So, after three hundred and sixty four sleeps, each one counted down daily from boxing day, Christmas 2013 finally arrived. John’s anticipation had been almost too much for him in the days leading up it. When John gets excited he finds everything hilarious, times this by 10 at Christmas time. Even the most basic conversations are met with hysterical laughter.
On Christmas eve I was trying to get John ready as he wanted to go to the railway station to wish the level crossing barriers a happy Christmas. ‘John can you sit still whilst I try and shave you without taking your nose off?’ cue loud guffaws and so much bobbing about that I had to abandon the task for health and safety reasons. I gave him the shaver ‘ok you have a go, you know what to do’.
John turned the shaver on, got me in a sly head lock, I thought he was moving in for a kiss, and he shaved my cheek. Thanks for that John. John keeled over clutching his tummy and giggled helplessly. ‘Mum shay, ahaaaa’ and he was off again, breathless with mirth. For even more health and safety reasons I took back the shaver whilst John was falling about laughing and tried again. ‘Right Johnny boy, stop messing about and lets get ready to go out, ok?’ ‘OK’ shrieked John at the top of his voice whilst drumming his feet on the floor ‘Yeehaaaaa’ I tried to look serious but failed as he held his hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter in an unsuccessful attempt to do as he was told.
I laughed and hugged him tightly ‘ I love you John, you funny boy’ I said kissing his bristly cheek. John looked deep into my eyes, his beautiful face expressionless for the briefest of moments, he put his hand on his heart ‘lu you mummy’ he replied and then fell over backwards pulling me with him as hysteria overtook him once more.
Christmas morning arrived at 3.20 a.m. precisely. I know this because John was listening to Silent Night and banging loudly on his door. Oh the irony. I got out of bed and went to his room to ask him to be quiet and respect that the neighbours might not yet be up. ‘Happy Christmas John’ I said feeling excited for him that his favourite day was finally here. I tried to open his door but he wouldn’t let me, he was holding it closed and giggling to himself. ‘Let me in John, its Christmas!’ ‘Ha pa sev’ he replied. ‘No, twenty past three’ I explained but he was having none of it. ‘Ha pa sev, toys, Chrimas, yessss! peas mummy’ I realised he was letting me know he didn’t want his presents until half seven. ‘Mummy bed, bye bye’ said John and I knew he would be waving goodbye behind his door. ‘Ok I will go back to bed, but you must promise to be quiet. You will be a good boy wont you John?’ there was a rare moment of total silence as John thought about what I had said. ‘Johnelmo gu boy’ he promised and promptly turned his music up to maximum volume and put his playstation on so that Buzz Lightyear could join in the fun. Buzz got into the mood of the moment straight away ‘I am Buzz Lightyear’ he boomed ‘ I come in peace’. Well that’s a relief! It was going to be a very long four hours.
I went downstairs and made a cup of tea, safe in the knowledge that I would not get another wink of sleep while John and Buzz partied upstairs. I popped my head into the lounge to see if Father Christmas had been and there, under the Christmas tree, was a huge pile of presents. John had obviously been a very good boy all year.
True to his word John bounded into my room at seven thirty ‘Chrimas mum now. Yesss presents yahooo’ He jumped onto my bed and tried shove me out the otherside. ‘Chrimas, now mum, ha pa sev’ he urged as he bounced up and down and pushed me out of bed. As we went downstairs, from somewhere deep inside Johns bedroom I could here Buzz Lightyear shouting ‘To infinity and beyond’. Happy Christmas Buzz, thank you for keeping John company for the last four hours.
Christmas day was the usual mayhem that most families experience. Lots of presents and even more wrapping paper, why is that I wonder? plus too much food and not enough wine, or is that just me?
James, Rach and Adam called in to give John his presents. I had earlier explained to John that Marie wouldn’t be able to come as she had gone home to her family in Denmark. He sulked a for a bit but manned up in the end when I told him she would come and see him when she got back.
Rach asked John what he had got for Christmas ‘ Caernarvon Bridge’ replied John….or as he says it ‘Bidge Oi Oi Ig’ . His main present was an iPad but he was clearly disappointed that I hadn’t made more of an effort.
John stole all the Christmas crackers and poppers while I was putting the food out and started pulling them in the downstairs cloakroom thinking I couldn’t hear him. It sounded like gunfire as the poppers echoed loudly, I am sure the neighbours must have thought I was shooting my entire family. Then he refused to sit at the table with dad and I, saying he wanted to eat his dinner in the computer room. Johns Christmas dinner always consists of lots of sausages wrapped in bacon, no surprises there then, plus roast potatoes and baked beans. Then he usually comes down and steals more sausages and roasties when he thinks we aren’t looking. This year was no exception apart from when he mistook the glazed parsnips for chips and took a large handful. I found them three days later hidden in the desk drawer in the computer room.
So, at three o’clock there was just dad and I sat at the table with one cracker between us which I had managed to rescue from John earlier. It had to be pulled, dad won the hat so he kindly gave me the prize, a sewing kit. It came in handy when dad read out the joke.
Our Christmas dinner was tinged with a little sadness this year as Johns beloved nanny is no longer with us. I couldn’t help smiling though when I reflected on last year. She thought it was someones birthday, possibly her own and she kept wondering when the cake would arrive, repeatedly asking if she could blow out the candles. When I gave her her presents she immediately forgot what the last one was that she had opened and so was perpetually surprised and delighted at the hundreds of gifts she received that day. Happy Christmas mum, we miss you.