By ROSIE WATERLAND
Some parents are just awesome.
And I don’t mean in the perfect, 50’s commercial ‘pancakes for breakfast every day’ kind of way. I mean in the kind of way other adults can appreciate.
Remember when you were a kid and your mum or dad dished out a punishment that was so ridiculous you just cried at the injustice of it all? It is guaranteed that they laughed about it with their friends over dinner a few days later. And it’s probably the kind of thing you can look back on and laugh at now as an adult yourself.
For example: My older sister and I had a habit of opening our Christmas presents the second they were under the tree. There were probably three years in a row where no present was a surprise because we had done a pre-event scan of every item.
It was a stealth operation – waiting for mum to be gone just the right amount of time. Steaming the tape off. Carefully re-wrapping the gifts in the only way a 7 and 5 year-old can: badly.
We thought we were geniuses of epic, soldier-like proportions. We weren’t.
Our mum knew, obviously. She tried grounding us. She tried hiding the presents. She even tried loudly rustling through the utensils drawer in the kitchen so we would think she was getting the wooden spoon (she actually took it out of the drawer once, but by the time she got to me I had shoved a hard-cover book down my pants and she laughed so hard she forgot I was in trouble). We were opening those presents, and no punishment worked.
Until my mum decided to get awesome.
One year, about a week before Christmas, my sister and I commenced our usual secret operation. Only, when I opened my first present, there was a coffee-stained mug inside the box. My sister opened her first present: an old cushion. Next: An broken Care Bares video that I’d left at my Grandma’s. A tissue box. The old scrabble board we hadn’t touched since we got a Nintendo. A New Kids On The Block CD case with no CD in it. A pair of shoelaces.
My sister and I were confused and on the verge of tears. Losing our shit, basically. We were certain that some serious miscommunication had occurred somewhere between us requesting presents and our mother buying them.