The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

December 25, 2007



OK, that's not true. I'm stirring. And I think I can hear the mice or leprechauns or whatever they are in the crawlspace beneath my apartment's floor stirring too.

It may be I'm the only blogger on the planet who's actual writing a new blog post tonight, on Christmas night.

It's the peculiarities of being single, with kids who don't live with me full-time, and everyone else doing their family thing, and our big family thing falling, as it always seems to, on Boxing Day.

My highlight of any Christmas Day is when I go pick up my kids and bring them over here to exchange gifts and just to be what we are and who we are and make jokes and have fun and throw in lots of hugs.

And here, more or less, is how that went with my two munchkins, who are no longer, really, munchkins, although my daughter does a good impression at barely above five feet and my son always puts on his goofiest pose...

A scene-setter:

My daughter phones me at around 11. She sounds grumpy on Christmas morning. My son, from his bedroom at their mom's place, has phoned my daughter, in her bedroom at their mom's place, at 9 a.m.

She's been out til 2:30 or so on Christmas Eve. He didn't know she was in her own bed, at home, sleeping. He thought she was at her cousin's house, with her -- gulp, boyfriend -- looking after their house as they vacation in Florida.

Son: "Hey, when are you getting up? Want to open presents now?"

Daughter: "Harumph!"

At 11 a.m. or so, I get a phone call from a cranky woman. It's time for me to go and pick them up.

They arrive. Son gets phone call from latest girlfriend in Thompson, about a seven-hour drive to the north of here (takes after his dad with the long-distance relationships, apparently), disappears into his bedroom.

He emerges.

We open gifts, etc. Daughter suggests we play a game. This is partly about how I DID NOT MANAGE to find her The Game of Life, Twists and Turns version, as she had requested. Instead, I bought her a crock pot.

At twice the price.

As a result, she's a crank pot (not really, but it's really fun saying that).

She more or less forces son and I into playing with her the original Game of Life I had bought her several Christmases ago.

We appear to have no choice. She's the banker, of course. She's the controller, the dictator, the rule-setter, the omnipresent one.

Of course, she decides she'll go to university. Son and I decide we'll go the career route.

I finish last, she finishes first, as women always do, and goofy teen son is somewhere in the middle, having sabotaged me at his every opportunity, both of them laughing hysterically at my every cataclysm.

But not before I have my own fun knocking her little car and family and kids off the track from time to time, and stealing my son's career and higher wage only to see him steal it back.

Still, it's a forgone conclusion...I end up with $1.2 million, if lucky; she's got well over $2 mill. Son ends up somewhere in between.

I make her clean the game up, nonetheless, asserting my parental authority.

Then he goes to his room to play with his new PSP game (and the game I got him FOR that), while daughter, who IS Mother Christmas in my eyes, curls up to watch some TV with her resplendent Christmas tree earrings.

She poses with the wallet she bought me, for which I will have to try to earn money to fill...

In the meantime, I force my son to let me take a pic or two of him playing on his PSP (PlayStation Portable).

My daughter forces me to try on the green penguin PJ bottoms she bought for me...along with the "Perry Como" slippers I asked her to buy for me...

Then I force my daughter to pose for a pic with me, but I forget to smile...

It being very difficult to do two things at once for any male, after three or four pix, I finally figure out how to both smile and take the pic at the same time...

Then, of course, comes the most fun part of all, me trying to take a pic of all three of us at once...

My son and I both laughed hysterically at this opening attempt...

This one was way off-centre...

This one might have worked except for my daughter dangling her tongue...

This one was too close-in and cut off my son...

But this one, despite my unkempt, unshaven and nosehair-ridden reality, worked.
I hope you had a truly FUN Christmas, filled with laughs, love and memories.

And to you all, a toast -- from one penguin to another... a terrific 2008.