Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas Bust

I've been tucking away Christmas gifts for a few months now. I have a stash, well, had a stash, up on the top shelf of the hallway linen closet. Way out of Michael's nosy reach. Or so I thought. The shelf had been a great hiding place for the past year since we'd moved in. It's pretty high up so a good glance from the kiddo wouldn't reveal anything I'd tucked away up there. When I'd ground him from specific toys: cars, his DS, radio, whatever-it would go up on the shelf until the grounding was over because I knew it'd be safe from any attempts on his part at retrieval. He never even knew anything was up there. So, come Christmas shopping last year, I would just stuff the bags up on the shelf until it was time to do the wrapping. Then I'd have to move the packages either to my closet or down in the basement for more strategic camoflage. I could bury packages under clothes and purses in my closet, or tuck them behind the still unpacked boxes of miscellaneous knick knacks that had been abandoned after the move. It was perfect. He never saw anything and Santa's stellar reputation remained in tact.

Shopping away, I'd had a few presents and a bag of stocking stuffers hidden up on the shelf in the hallway closet. I'd also stored some extra school supplies in there, trying to keep them out of Michael's busy hands. I thought if he'd need more pens or notebooks or erasers halfway through the year, we'd be in good shape. All was well and good until Mr. Nebby Nose somehow got it into his head to investigate this top shelf way up out of his reach. Independence can be a great thing to instill in kids until it comes down to helping himself into places he shouldn't be digging around in!

"Mom! I found some Gogo's in the hall closet! Are they for me?" Excitement and glee exuding from his voice at this new found treasure stash! My heart stopped for a second or two then raced sickeningly as realization dawned on me that he discovered my Christmas hiding place! Now what?? How to cover my tracks and explain why there were Gogo's in the closet? I was busted...I had no choice but to give him the booty.

"Oh, I was going to surprise you with those and now you found them yourself!" Trying not to sound too suspicious, but not happy that the little bugger had forced my hand. I tried my best to be casual, cool, calm..."What else did you find up there?" Trying to calculate a quick inventory of everything I had bought and stuffed away for wrapping days...fortunately I hadn't bought any other little goodies for Michael yet. More grown up gifts remained hidden, still bundled in the store bags I'd brought them home in. Whew!

"Nothing. Can I have the Gogo's?" Careless, oblivious, completely unknowing he could've uncovered so much more.

I sighed as I relented and let him have the little toys. I figured I could grab another pack at Walmart later on for his stocking. I've had to rethink my hiding places now. Big boxes hide packages in the bedroom, buried under out of season clothes. And there's still the basement. Dark down there, he can't reach the light in the laundry area. Good. That'll still work. Finally safe to go back to the stores again and recommence Christmas shopping...Santa strikes again!

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