I love Christmastime. I love the lights. The joy. The goodwill. I love it even more through the eyes of my little guy. He is SO excited. Oh. MY. Goodness.
Everything about Christmas excites him. Ho ho. Baby Jesus. Lights. Monsters. Trees. Not to mention presents.
After we put up our tree, I wrapped a couple of gifts and put them under it right next to Massimo’s nativity play set. Clearly, I didn’t think that part through. As soon as he saw the presents, he ran to them saying: “I so excited! My presents! Batman! Spiderman! All that!”
I responded, very sweetly, “no baby, those aren’t for you and we can’t open presents until Ho Ho comes.”
And he wailed. He cried and cried and didn’t understand. His feelings were hurt because (1) those were not his presents–in fact none of the presents were his, and (2) I wouldn’t let him open them.
Oh the horror.
Then I made mistake number 2. I left the room to attend to a biological need. When I returned, I found Massimo and an unwrapped gift.
“Massimo,” I said. “That wasn’t for you.”
Again, he wailed. He cried and cried and cried. It was a great parenting moment. I had sucked the joy of Christmas out of my two year old baby.
I also thought it was a teaching moment. A moment to teach my two –almost three year old–a little bit about self control.
So, the next day–I wrapped more gifts. Again, I put them under the tree next to his nativity set. Again, he was confused. He cried and wailed. He wanted to open the new gift. Which was either Batman or Batman’s house. (Have I mentioned that my child wants Batman, Spiderman, Batman’s house, all that–and that up until right about now I’ve not been so sure about embracing the superhero theme at 2).
One thing quickly became clear, if I was going to teach him self control–I needed help. And I needed help from someone Massimo loved and respected.
Luckily, we have our very own elf–Bobby Gi Gi. It can be kind of a hassle trying to figure out new places to put him every nigh. And, to be very honest, I can’t imagine that I’ll be able to remember to move him every night during Christmas until he no longer believes that Bobby is magical. But for now, Bobby is magical.
So the next night, Bobby went to the North Pole and returned with a letter to Massimo from Ho Ho. In the letter, Ho Ho asked Massimo not to open any more gifts until Mommy told him he could. Ho Ho said he was busy working on Batman and Spiderman but if Massimo kept opening the gifts under the tree, he would have to give Batman and Spiderman to another little boy.
Massimo hasn’t opened any more gifts under the tree.
Thank you Bobby Gi Gi and Ho Ho.