Random Acts of Christmas Stupidity
Happy Christmas, everyone! Here, have a close-up picture of my hand:
Oh, that? That’s just the giant burn I gave myself by trying to fill my hot water bottle in the dark and underestimating the capacity of the thing. Turns out the SCALDING HOT WATER was much closer to the top than I realized, and when I just kept merrily pouring the kettle anyway, it came gushing out in a torrent which splashed onto my hand, leaving me with this. And that, my friends, is why I’m not normally allowed to to use the kettle unsupervised. And also why I HATE MYSELF. I mean, OMFG, Amber, SERIOUSLY?
(OK, I’m exaggerating slightly with the whole “torrent” thing. It was pretty damn painful, though, and, by the next morning, it had turned into a giant blister. This hand has still not totally recovered from the “curling irons” incident of March – you can still see the burn mark at the base of my thumb, actually – so, yeah, I’m an idiot. )
That was the same night Terry came down with The Virus That Isn’t Covid, But Which Feels A Lot Like Covid.
He was snoring so loudly as a result of this that I ended up having to sleep on the sofa in the living room, and while I was lying there I had a really vivid dream in which I was…lying on the sofa in the living room, when, all of a sudden, this unseen presence put its “arms” around me and started SQUEEZING. It wasn’t tight enough to stop me breathing (THANK YOU, YOUR UNSEEN-NESS) but it was tight enough to clearly communicate that, hey, Amber, there’s an unseen presence in your living room that may or may not want to kill you.
Which, honestly, was pretty much the opposite of relaxing, really.
Anyway, I woke up with a start (Like, LITERALLY “with a start”. I always read that in books, but that’s what happened…) and even though I know perfectly well that there is no such thing as an unseen presence, the dream had been so real – and had come complete with that fun “trying-to-scream-but-nothing-comes-out” thing – that I was too scared to move until Max started singing the theme tune to “Castle in the Sky” from his room, and I figured it was safe to get up.
That was the day Max amended his Christmas list from simply “glitter pens” to “glitter pens AND A HEDGEHOG.”
That was also the day we realized we hadn’t actually ordered the freaking glitter pens – i.e. LITERALLY THE ONLY THING HE’D ASKED FOR – let alone the hedgehog. (I honestly don’t know what happened here, because we were both sure the glitter pen situation had been taken care of. I think maybe Terry assumed I’d bought them, and I assumed he had? Anyway, NO GLITTER PENS is the outcome of this cautionary tale, and AMAZON PRIME is the answer to it. You’re welcome.)
That night, Terry was still feeling rougher than… well, a hedgehog, basically… so I once again retreated to the living room couch. It was at the exact moment that I entered the darkened living room that I remembered The Unseen Presence from the night before. And it was for the next two hours that I lay awake desperately reminding myself that I do not believe in such things, but also, what’s that shadow at the window? Is someone standing at my living room window?
The next morning was when I started to exhibit the first signs of Terry’s Virus That Isn’t Covid But Which Feels A Lot Like Covid. Panic-stricken, I went instantly into Do All The Things At Once mode, convinced that I had mere hours left before I succumbed to my sick bed, and that if I didn’t wrap all of the Christmas presents immediately, I would be too ill to do it thereafter.
That was when I realized I couldn’t find the Kindle Fire we’d bought Max as his main present.
(Judge all you want, by the way… All I ask is that, if you want to judge me for giving my kid a tablet, that you first of all spend the next five years living with a child who will not play independently, and if you get through that without resorting to screen time, then feel free to judge away.)
“I gave it to you,” said Terry.
“You most certainly did not,” said I.
“Yes I did,” said Terry. “I put it on the office floor, with all of the other boxes that arrived that day.”
That was when we realized I’d put the Kindle Fire into the bin, with “all the other boxes”.
The actual BIN. Where the rubbish goes.
And not the inside bin, either: no, I took all that “rubbish” right out to the one outside. That gets picked up and taken to the tip.
Fortunately for me, the KIndle had gone into the “paper and card” bin, so it wasn’t thrown in with actual rubbish. Even more fortunately, it was the turn of the “actual rubbish” bin to be emptied this week, so the Kindle was retrieved unharmed, and the day was saved.
As for me, meanwhile, well, I’d like to say this is the first time I’ve done something so monumentally stupid, but actually, it’s just the most expensive time. (Or potentially expensive, anyway. And given that we ordered the tablet in the Black Friday sales, and it only just arrived this week, it would’ve been a REALLY difficult problem to solve in a hurry.)
In better news, meanwhile, this was also the day both the glitter pens and the hedgehog arrived, and, OK, it’s not the real, live hedgehog Max asked for, but we’ve had a chat about how Santa doesn’t bring animals, and how a hedgehog is not just for Christmas (or any other time, really), so I think we’re good. And, if nothing else, at least this gift is slightly more child-appropriate than those damn glass grapes he asked for LAST year, and has never looked at since.
Having thought I was going to escape with only mild symptoms of Terry’s cold/flu/whatever the hell it is, a few hours after I thought I was finished writing this post it caught up to me with a vengeance, and now I feel like death, basically. I’m really hoping I’m going to be well enough for Max’s school nativity play on Friday (He’s playing Joseph, and has three lines. No way do I want to miss that…), but, suffice it to say that the two week “break” which follows it will probably finish me off – because when you have an almost five-year-old, the only real break you get is when they’re in school, amiright?
Still, at least I got most of the gift wrapping done. At least that one less thing to have anxiety-fuelled fever dreams about tonight.
Have a very happy Christmas, everyone: see you on the other side!