Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know my kids are 15 1/2, almost 14, and 10.
And most days, they act like they are 15 1/2, almost 14, and 10. Heck, most days they act like they're 25, 23 1/2, and 15. Emily is all focused on getting her driver's temps (8 more days!) and Maddie is all about shoe shopping and play lists. And Jack, well Jack spends most of his time playing iPod games or reading a book. They are all well on their way to becoming the fabulous grown-ups I just know they are going to be.
Until the Advent calendar comes out of the storage box each year.
Once the Advent calendar gets hung up on the hall closet door, all bets are off. Seriously. The competition over who gets to fix the Advent calendar each morning is only rivaled by the intense game of "Shotgun" they play each and every time it's time to get in the car. Not only is there competition over who gets to move the toy each morning, but every year there is a discussion about the proper "Advent Calendar Toy Moving Procedure." The house is divided over which way is the correct way of doing the Advent calendar: one camp believes that all the toys should go up on top and be removed one-by-one and placed down into the boxes. The other camp thinks that we should fill the boxes and empty them, one each day. I am not making this stuff up.
Now, I might understand the Advent calendar competition if our calendar featured a delicately wrapped gift that only the first child up each morning received (like the one above), or if our calendar promised fun activities to the first person who grabbed the card each morning like the this one:
(Heck, I'd set my alarm and get up early if I could grab the card that promised me a new book.)
But our Advent calendar looks like this:
Yup. It's just a bunch of misshapen toys Velcro-ed onto a "workshop" that the kids then tuck into a numbered pocket each day. It features a couple of scared-looking elves and a winking, shushing, four-fingered Santa Claus:
Strangely, Maddie was okay with Emily moving the angel; she was just glad Jack didn't get to.
I am not making this up.
One day soon Emily will be off to college, and Maddie's chances of getting to move the toys will increase. Until then, I promised to wake her up at 4:30 every morning until Christmas so she can do it.
PS She did not take me up on that offer.