We will be travelling on Christmas Day, and we wanted to give the boys a few days to enjoy their gifts before we had to leave for Northern climes.
After chasing the boys back to their beds no less than seventeen times Saturday night, a thoroughly exhausted Husband and I dragged in the pitifully small mound of gifts, arranged them under the tree, stuffed stockings and then collapsed into our beds.
Well...there may or may not have been some yuletide gladness before the collapsing but only Santa knows for sure, and he doesn't kiss and tell.
Anyway, they boys had no idea Santa was coming early, but they were high on the excitement of exchanging gifts earlier in the day with Husband's side of the family. They were having a hard time settling down and they bickered incessantly as they readied themselves for bed.
To be quite honest, I wasn't feeling terribly jolly toward either of them as we placed the carefully wrapped packages under the tree, and the backbiting was the least of the reasons.
Diminutive One was the first to rise as usual. He has been admonished eleventy million times not to wake the rest of the household on weekend mornings, and he wasn't entirely sure if that directive applied on this particular morning.
He knows that Christmas morning is the lone exception, but he also knows that it wasn't really Christmas morning. So, surprised and bewildered, he simply sat and stared at the bounty, waiting for someone else to awake.
Finally Husband, who is almost always awake before me, rose and went downstairs, much to Diminutive One's great relief. Husband gave him the go ahead to roust Pre-Pubescent One and me from our beds, which he did, gleefully.
We had a nice time opening presents. The exhaustion and irritation of the evening before was forgotten and the bickering was kept to a minimum. When is it was Pre-Pubescent One's turn to open his "big" gift, Husband and I exchanged meaningful looks.
It was a moment we had been dreading, because it would be a great test of our parenting mettle.
He tore the paper from the package, and then promptly burst into tears. He cried for quite a long time, while Diminutive One looked at him quizzically. I wasn't sure if it was guilt or disappointment or remorse or a combination of all three that was causing the deluge.
When at last he could speak, he said, "I've been so rotten, and you guys still got me all this st-st-stuuuuufffff!!!!!" and then he started sobbing again.
You see, on Thursday, we received word that he had lost his place in the Accelerated Content program for failure to maintain a B average. He missed it by five. Freaking. Points.
He had two very substantial projects due last week that would have probably put him right at the 80 percent mark, and saved him by the hair of his chinny chin chin, but he just did not do them. And he lied to us all week long about it. He assured us that they were going swimmingly and we would be oh so proud!
He has been given every opportunity and then some because he is basically a good kid and the teachers like him and because he is so smart he can do the work with one synapse tied behind his back.
His AC advisor called me personally to give me the news and she was just beside herself. At one point, I was actually consoling her. She was supposed to have grades in on Monday, but held his until Thursday hoping he would turn those assignments in. He didn't deserve her magnanimous gesture.
The gift that he received was Guitar Hero III along with an extra wireless guitar and Guitar Hero I & II. It's all he has talked about for months. It's all his friends are talking about. It's THE gift this year among the 13 year old set.
But here's the rub...He was warned that if he got kicked out the AC program that he would have his video game privileges revoked entirely and indefinitely.
He was already on academic probation when the quarter began because he had gotten a C the previous quarter. He KNEW he really had to put his nose to the grindstone. At the midway point he was pulling a 72 and he knew then that he didn't have any wiggle room. But he still made a conscious decision not to turn in work. To just blow it off. And to lie about it.
It's the lying man...when your kid looks you in the eye and lies to you with pure innocence shining from their eyes...it's a sad, sad day. A little part of you dies when you realize that you can't trust them any more.
So he has it. But he can't play it. And he knew it. So the tears were guilty tears, but also tears of self pity and disappointment.
God how we hated to do that.
It SUCKS having to be a hard ass on Christmas.
Are we doing the right thing? I don't know. The thing about the first one is that you just don't fucking know. I think that the reason he is so apathetic and lazy, is because he gets so many damn chances and it's time we put our foot down and make him accountable.
But maybe...maybe not. Maybe being hard assed on Christmas is just going push him over the edge and the next thing you know, he's sitting in a clock tower somewhere with a semi automatic weapon.
Well, at least Diminutive One was content with his booty. His "big" gift was a computer, to replace the relic that is older than he is, but I think he was more excited about the Bob Ross Master Painting Kit that he received from the in laws.
And, on a happier note, Father in Law was overwhelmed by his gift. If you don't remember, we found a 1957 Buddly L Coca Cola truck like the one he had as a child. They are highly collectible and usually, terribly expensive, but we happened upon an incredible deal out of sheer luck. We also found a dealer who carries accessories for Buddly L toys and managed to score five coke cases with teeny tiny little coke bootles in them and a little steel hand cart.
He started to sob before it was even fully unwrapped. He is a big, big man, with a big, big heart, and to see him sob like a baby is truly a sight to behold.
"How did ya'll ever remember??" he bawled. It was years ago that he mentioned it. I don't suppose he thought anybody took his offhand comment about wishing he could find one seriously.
So it was a very gratifying and touching moment.
As for myself? I have to take a moment to brag about having the most thoughtful husband on the face of the planet. I got lots of goodies that I have mentioned over the past year. Husband takes notes. Literally.
But the best gift from him by far was the BedLounge.
I LOVE to read in bed. In fact, it's really only place I do read. It's quiet, it's warm, the light is just right, it's quiet, the door locks, it's quiet.
But it can be difficult to get comfortable, especially for someone with ample hips and a bountiful backend, such as myself.
This lounge is DA BOMB, baby. It has amazing lumbar support. The head rest cradles your neck comfortably and the sturdy armrests allow you to hold your book at just the right height without fatiguing. No more slumping sagging shoulders, no more aching back, no more cricking neck.
So today while everyone is busy with last minute preparations, we will be preparing to head North, by cramming absolutely everything we own into our van.
I will be unplugged until Jaunuary the 8th, so I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have read and commented this year. I apologize to those who are new to Blogs Are Stupid of late, for not reciprocating with comments or adding you to my blogroll. I will remedy that when I return in the new year, I promise.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Good Tidings, Kind Thoughts and love to my fellows in blogging and humanity.