‘Twas the week before Christmas, When all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, Not even a mouse.
Suddenly you become aware that your children aren’t making any noise. One’s having a nap, but where’s the other one? A shiver of fear goes up your spine.
When they’re crying, or whinging, or clobbering each other, or racing around smashing up the place, at least you know what they’re doing. The time to be really scared is when they’re quiet.
“Son?” You call. No response. Maybe he didn’t hear you. You call again, louder. Nothing. Now you’re sure. He’s up to something. After a search you find him sitting in the middle of your bed, cross legged, poised over Mummy’s advent calendar. Doors have been opened. Foil has been peeled back. Chocolate is smeared around his mouth.
He sees you. You both freeze. You watch each other breathlessly.
You both know the stakes are high. Mummy, generally speaking, is an easy going, forgiving person. But there is a line you must never cross.
Last Christmas, your son found your advent calendar and, in revenge for your year long, hypocritical, anti-sugar food fascism, he stole your chocolate Santa and bit his head off. Your wife cackled with laughter. You had to shrug it off.
But this is different. It’s Mummy’s chocolate. Both your lives are on the line.
“Give it to me, son.” You whisper, like it’s a loaded gun. “That’s Mummy’s chocolate.”
Slowly he picks up the advent calendar and clutches it to his chest.
“Son.” You say, trying to control your panic. “Give me Mummy’s chocolate. Please.”
“But…but…but…” He stammers. You both know that to get away with this, what he says next is going to have to be the best excuse in human history. It’s going to have to completely disarm his mother, show that his crime is in fact a moral triumph, and basically embody the spirit of Christmas in one handy phrase. Impossible, of course.
Then, my son says this: “But… Daddy, It’s good to share.”