Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Caught in the act

Anyone who has known me for more than a week knows I'm pretty bad at hiding things. It's good in a way because I don't have to keep any big secrets straight. But it was bad last night.

My husband and I were downstairs, wrapping Santa's gifts for the kids when disaster struck in the form of a four-year-old at the bottom of the stairs. She'd been asleep when we started. Not so much when we had presents strewn all over the downstairs living room. I took her back to bed, where she denied seeing anything. Ya right. I've read enough mystery novels to know what a warm spot at the bottom of the stairs means.

She saw everything. No way we could make those gifts "from us." No way I could possibly return everything and start from scratch today. Once we knew she was back asleep, we holed up in the kitchen to brainstorm The Big Lie.

What could we tell her? We didn't even know how much she saw. Jim had his idea of what to say, I had mine. She found him first this morning and asked about what we were doing. Jim told her she must have dreamed the whole thing. Predictably, our almost-five-year-old was a bit too smart for that. Then she came to me and asked why daddy pretended she was dreaming. I told her that Santa had needed our help wrapping a few things and of course we said yes. But that Santa didn't want her to know, so that's why daddy said what he did. So basically, I lied about Jim's lie to cover up for the fact that there really is no Santa.

Is my nose growing yet?
But I'm a bit relieved because I think she bought it. She now claims she saw Santa downstairs too (another lie for those who are keeping track). In fact, she'd rather we not mention to Santa that she knows he was here early. So I suppose it all worked out. We'll see come Christmas morning...


Estella said...

Small children are wonderful!

Angie Fox said...

So she's unwrapping this morning saying, "I saw this!" "I knew that!" "Now where is my Polly Pockets Cruise Ship?"

Oh well - at least she still believes! And, yes, small kids are great at Christmas. We're having a ball.

SignFoo said...

I've used the "helping Santa" one myself as well, I did you one better I told my daughter that parents are Santa's back-up elfs. We have to be on call during Christmas season so that we can help him out with last min. wrapping. I told her that he's gotten too busy with so many kids out there these days.

Anonymous said...

We impress on the kids that Santa is the spirit of giving, like fairies and unicorns are spirits. They're real, but they aren't people like us. They're magic people. And my kids get to "be Santa" by choosing presents for their school mates and for the less fortunate. We hope this helps us face the inevitable.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Angie, my oldest is almost 10 and though she knows deep down the truth about Santa, she's not giving up on the whole belief thing at all. I can't tell you how many times I've screwed up - not hiding presents well, wrapping with the same paper Santa uses, making comments (which she heard) about where I bought stocking stuffers. The bottom line is that kids want to believe, so they'll buy into almost anything. That's the only thing that's saved me all these years.

(And we won't even mention how many times the tooth fairy has conveniently "forgotten" to hide that money. And yet...all my kids still believe in the tooth fairy too.)