Every year my uncle sends us a gingerbread house. One year, my sister said, "Please don't send us a gingerbread house." He sent it anyway. I must admit, gingerbread is not my favorite thing to eat. And once you "dig in" to it, it doesn't look pretty anymore, but nobody actually likes eating it, and then you have to throw it out.
This is the first year Noah noticed the gingerbread house at all. It arrived in a glittery red box and Joey recognized the label immediately.
"Mom! Mom! Mom! C'n we open it? C'n we open it? Huh? Huh? Can we? Can we?"
I picked up the box and set it on the counter. "Later," I said. I just wasn't ready for the battle of, "Can we eat it NOW? Can we eat it NOW?" I wanted it to look pretty for a little while, at least.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwww!" Joey whined.
"But what IS it?" asked Noah, not wanting to be left out. He hopped from foot to foot, trying to see around Joey.
"Oh, Noah," Joey answered, rolling his eyes, "it's SOOO cool. It's the awesomest thing."
"But can we open it?" asked Noah.
"Not now," I said.
I was able to get away with this for about an hour. It was then that Noah was actually using the potty properly and I caught Joey picking at the packing tape on the glittery red box with a Batman pencil.
"Joey!" I gasped, shocked at his disregard for my final word.
"But Mooooooooooom," he whined. I sighed. I put his Batman pencil in the drawer and reached for the scissors, cutting the box open in one efficient swoop. "Awwwwwesome," Joey breathed. Yeah. I rock those scissors every time.
"What's going on??" Noah shrieked from the bathroom, realizing something was indeed going on. Just what a nervous pooper needs: people opening mysterious packages at inopportune moments.
"Just opening this box," I called.
"Wait! Wait!! Wait!" he cried. I heard a bit of a clatter in the bathroom and he emerged, pantless and breathless. "I want it! I want it!"
I knelt down in front of him and helped him put his pants on.
"What do you want?" I asked.
"That!" he cried, pointing at the gingerbread house.
"Oh, that," I said, snapping the little snap on his jeans. "You don't even know what it is."
"I do! I DO!" he insisted, yanking at his zipper. "Joey told me, and we are BROTHERS, so we tell each other stuff, and it's IMPORTANT, and--"
"Then what IS it, Noah?" I interrupted. He was on a such a loyalty tangent I think he forgot about the gingerbread house altogether.
He blinked, looking at the gingerbread house, and then at me. Then he closed his eyes in feigned exasperation and said knowingly, "Well, it's a BIRD house, of course."