T2 is funny about sleeping. He regularly gets up before everyone in the house, usually between 6:00 and 6:30, whether he has school or not. I’ve asked him on several occasions why he rises before the sun and he always gives a variation of the same answer. He views the early morning hours as “me time.” He can watch whatever he wants on television (Cartoon Network usually, specifically the Pokemon cartoon which is one of the worst things ever). He can play video games if he wants. He can make himself Pop-Tarts. He can lounge around in his underwear. Essentially, he will explain, he can do whatever he feels like and nobody is up to tell him to change the channel or turn off the X-Box or put on pants.
If you let him wake up by himself, he is generally in a good mood. If, for whatever reason, he sleeps longer than 6:30 and the task of rousing him falls on his mother or I things are different. He’s grumpy. He’s argumentative. He will complain about just about anything and everything. We are fine with him getting up early because it means we get nice T2 and not complete pain in the ass T2. This holiday season we had a little of both.
At five in the morning on Christmas Day I found myself laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and listening to T2, off somewhere in the house, talking animatedly. The distance was making his words indistinguishable from one another but whatever he was talking about, he was talking about it more or less non-stop. It was like there was a really loud bird in the family room reading Don Quixote out-loud, in the original Spanish. Every once in a while I would catch a word I understood but mostly it was lost in the lack of translation.
Cass stirred beside me and I knew she was listening too. It funny how, when you live with someone long enough, you can determine if they are awake or not by how they move in bed. She was definitely awake.
“Is he talking to himself?” I asked aloud.
“I’m not sure,” she said. “T1 might be up.”
“It’s five in the morning,” I pointed out. T1 is 14. He sleeps constantly.
“Yeah,” she said. “But it’s Christmas. T2 might have gotten him up.”
“Nnngghhhhh,” I groaned articulately. “It’s T1’s job, if T2 gets up too early on Christmas morning, to get him back into bed and let the rest of us wait until a civilized hour to go downstairs.”
“If that’s true,” Cass said, “I think he has dropped the ball. Because I think they are both up.”
“And now we are both up,” I said.
“Not sure I’m going to be able to go back to sleep.”
“Want to…you know… do it?” I asked.
“Almost always,” she said. “But we should probably get up and see what the hell those two are doing down there.”
So we got up and went downstairs. More’s the pity.
We do the night-before-Christmas-everyone-gets-a-present-but-that-present-is-always-pajamas thing. I find this amusing because it seems like half the people in the Christmas celebrating world do this and because most people don’t wear pajamas on a regular basis. So you get an article of clothing that you wear for the one night a year. It’s the rented prom tux of presents. Generally, anyway. This year, however, Cass had put me in charge of buying the Christmas Eve pajamas. Then she had thoughtfully told me exactly what to buy. As a result, T1 had a fancy pair of silk, Hugh Hefner style pajamas. T2 had a Batman bathrobe, perfect for the kid who only wants to wear underwear but who also doesn’t want to freeze. I got her a Tabby Cat Kigurumi outfit. Imagine a cartoon cat onsie with a tail and a hood with a face and ears. Of all the presents I have ever bought her, this is the present, bar none, she loves the most. Cass doesn’t giggle and she was giggling her ass off. I am pleased to say that this particular piece of pajama wear has broken the Christmas Eve pajama pattern. She wears it all the time, to the point where I am going to get her another one, in a different animal style, just for the variation.
I got a blue Doctor Who onsie, with feet. Not going to lie, I rolled my eyes when Cass told me she was buying it for me and that I’d “fucking wear it on Christmas Eve with the family or else.” That said, it was super comfortable and made me wonder why adult people don’t dress in footie pajamas all the time. It’s a clothing style wasted on children.
Anyway, we found ourselves all standing in the family room- black Hugh Hefner, cartoon but weirdly sexy cat, time and space machine and dwarf Batman. At 5:10 am.
The boys had managed to not open any presents of note. They had ransacked stockings and that was, more or less it. This was less out of self-restraint and more because their mother had told them that if they opened presents before they were supposed to, they would lose all their presents.
“Merry Christmas, boys,” I said.
“Merry Christmas!” they both replied.
“Why are we up so early?” I asked, looking right at T2.
“He woke me up!” said dwarf Batman, pointing at black Hugh Hefner.
“I’m not…wait, what?”
“Yeah,” said black Hugh Hefner.
“What…why?” T1 had not only dropped the ball, he was playing the wrong sport.
“It’s Christmas!” said black Hugh Hefner.
“It’s Christmas!” confirmed dwarf Batman.
No other explanation was forth coming. Dwarf Batman was in fine spirits because, I suppose, there was swag to be had.
We opened presents, everyone was happy, it was very nice. We spent the rest of the day watching movies, playing video games and eating a protected Christmas dinner of ham and whatnot.
By 5pm, T2 was visibly exhausted. He was moving slow and responding even slower. His eyelids kept drooping closed on him.
“T2,” I said. “Why don’t you take a nap?”
“’I’m not even slightly tired,” he said, wiping drool from his face.
“You are exhausted,” said his mom. “Take a nap.”
“I’M NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY TIRED!” he yelled, pretty much proving he was extraordinarily tired.
“Prove us wrong,” I said.
“Yeah,” said his mom. “Lie down on the couch and close your eyes for a few minutes. If you aren’t tired, Patrick and I are wrong.”
“Fine,” T2 said. “I’m not sleepy. At all. But if I DO fall asleep, wake me up.”
He stretched out on the couch and covered himself in a blanket. He was asleep in 30 seconds.
An hour and a half later, I woke him up.
“What time is it?” he asked.
“6:30.” I said.
“WHY DIDN’T YOU WAKE ME UP?” he roared. Wonderful. Grumpy T2. “YOU SAID YOU WOULD WAKE ME UP!”
“I just DID wake you up!” I pointed out.
“Grrraaaggggggggghhhh!” he said. Or something similar. Grumpy T2 had arrived. He stomped upstairs and banged around for a while.
Sometime later, he reappeared.
“What time do we have to go to the airport?” he asked. The boys were going to spend the second half of winter break with their California family.
“Not until tomorrow,” said Cass.
“Oh,” said T2. “Really? Good! I thought it was today. I even did my bathroom stuff to get ready.”
I didn’t want to know what his “bathroom stuff” was. He seemed a little calmed down so I made him a ham sandwich from the couple hours old leftovers in the kitchen. In a short while we settled in on the couch to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special together.
“Weird,” he said, about forty minutes in and during a commercial break.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s still dark out,” he said. “The clock says it is 9:30 but the sun isn’t up.”
“What?” I asked, confused. It occurred to both of us what had happened at exactly the same time.
“Is it….” he paused and then grinned at himself, “Is it AM or PM right now?”
“It’s PM….you thought you slept all night, didn’t you?” I asked. “That’s why you were so grumpy when I woke you up.”
“I completely thought I had slept all night, I thought it was 6:30 AM” he confirmed. Then, slightly reminiscent of Scrooge at the end of Christmas Carol, he asked, “What day is it? Is it still Christmas?”
“Yeah,” I said, “it’s still Christmas. The spirits did it all in one night.”
“Awesome!” he said. “Still Christmas.”
“I thought it was after Christmas,” he said.
“Like two Christmases,” he said, “out of one.”
“That’s nice,” I said.
“No more presents?” he asked.
“Well, no,” I said.
“Still nice,” he said, patting me on the arm and turning back to the TV.