Every six-year-old has wondered – if not aloud as he’s being sent to bed then surely as he feels Mom’s eyes boring into his back as he’s heading into school – if there is not some top secret shindig that needs only his absence to begin. Our six-year-old (nicknamed Thing2 for his super human chaos creating capabilities) has certain wondered it (he intimates it every night at 8 PM regardless of his level of exhaustion), but yesterday, as we were taking down the Christmas decorations, he decided that he would be in charge of any shindig that happened in our cave at Minister Hill.
It all began when I was crumpling up some of the paper snowflakes I’d hurriedly cut out to cover this year’s oversized tree. Appalled that I would so casually dispose of such a seemingly intricate decoration, Thing2 cried out and grabbed the crushed paper from my hand. His gaze fell on the other crushed casualties of my Christmas clean up, and he scooped them into his arms protectively.
“Mo-o-m!” He protested, “I wanted to save these!” And he moved them to another table for resuscitation and rehabilitation.
“You can save them if you get them out of the living room,” I said, moving on to remove the strawberry walnuts we acquired from a friend this year. Thing2 stared at me for a minute and then asked if I had any tape. I did, and the tape and snowflakes disappeared into the room he shares with his older brother. A few minutes later he reappeared to claim the chains of paper ginger-people. I was not paying attention when he made his third decoration retrieval trip, but on the fourth or fifth trip, I noticed the decorations on the table were fewer in number, and I realized someone had misinterpreted the goal of the tree takedown.
As it happened, he had simply come up with his own purpose because as I began to unwind the lights from the tree and re-knot them before packing them away, Thin2 reappeared in his shinest red superhero cape and announced that there would be a party on the lower bunk at 2:30PM. Thing2 went from me to Thing1 to the Big Guy issuing his invitations, not waiting for RSVPs before he moved on.
“Okay, Honey,” said Thing1 and I.
“What can I bring?” asked the Big Guy, raising his head from the recliner in the den. And Thing2 knew he had found the right victim/guest. Thing1 and I turned back to disemboweling what was left of the tree and sweeping up the carpet of needles, completely oblivious to the party preparations that now began directly behind our backs.
The Big Guy helped Thing2 tape up a few party decorations and arrange a few chairs below the lower bunk. He even helped Thing2 find a few snacks to serve at the party. Finally, when the time for the party rolled around, the Big Guy whipped up a few cups of hot chocolate and told Thing2 to summon his guests.
We entered the room, festooned with discarded Christmas decorations and (I can’t believe it either) cleaned up. Thing2 was already dancing to the music that continually plays in his head, and when he saw us enter, motioned us to the spots he had picked for us. We enjoyed our hot chocolate and candy and cheese doodles for a little while, chatting and laughing. Thing2 even offered to go get my iPod so we could all dance (I put a stop to this as his creativity has already claimed the lives a one or two pieces of electronic equipment), and when it was over, he thanked us for coming. And last night, as he passed out and was carried to bed, he snored secure in the knowledge that a shindig might commence when the bedroom door closed, but it wouldn’t top anything he could come up with.