he knows if you’ve been bad or good… so just quit while you’re ahead

Santa called our house last Sunday afternoon!

By the way- when my friends heard this from my two sons in the past week, they all said to me later, my God, I never thought of that. So maybe you’re learning something here today, and honestly, what could be easier? You just email each child’s naughty and nice points, stressing each individual’s areas of possible improvement, along with something you know they’re getting, to a willing/game friend or relative (in our case, Uncle Tim), the phone rings, and kapow! You’ve got a huge behavioral modification opportunity on your hands.

This was Santa’s second year calling our house, so Cooper knew the drill. “Yes, mmm hmm, well yes Santa,” he said, taking his lumps about pounding the floor too loudly with his feet at 6 am and bothering our downstairs neighbors, because Santa did also say he was a good Mommy’s helper AND that he would be getting “lots of alien toys.”

Then Fergus got on the phone, and I watched eagerly, knowing that Uncle Santa was telling him he had to give Maddie some space and really just shape things up in general if he wanted his “big yellow Jeep,” the ONLY thing Fergus asked for this year. The only thing. I mean, that’s not the only thing I bought for him, but who knows if he’ll care about the puzzles and stuff. This yellow Jeep is all he wanted, and frankly, based on his behavior this past year, it’s kind of a big ask. I just wanted Santa to put that on the table, albeit leaving Fergus with an optimistic outlook overall.

Fergus listened without saying anything. When he hung up, I couldn’t bear it.

MOMMY: So Fergus! What did Santa say??

FERGUS: Nuffin.

MOMMY: He didn’t tell you… that you were being a good boy?


MOMMY: He didn’t tell you… that you need to, oh, I don’t know, give Maddie some space?

FERGUS: I’m not getting anyfing dis year.

MOMMY: What? Oh, honey, of course you are!

FERGUS: (not giving a rat’s ass) No I’m not. I don’t want anyfing. I not getting anyfing. I don’t wike pwesents.

And that’s where his thinking has stubbornly remained, since then. If he has to leave his sister alone until Christmas in order to get stuff, then (I think) Fergus thinks, you got to know when to fold em. If there are strings attached to the yellow Jeep, forget it. He’s out. A man can only do so much.

And he’s still getting the yellow Jeep. I mean, it’s already in YaYa and Poppy’s basement. This kid is smarter than he knows.