Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Pure Energy

I wanna know
what you're thinking
there are some things you can't hide...
I wanna know
what you're feeling
tell me what's on your mind.

*pure energy* 
                                  --Information Society

As per usual, the boys woke up a few hours earlier than what mere mortals would call early and tried to sneak into the living room to start their frenzy before us humans woke up. And this, despite several reiterations of my rule that they are not allowed to go into the living room until I give the go-ahead. But, ha ha! I used to be their age once. Just ask my mom.

I knew they couldn't possibly resist, so I had blocked off the main entrance to living room with signs that directed them to the other entrance, which conveniently took them through our bedroom. They then found that the other entrance was also blocked and their pitiful cries of disappointment woke me up. Ah, there's nothing like waking up to the sounds of sobbing children on Christmas morning.

The boys know that Christmas will not start until Papa Grinch has a coffee in one hand and his camera in the other. Peter has recently learned how to make coffee for Master and David knows where I keep my camera, so in less than five minutes, we were ready to get our jingle on.


*pure energy*

It only looks like the picture is blurry. Actually, it was that Tommy was traveling at the speed of noise when he turned the corner to check out his loot. Last year, he had damn near collapsed from excitement after unwrapping a pack of batteries though, so I'm guessing we've got a few more years until anything wrapped disappoints him.

Peter has been waiting for this day for a long time, too. For a change, though, he wasn't being selfish. About two months ago, Peter began his 'list' and started buying, making and building people's Christmas gifts. Every week he'd ask for a few Euros and then run off to get supplies. For the last month, nobody has been allowed to enter his room. Except me, of course, but more on that privileged exception later.

When I finally released the animals to go wild, Peter baffled me by not being the first one to the tree. Instead, he raced to his room to get the first of three boxes full of his gifts, apparently for anyone and everyone that has ever spoken to him. He then spent the first five minutes placing his gifts for us around the tree. I guess Christmas for him is all about giving. Weirdo.

For David, Christmas was a frantic race to see who could open all of their gifts first. He won.

For Tom, Christmas consisted of opening a gift and playing with it for an hour before moving to the next. Luckily for my ears, Tommy's first gift was not a pack a batteries.

David was getting rather annoyed with Tommy, who had plopped down on the carpet and was trying to open his 'Dragon Chopper'.

'Tommy! Here's another gift for you. Open it!'

'No, I open this first.'

David had just finished unwrapping all of his toys when Tommy was ready for his second gift, which was an Uno game that catapulted cards across the room. At least it impressed Angie. You should see her happy face.

David had given up on Tom's idea of Christmas and was busy getting his nano-boogie on in the background.

Tom's third gift was a pack of batteries. Oh shit.

*pure energy*

AA batteries were not on Tommy's list for Santa, but you know what was? A hedgehog. That's right, a real, live hedgehog that Tommy could feed and pet for one, max two days, before losing interest and asking Mama to take care of baby Sonic for him.

The problem was that Tommy didn't explain this point to Santa and how in the world could a man with more chesthairs than a coconut possibly know that Tommy had meant anything other than a Christmas bulb hedgehog?

As I was busy explaining the phrase 'Deal with it' to Tommy, Peter 'surprised' me with a bulb of his own.

I write 'surprised' because I've known about this work in progress for over two months. It all started one night when Peter was supposed to be sleeping but burst into a sissy fit that I could hear from the other room.

I ignored the "DO NOT ENTER" signs he had posted and asked Blubber-boy what the problem was. He didn't want to tell me at first, so I had to go diplomatic.

'Listen, Peter, I got your mother to say 'yes' to me when I asked her to marry me, so trust me - I know how to get people to tell me what I want to hear. Now, we can try this the merry way or...'


'No, not at all. Actually, Mama and I are quite happy together...'

'Papa! That's not funny! I worked so hard and now it's all ruined.'

Peter then reluctantly showed me the Christmas bulb that he had been secretly painting for the family. He had a 'paint pen' that had somehow malfunctioned and managed to release a huge clump of liquid gold paint that had bled into some of the letters making them unreadable.

Luckily for Peter, I had a pocket knife and experience dealing with panicky female-types. I dried the splotched area with a tissue and then used my knife to scrape away the paint from the entire section.

My actions only further freaked out Stress-Boy, who thought I was completely destroying his bulb.

