When we were younger, the kids in my family convinced my parents to let us stay up late together in the basement to play games and watch movies on Christmas Eve. The later we stayed up, the longer they got to sleep. While most of us have grown out of the i-can't-wait-until-christmas insomnia that plagued us as children, my little sister, Sophie, still gets worked up. It's kind of cute. Until 4am. Here's a pretty accurate play-by-play of my first four hours on this year's December 25th.
We are finally situated in the basement with an Xbox, games, many large blankets, one hyper little girl and hours ahead of us. I have a feeling I will not get to read my book tonight.
Sophie and I finish five games of slapjack and three games of Barney memory. She creams me in memory; all the pictures of Barney and Baby Bop look the same to me.
Sophie will never fall asleep. She wants to play house now and insists on feeding me my own lines. She is quick to remind me that, while I fit inside her little play tent, I'm kind of big for the door and I take up most of the space.
Sophie and I write winter words because (in my tired delirium) I believe that spelling is an effective way to distract a child from Christmas. We write tree, ornament, present, sownflak, star, elf, light, pajamas, hot chocololate, eggnog, whippedt cream, rudolfph, and blancket. Exactly like that.
After climbing into and out of Sophie's little play tent, I insist that I am tired and lie down. In an effort to keep me awake, she resorts to fart jokes and hysterical laughing. She finds the word 'toot' particularly riotous. I do not know why.
The boys tell Sophie that they will banish her to another room in the house if she doesn't calm down. They do not remember being eleven years old on Christmas Eve. Tonight, they get to do what they've always wanted (play video games ALL NIGHT LONG) while she has to wait another five agonizing hours to do what she wants (open presents).
My sister, Anne, is still asleep through it all. I'm not sure what sort of soundproof cocoon she spun around herself before she turned in on the couch a few hours ago.
I start to fall asleep. Sophie calls me lazy. I say it's not lazy to fall asleep at four in the morning. She shouts, "It's already morning!?" No, Sophie. Not yet.