Hide all of the stuff! It’s snooping season!

I saw it happening in slow-motion but I couldn’t stop it. He was out of his booster seat and catapulting over the back seat of the van. I grabbed for his ankle and missed. There was a squeal. It was too late.

He’d seen one of his Christmas gifts.

It was my fault, of course, to have left Christmas toys — not even in a bag — in the trunk area of our minivan. But the kids never look back there! It’s usually just a jumble of napkins and fruit snack wrappers and strollers I refuse to sell — even though our youngest is three and a half — because they’re handy for loading up with shopping bags and coats when we walk through the mall.

I’d taken advantage of a Black Friday deal and stashed the gift — a remote-control car — in the back of the van until I could smuggle it into the house. I never expected I’d toss a couple of balloon swords in the back after leaving a birthday party, and that our five-year-old would dive for the balloons as soon as the van had come to a full and complete stop.

It was bad — although it was a wee bit entertaining to see his emotions shoot up and down so quickly. A remote-control car! (Excitement) It’s mine, I know it! (Sheer joy) What do you mean it’s for Christmas?! (Panic) I can’t have it RIGHT NOW?! (Terror) BUT OH PLEASE I WANT IT SO MUCH! (Agony)

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

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ABOVE: Not the gift that was discovered! (Although he does know what one of these is, actually — whoops)

So what do you think?

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