December 17, 2008

When a parent's job gets harder at Christmas

Em loves her Molly doll Every year Emily attempts to guess what's under the Christmas tree. The last two years she's gotten pretty good at it. What I didn't realize is that she also can't keep a secret anymore.

Last year she wanted a laptop. I thought it was a little too soon. She was only 8, after all, but Robert insisted she have her own laptop.

All the presents were wrapped under the tree, and of course, Emily had to shake and guess what they were. Every time she held the laptop box, she'd guess, "This is my laptop." We'd smile and act silly and try to throw her off. So when she opened the box and it was indeed a laptop, naturally, she said, "I told you I knew this was my laptop!"

This year the toy of the year for her was an American Girl doll. She's been on a kick all year, reading the books, watching the few movies they've made. She just loves American Girls. So I ordered her favorite, Molly, early, to be sure it would arrive in time for Christmas.

Because we are about to move, I decided to put up the Christmas tree early. Robert talked me into wrapping presents and placing them under the tree early, too. (No, seriously, he did. If it had been up to me I would have waited!) Instead of wrapping the Molly doll and all her accessories we bought together in one big box, I wrapped them individually to put under the tree. Wrong thing to do.

As soon as Emily saw the box, she "just knew" that was an American Girl doll. So we did everything we could to throw her off. But the child is just too old and too wise for our goofy parenting Christmas "tricks" anymore. We had our Christmas early (because of the move) last week and as you can see from the picture, she was pleased with her Molly doll. But that isn't the end of this pitiful story.

So last year we tried to throw her off about the laptop...but it was a laptop. This year we tried to throw her off about the American Girl doll...but it was a Molly doll. Okay, so obviously we aren't doing too well in the don't-make-it-easy-for-your-kids-to-guess-what's-under-the-tree department. :)

So we opened presents. The kids got all the toys they wanted. Robert got the metal detector he'd asked for. And finally everything settled down and they were in bed for the night. Robert came into our bedroom where I was resting in the bed, and giggled.

"What?" I asked.

He sat beside me on the bed. "I'm going to tell you something, but you have to promise not to get mad at Emily."

"Okay."

He proceeded to tell me that several days prior, Emily wanted him to try to guess what his present was. He acted silly and told her he didn't know what it could be.

"Well, I'll just give you one hint," she told him. "It's something you've ALWAYS wanted...and it's not a metal detector!"

When I asked her later why she told her daddy this, her response was (with a proud grin), "I was tricking Daddy, just like you and him tried to trick me about my laptop last year and my American Girl doll this year."

It's on, girl! Next year won't be so easy to guess what's in those packages. ;)

And next year I'm not telling her what her Daddy's present is, either!