Racing through the house, he flipped the boys’ lights on. They were already in bed, but my husband couldn’t wait to interrogate them.

10 pm.

No lights on.

The long, narrow present was under the tree in the shadows, against the wall.

He sees it.

To: Mike
From: Your lovely wife

If he knows there is a gift for him…Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day…he will do all he can to extract information, including going to great lengths of bribery of our boys.

My boys have to practice not spilling the beans after we get a gift for Mike. We role play. It goes like this:

Me: Pretend I am Dad.
Jacob: Ok.
Me: How was your day today?
Jacob: Good.
Me: Did you do anything fun?
Jacob: We got you a present.
Me: Oh, really?!?! What is it???
Jacob: I’m not telling you.
Me: Please???
Jacob: No.
Me: I’ll give you a piece of candy if you tell me.
Jacob: Nope.
Me: Two pieces of candy.
Jacob: {starting to bend}
Me: Three pieces of candy if you tell me what the present is.
Jacob: Ok.
Me (as mom): Tell me it’s a Barbie doll.
Jacob: It’s a Barbie doll! {snickers with a big grin}

So when Mike comes home…the above conversation goes pretty much word for word, so I won’t repeat it. But then, it goes further…

Mike: What?!?! I’ll give you $5 if you tell me what it really is.
Jacob: It’s a pink princess dress with sparkles! {said whilst laughing hysterically that you can barely understand what he said}

Does the role playing work? No. They cave. But it’s all part of the fun of giving gifts in our house.

Back to the other night when Mike decided to interrogate the boys in bed, when they were trying to go to sleep…

The boys wouldn’t tell…because they didn’t know. No way was I going to risk them slipping on this present.

Mike was so sure he already knew the contents of the gift. “I opened the top. It’s my golf clubs!” he exclaimed giddily. “Where did you get them from?”

“You know the rules. If you really opened it, I am taking it back in the morning.”

“What?!?! What rule is that?”

“The rule we have always had.”

“But that rule doesn’t apply to me.” He slowly backs out of the bedroom and towards the Christmas tree.

“Yes, it does.”

“Then I’m taking them to work with me in the morning!” And he made a break for the present and the door.

I chased after him. “You are not taking them to work with you!”

“Yes, I am,” he smiled with determination.

Oh, it was so very difficult not to just laugh at him. I had to keep a straight face.

It wasn’t working. I cracked. Half laughing and half stern.

He opened the door to the garage and stepped out. I let him. The door automatically locks, and he would be locked out of the house.

Just before it clicked shut, Mike remembered. He pushed the door back open, leaving the prettily wrapped present leaning against the steps.

“Show me where you opened the present.”

He was guilty. He had tried to trick me into confirming the contents of the gift. He never opened it.

I placed the present back under the tree. He was a happy camper Christmas morning.

Mike finally opens his present.