January 6, 2020

Go eat ice cream!, Ta-da, & Forest doesn't live here

(Continued from the delivery of Ding-dong the table from Hell)

In a panic, I ran and locked the interior garage door.  Certainly the children would not find it odd that the big van was backed partially into the garage on an angle with all the van doors left open (as if we were busy robbing ourselves), and no seats inside (those were in the parking lot at Coach’s work where we left them that afternoon when we traded cars), and the door to the house locked.  Right?

In my last ditch effort to preserve the surprise, I called Mini’s phone.  I can count on one hand in the last 18 mos since the girl has owned a phone that she has answered it.  The stars that laugh at my staircase aligned and Mini answered.

Me:  Go for ice cream!  Go!  We are unpacking something and you cannot bring the kids home.  Don’t ask -just GO EAT ICE CREAM!

Mini:  (directed at chauffeur and sweet tooth Tank) Hey, Tank.  We are going to go get ice cream.’ 

We loaded up all the packaging in the van so Coach could dump it at work the next day (which would be Christmas Eve if anyone is paying attention), re-hung the basement stairwell photos, put the coffee table back in position, parked the white van normal-like in the garage, gave the boys’ friends some cash and cookies for their services, and wiped the sweat from our brows. 

Ta-da , "Look kids, it's my Christmas houses.
 I finally set them up on the night of the 23rd!'
 Between the hours of 6 and 8 back when we
abandoned all previous get-the-dang-pong-table
 in-the-basement, I cleaned my kitchen (have you
SEEN the photos in my last post?  All better now),
 then I proceeded to set up the houses.  
When the 4 'younger' kids entered the house with their Dairy Queen and confused expressions, I motioned to the buffet in the kitchen where I had displayed the Christmas houses between 8:00 and 8:45 pm while I waited for reinforcements to arrive.  The kids enjoy the houses, so I led with a:  ‘Ta-da this was the reason you couldn’t come home.  I wanted to surprise you.’  Curly wrinkled up her nose and gave a sarcastic ‘WOW!’  Like:  'You wasted my time for this?'  Hey, you got ice cream out of the deal sista, so quit your moaning. 

The next night (Christmas Eve) after I napped on the couch, we ordered people to bed.  Then Coach and Lad and Ed assumed their basement positions.  Since the beast was a full 9 foot table, we had decided that we could set it up on the dancing stage and then fold it up when Curly needs to practice.  Since she dances about 4 nights a week at the studio she rarely uses our home stage.  If we don’t get the air hockey table fixed, then maybe we would swap it out with the ping pong beast.  The beast might not fit great in the swapping spot because it is bigger than air hockey and  might interfere with walking space.  Our basement is 'L' shaped so not a huge open space anywhere 'cept the TV and couch sectional area.

Ed playing on the dancing stage
with Mini, who is wearing a
hair drying turban towel that she got in
 her stocking.  Her hair was dry,
but she was just SUPER excited about this . . .
this $9 favorite gift.  Go figure.
Ed came up to get the boxes of parts that I hid behind a table in the living room during the elves-on-attack chaos.  Ed was shaking his head:  We cannot find the instruction book!

Uh oh.  I looked around the living room.  There, face-down on the couch, were the instructions.  Had any of the kids decided to sit on the couch and enjoy the recently decorated tree, they would have seen the instructions that none of us hid properly.  Oops.

The kids got ping pong balls in their stockings.  Tank’s stocking had a note about a gift in the basement, signed 'S'.  There was much rejoicing as they raced down to check it out.  

Ed would prefer we find another location for the table because the dance stage does not offer lots of additional space for big swings or stepping back to make the kill, etc.  Coach has informed me that the table will not likely fold up as easily as we had initially hoped.  Ugh.  Curly was like, 'Wait, it isn't STAYING on my stage, right?'
Coach challenging Curly who is in her robe with
 crazy morning hair.  Between foos ball, the sectional,
the ding-dang, the broken air hockey, and a giant
toy castle with slide (that I refuse to part with because
 it entertains my little charges) - we are wall
 to wall entertainment down there.  

And that, my friends is how you pull off a last-minute gift that requires a forklift and put it in a space that might infringe on your game if you are Forest Gump or your dancing if you are a female Michael Flatley.  

On Christmas day, I took a very, very long nap after sleeping 8 hours the night before.  Sometimes life is exhausting.  Hope you all had a merry day and that your gifts fit where they need to fit without too much difficulty. 


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Oh my goodness!!!! What a story! I'm glad you got the thing in the house and put together in time for Christmas. I hope you have fully recovered from everything!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I believe the heavens were smiling down on you because that was a catastrophe in the making.!
I hope they have hours and hours of fun...Forrest gump style or not.
I love your Christmas village!

Suzanne said...

Wow! What an ordeal! so glad it worked out!

Ernie said...

Beth - it was so last minute and with Coach and I in constant 2-ships-passing mode, I never really felt like we agreed to get it and we CLEARLY did not think about where it would fit. It worked out, and yes - we have quite the story now.

Suz - They literally have been playing ping pong nonstop. They do a round-the-world game where several of them run around the table and hit the ball and whoever misses their shot gets out. This is fun because it caters to our extra-players-sized group. And it other exciting news, an electrician apprentice 20 year old kid (who I remember playing in the culdesac because his grandparent are our neighbors) was able to find the fan needed to fix the air hockey table. So, these teenagers have no excuse - their friends should all be here hanging out on the weekends, and if they sneer at us when we suggest that then we suspect they are up to no good. Hmm. The Christmas village is pretty and I do like how it fits in my buffet area, but it might be up till Easter since I JUST finally got it up on the 23rd.

Suzanne - Exactly. It was so much easier when Santa brought Air Hockey and Foosball the same year (hand me downs from our friends), because I loaded the kids in the van and we left home till Coach and a few area teenagers got everything set up on Christmas Eve. We just made sure no one went down there till morning. Cake walk.

Kari said...

I feel like you need to leave the Christmas village up all winter. It is so cheerful. Says the woman who takes down Christmas on the 26th because I CANNOT LOOK AT THIS CRAP ONE MORE DAY.

Merry Belated Christmas! I love to play ping pong, especially beer pong.

Ernie said...

I have not tired of the Christmas village yet SINCE IT JUST GOT SET UP. It does serve as a deterrent for me and other less forgivable family members to leave clutter on that counter top. (I am forgivable because I am the boss of the kitchen and I need to find papers and stuff so DON'T TOUCH IT PEOPLE!) We are hoping that the ping pong and just an hour-ago-fixed air hockey table will draw teenagers here and give them a non-drinking/trouble making alternative since they are TEENAGERS and we hope to keep them out of trouble, so ix-nay on the beer-pong-aye. Ha!