the ‘baking things’. A sieve and a baking tin will sort that out. And cheap as chips. Music to my ears.
My boys letter was quite aspirational. He is looking for an X Box, a bike, a very long list of farm machinery and Nerf guns. Does anyone want a Nerf gun in their face on Christmas day ? I think not. The X Box is a non-runner too. I tried to let him down gently, saying that Santa probably wouldn’t bring someone an X Box the year if they got a rather nice tablet last year, especially children who spend too long on the tablet. The eternal optimist, he ignored my warning and said, ‘But JUST SAY, Santa brings me an X Box, will you buy me a TV for my bedroom ?’
I took a copy of the Santa letters with me when I did The Big Shop. I had an hour to kill last week and aimed to have it done in a flash as I thought that my previous Sherlock-like investigations would have me in good stead. The problem was that the recce trip with the children was in a toy shop in Carlow and I went shopping in Naas. My anthropological research can now reveal that kids in Carlow like tractors and agricultural toys more than their peers in Naas. I couldn’t believe it - A crammed aisle in Carlow, but not a bale-trailer to be seen in Naas ! So much for the one-hour-shop.
I did manage to acquire the ‘small Claas combine’ on Leon’s list. I was delighted. The larger one was on display alongside it. I confirmed with the sales assistant ‘that’s a small Claas combine, isn’t it ?’ He agreed. Sorted ? I thought so ! Until Leon shown me afore mentioned combine harvester on Youtube. It was teeny weeny. It appears that there is a ‘smaller small’ than I had seen in the shop. And my medium sized purchase is in my Mam’s wardrobe. ‘What’s the difference between that one and other models ?’ I asked, quizzing The Boy. ‘The wheels Mam.’ Shite, too late now.
I bought a David Walliams book for Leon too. I bought it in Farrell’s bookshop in Newbridge where the lovely staff do all the work. The book was put in a bag and shoved into the over packed wardrobe. Another job done ? Kinda. Both of the children had book vouchers that they wanted to cash in. We were in Carlow shopping centre today and the vouchers were burning a whole in their wee pockets. They both made a bee line for David Walliams books. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember which book I had bought. I tried to steer them elsewhere, but they insisted.
‘These are OUR vouchers, so we can spend them on what we want.’
They eye balled me, the pair of them. Mutiny on the flipping bounty.
There was a 3 for 2 offer, so we now have THREE books by yer man in the house. I may get my Mam to see what I bought for Santa. At least they are getting in the reading buzz for the holidays.
I had lots of great ideas for stocking fillers over the last few months, but when I see them, I always have the kiddiewinks on tow. The sort of thing that you wouldn’t make a special trip back to get. I’ve thought of distracting them, ‘hey, look over there !’, while shoving the stocking filler under the cauliflower, but the pair are way too cute for that. Instead, I bought them some stocking-filler-type gifts today, including the much regretted eye masks.
I almost got caught out this morning. Leon picked up a piece of paper in the back of the car that must have fallen out when I was taking Santa out of the car boot.
‘Why does this say John Deere ?’
Darn it ! The receipt for the ‘low bale trailer’ that I bought yesterday.
Luckily uncle Robert is a diesel mechanic.
‘He asked me to pick up a part for him’, I said, ‘he will need that receipt’, I said, whipping it out of his hand at such speed that I almost took skin off his little fingers.
‘I thought that he only fixed JCB’s’ said the boy suspiciously.
‘It was a special favour to a friend’, I said, feeling the lies coming in around me.
This Santa craic is hard work.