My daughter still believes. She did look a little sceptical that Santa had adjudged her brother to have been “nice” and not “naughty” in his personalised internet video message from the North Pole, but she wasn’t too bothered, as she’d just received the same verdict.
They went off to sleep last night when tiredness overtook their excitement, both squeezing their eyes shut and promising not to peep. My 15-year-old daughter and my five-year-old boy.
And now, our family has grown. We have been joined by an annoying Gremlin-like creature called a Furby. As far as I can fathom, there’s no off-switch, so when we wanted a bit of peace we had to put it in another room to send it to sleep, as our daughter told us we weren’t allowed to take the batteries out, because “that would be killing her”. The unhinged muppet is called Fiona, apparently. Interestingly, as attached as my daughter is to her new evil incubus, her favourite present today seems to have been a jar of giant gherkins.
I’m slightly bruised from having to lie on the floor while my son tested the ‘off-road’ capabilities of his new remote control car by driving it over the top of me. I’ve been having some funny conversations with him using his new walkie-talkies: “Over it. Get over it, Mummy,” was his idea of how you signal to the other person you’ve finished talking. But his favourite present is a tiny Lego Batman figure. He’s lost the mini Dark Knight’s mask three times today (each loss marked by escalating degrees of panic starting off at Red Alert and finishing with Cuban Missile Crisis level).
They say there’s a lot of repeats at Christmas. They weren’t kidding. I said they weren’t kidding. And I'm not just talking about the Brussels sprouts fumes emanating from my husband's rear portions. Our daughter, whose peseveration* levels were sky high (*where she asks the same questions or says the same sentence repeatedly) was at one end of the table; next to her was my dad, now home after six weeks in hospital, who is currently stuck in a time loop world where his brain thinks everything is happening over and over again; and next to him was my mum-in-law, whose dementia causes conversations to roll right round baby right round, like a record baby, right round...
But it worked. It worked out. We snapped our crackers, gave eachother gifts, and laughed at my Yorkshire Puddings, which my daughter defended on my behalf. Repeatedly.
So, I’ve got a truckload of turkey left, and we’re going have the same personnel for a Boxing Day re-run. We’re going to have to go down the park tomorrow to get some fresh air and burn off some calories. We’ll be taking the walkie-talkies, and the Furby, but probably not the gherkins.
It’s been a long, kind of wonderful, kind of heartbreaking day. Over and out.
Video is LCD Soundsystem - On Repeat