When Naughty Children Peek at Their Presents!

Well, I did it. I installed a heavy-duty combination lock on our bedroom closet door. You see, Frank (age 11) peeks at his presents every year, and always has. And, it doesn’t appear to bother him each Christmas morning when there are no surprises left. His ‘Gift Radar’ always finds all my hiding places. No, early wrapping and double-taping the gifts doesn’t work. He’s mastered the art of making microscopic tears in just the right places to see what is in the package. After years of catching Frank snooping around in the attic in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and after spotting him several days ago creeping up the attic stairs yet again, I finally gave up. Obviously, no amount of scolding, begging, or reasoning will work with that boy. He’s a peeker and he’ll be a peeker forever.

So, while the children were at school last week, I snuck everything from the attic to our bedroom closet, drove to the hardware store, returned home, lugged Richard’s BIG drill upstairs, and installed a heavy-duty lock on the closet door. And, I was really proud of myself…until Richard and Zach pointed out that Frank can easily just unscrew that lock from the doorframe, open the door, go through the bags, smile smugly, and re-attach the lock, all within just a few minutes. And, if he vacuums up any mess he makes, I’ll never know the difference. Dang! And it would be just like Frank to do something like that! He’s pretty handy.

Since he was a wee one, Frank has stated he wants to “dig things up” when he grows up. I always assumed that meant he wants to be an archaeologist, and I’ve been so proud of his ambition! Last summer, Frank and his friend were outside digging for treasure and they found an antique ring. About a month ago, Frank finished his Christmas list and, at the top, his number one request was a metal detector. Since he decided on that (expensive!) gadget, he hasn’t stopped talking about it. So, we ordered one, of course and it’s um… locked in our closet. (Hmmm, if he’d found it in the attic last week, he’d have undoubtedly used it to find his other gifts!)

Last night at dinner, Frank asked for perhaps one of the oddest gifts ever. Frank wants a pet oyster. Yes, you read that right…a pet oyster. Apparently, he wants to grow his own pearl. It was the weirdest thing I’d ever heard, but I did get online and found that, yes, some people really do have pet oysters. Oh boy…

Now, don’t worry. Frank never reads my weekly essays. While I may be dumb enough to think a large lock can keep a resourceful 11-year-old boy at bay, I’m smart enough to know that if my essays don’t resemble interactive online video games, Frank isn’t reading them. If it’s on the computer, but doesn’t fire weapons or involve hunting for treasure or building things, he’s not interested. Gosh, I sure hope Frank doesn’t think I’m stupid enough to publish what we bought him for Christmas to tens of thousands of people…

Oh, and by the way…Ali and I are the only ones who know the combination to the lock. Why didn’t I share it with Richard? ‘Cause he’s a peeker, too!

Have a wonderful holiday week, everybody!