I can only wish that my morning had started with three glasses of bubbly. Instead, I got three bubbly boys who do not yet comprehend simple concepts like or 'it's still dark outside' and 'go away'.
After being forcibly scraped out of bed by a trio of wild miscreants, I was dragged into the kitchen and told that if I didn't make them 100 pancakes, I would not be loved anymore. I thought about asking them if they jumped on the heads of people they didn't love at 6:00 in the AM, but I guess given the choice, I'd rather make pancakes. Is that the door bell?
Sami has an eerie knack for knowing exactly when the griddle is just hot enough to sizzle bacon. He's either got the nose of a bear or he's planted a video camera in our kitchen. I originally got freaked out, but the whole surveillance thing might not be a bad idea for those rare occasions when Angie decides to don an apron and wreak havoc on food.
Sami of course denied everything and arrived under the pretense of building the race car track that Santa had given to David. The same one that Papa was too stupid to build, according to Mrs. Santa. Well, excuse me for not being able to read Chinese.
I took inner comfort that Sami also had trouble with the Mandarin dialect racing slang.
After trying for over an hour to get the Flaming Loop of Death to even stand up, Sami decided that a more traditional race track would be more fun. Yeah, it's called a rectangle, Sami.
David was amazed at Sami's geometrical mastery, but I think he was even more impressed that the cars kept flying off the table on every curve. Sami wasn't as thrilled, though, and began cursing foreign countries for everything from their race cars that race too fast to their race car tracks that don't keep the track of their cars.
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of frustration, I decided to check on the ladies. See, in order for hairy-chested men to have enough time to build up a race car track, you need to first distract the female types. Otherwise, they just yap in your ear the whole time, making silly comments like 'the loopy-loop thing will never work' or 'the angle is too tight; the cars will just fly off when they hit the curve'.
To avoid unnecessary and unwanted preachings on the inner workings of race track building, I tasked the females with building up David's mega-mongoid five-hundred-piece castle that warrants another beating for Santa, if he's ever man enough to show his jolly fat face. Don't ask me how or why, but it worked.
When I saw how nice the ladies were playing together, I stole the moment to go grocery shopping. We had hungry mouths showing up later and I needed to put food on the table.
One of the mouths that showed up was Alessio, who apparently thought it was necessary to show his toughness by ramming his face full speed into the corner of our dish cabinet within two minutes of arriving. David and Tom noted the lack of tears, then checked out his fresh L-shaped wound on his cheek and nodded their approval. He's cool, he can stay.
Even when I did put food on the table, certain Italian wannabes balked at the idea of eating raw flesh.
It wasn't until I explained to the Principessa the concept of using fondue pots to cook the raw meat that she got her hunger on.
After chowing down, we normally have a show. They are often loud and almost always end with David doing his patented 'butt boogie' dance. Tonight was only slightly different - this one ended in a bang that left permanent burn marks on our dining room table.
In all fairness, Sarah did warn in advance that maybe we shouldn't light fireworks indoors at all, let alone on our dining room table. The problem was - she's got an X chromosome and Angie has long ago trained me to ignore perfectly sound advice from their kind, even when it's exploding in my face.
At least Angie showed some concern for our offspring when she forced David to sport safety goggles made of highly flammable cardboard and taught him the fine art of squishing a dragon's head.
There's a parental high when you teach your offspring something new, but I think Angie took it a couple puffs too far.
She swears that there was a confetti spiral in her hands just seconds before, but I've heard the same song and dance, new year after new year.
Apparently, David also grew tired of Mama's tiny bag of party tricks and decided to climb up the side of our entertainment stand.
I'm not sure why he thought this would be a good idea, but I've known David for over four years and have long ago given up on trying to comprehend his complete lack of thought processes. I turned to Angie, on the off-shot that she might have some intellectual insight into what makes David tick.
Okay, guess not. But you have fun, Mama.
I left hysterical woman to her belly clutching and checked my watch. It was almost game time, so I rounded up my noise makers.
I personally think we are setting a dangerous precedent. If I had my way, the kids would only 'discover' New Year's Eve when they turn 18. Of course, if we had it my way, Angie probably would have divorced me long ago for moral and ethical reasons that would certainly be submissible in any court of law. Prove it; I deny everything.
Tommy was the youngest of the loud noise makers, but he was also the most amazed. There is certainly that magical something that you can only discover once. Tonight was Tommy's turn and his vocal chords were more than eager to announce to the world his newfound revelation.
That's right, Thomas Quentin Johnson, age two and a pain, discovered tonight the unforgettable joy of watching 'flaming bird-planes' explode in the sky.
Angie also discovered the unforgivable joy of being locked out of our apartment at 12:30 AM with five overcharged kids and four tipsy adult types eager to get their poker on.
Cries of 'Didn't I ask you if you had keys?' did little to faze Miss 'I'm right'. Luckily, Mr. 'Freakin' Sexy' was suave enough to not trust little Miss Right and had packed a spare set of keys before embarking on our midnight exposé.
Angie only wished that the evening had ended with a winning hand. Instead, John's two pairs of queens over jacks smacked Angie's two queens in the face and laughed at her second pair of measly twos.
I may have instigated it, but John's chuckling prompted the loser to start explaining to her opponent simple concepts like 'it's still dark outside' and 'go away'.
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That we stay up as so late as you and Mama.
David: When we do the fire-thing on the table and BOOM!
Tom: It was so much funny, Papa - so much funny.
2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Alessio smack his face on that thing by the kitchen.
David: When we need to go to bed because I not so sleepy.
Tom: The tree on fire.
3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
David: To do another fire-bomb, maybe in the bath tub.
Tom: You tickle me belly.