'Now it's all gone, Papa! Thanks! I'll buy a new one tomorrow and start all over again!'

Stiffling a giggle, I pulled out a dark purple-blue paint pen and watched drama fade from Peter's pale face as I colored in the scraped-out area. Ta-da!

Peter finally breathed a final sob as we let the background dry. Then we used the gold pen to retrace the letters and restore the world back to it's normal state. Yeah, define normal.

At some point during this morning's hysteria, Peter wandered over to me, winked, and asked me to open his 'most toppest secretest' gift. 

I unwrapped the tissue paper and immediately recognized the bulb, only this one had more text on it then the night that Peter had freaked out. The fact that Peter wanted me to open this one almost made me choke up. Then, I read the lettering that had apparently been written after our nice little bonding moment: "Merry Christmas to the Johnsen Zoo".

'Are you freakin' kidding me? Does our oldest son really not know how to spell his own last name?'

In the spirit of Christmas, Angie told me to shut up. I already had my dose of Christmas Day tears this morning, so for a change, I listened to the love of my life.

Speaking of wives, I gave Angie three ostrich egg lamps.

Okay, I didn't give her the lamps for Christmas. I actually gave her one to add to her collection years ago before we voluntarily gave ourselves human anchors. She'd probably have more than a dozen by now if she hadn't laid it out simple for me.

'Steve, please stop buying me egg lamps for my birthday.'

Okay, got it. Now, flash forward to the present, where up until today, Angie only had three egg lamp stands.

With three boys, it was only a matter of time before all three egg lamps had been smashed to pieces. The first two were chalked up to Destructo Dave. The last stand standing was annihilated by Tom a few months ago while he was swinging a rubber ball on a rope around his head as David chased him through our bedroom. Who the hell buys a ball on a rope?

You would think that if they sell ostrich egg lamps, it should be relatively easy to find replacement egg lamp covers. Wrong, dummy. Guess again.  

I spent the next few weeks exchanging very courteous emails with stores in South Africa that all replied that of course they sell ostrich egg lamp covers, but only if I would fly to their store and buy them there. Apparently, businesses over there do not use the postal system. As I wrote, though, I know how to get people to tell me what I want to hear.

'That's great that you have a whole warehouse full of egg lamp covers, but do you think you could ship three to Germany for, say, a sizeable extra fee?'


I then spent another few weeks on eBay until I finally found people who were willing to take my money. One person only had one egg and another person had two. Finally! That's one headache gone.

After turkey dinner, Peter's headache was just beginning. Okay, it wasn't actually a headache, but I don't feel bad in the slightest. Over the years, I've come to the realization that I only warn my children so that I can take pleasure in the outcome of them ignoring my words of wisdom.

'Peter, you better slow down on the ice-cream before you get a brain freeze.'

'Yeah, Papa, sure. My brain is going to freeze if I eat too...ow...OW...OOOWWWW!'

As Peter's brain pain competed with my laughter, I noticed that Tommy was going native American with his ice-cream and making sure that no part of his dessert was going to waste.

Notice Sammy begging in the background. This is the same dog that bit Tommy's hand a few weeks after they met for the first time.

With Tommy's second bowl of ice-cream, he decided to let bygones be bygones and allowed Sammy to lick the hand that fed him.

After two bowls of 'normal' ice-cream, Tommy also had a Magnum ice-cream, followed by a healthy helping of apple crisp and a bag of gummy bears, just for good measures.

When Tommy started shaking like a Polaroid and tried using their sofa as a trampoline, my 'wild kid' radar started pinging.

'Honey, sweetheart, darling of my life....can we please go now?'

When we got home, Angie plopped on the sofa and merrily announced that I had the festive honors of putting wild animals down for the night.

As I was tucking Tommy into bed, his mind had apparently flashed back to the pack of batteries.

*pure energy*

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter:  That we could play with the presents and I could check out my iPod Touch.
David: I think again the presents and that everyone had fun and that we watched a movie.
Tom: That we got presents and the things that was in the sock.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That David has a headache and think he needs to throw up.
David: That I'm now almost need to throw up.
Tom: I don't got a worst part - today was Super!

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Get good presents from Arman and that he's happy about my presents.
David: To play with Luka and show him my headphones and my Sklyander SWAP Force figures.
Tom: Play with Peter and David the presents.

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