Boy Wonder (age 8) writes to Santa:
Please can I have some biggish boyish presents.
Please can I have
- a new pair of football boots that are nike size 3
- and some fish with a fishtank
- and polar express film to replace the one that got stuck in the machine
- and F50 goalkeeper gloves (like my brother’s)
- and some new playstation and Xbox games
- And a new scooter like Finn’s one
- And some new pyjamas
- And some puzzle books
- And a microscope
- And a globe of the world
- And a big tub of sweeties
- And some clothes with skulls on them
PS If you can’t bring all this stuff, that is alright with me. But if you can bring my fish that is all I mostly want.
Love from the Boy Wonder
The mammy is delighted that Boy Wonder decided to write to Santa so early. We have weeks to get it organised! Shame, he wanted, nay needed to type it on the laptop and insisted on typing it himself, with the mammy spelling out hard words every so often. It took over an hour, by which time the mammy had lost the will to live. Still, nice and easy for emailing on to all three Santas in the family.
The mammy had a conversation with her mammy and her auntie (the Santas). What would you like to get Boy Wonder off the list? The scooter, the microscope and the globe. And have you spoken to your sister about this? Oh yes. The mammy then speaks to her auntie later that same day. So what are you getting Boy Wonder off the list? The scooter, the microscope and the globe. And have you spoken to your sister about this? Oh yes. The mammy sighs.
More phone calls ensue. What kind of microscope does he want? Darned if I know. Do you know why he wants a microscope? Nope. What he might want to use it for? Nope. Are you sure it’s a microscope he wants? Errr.
I only live with the blighter, how should I know what goes on in his head?
Halfway through week two, the mammy starts to worry how Santa is going to deliver a fishtank with live fish. To the Boy Wonder bedroom no less (apparently this is absolutely required). The PS bit of the letter to Santa is read several times in the hope that it really doesn’t say all I really want, Santa, is the fish. Couldn’t he want the football boots more?
The mammy decides to investigate types of tank and fish. Who knew there were so many to choose from? Sly questioning elicits no clarification whatsoever.
At this point, the mammy is now waking in a cold sweat trying to work out how to get it all set up and delivered to the bedroom. Santa’s resourcefulness is being tested to the limit….
Aha! The walk in cupboard that is full of junk will make the perfect hiding place. Only problem is, all the junk in it is going to need sorting and clearing. Another thing to add to the to do list. More sighs.
The mammy is now waking in the wee small hours in a cold sweat following a recurrent nightmare that the fish die following the delicate transportation operation on Christmas Eve.
Excitement is at fever pitch and the advent calendar has been confiscated for miscellaneous misdemeanours.
The mammy is now resenting entirely the idea of a fishtank and fish. Another thing for me to be responsible for. Pah.
The other Santas, mercifully, have resolved the clash of present choices. They’ve bagged all the exciting ones and left the boring ones – pyjamas, Xbox games, and of course, the bloody fish – to the mammy. The mammy’s mammy appears to have bought up the entire world resource of skull-related clothing.
The mammy is now reasonably satisfied that the fishtank and fish are do-able. All she needs now is to persuade Boy Wonder to tell her what kind of fish he’d like Santa to bring. The child will one day make a great spy: he parts with nothing.
The mammy packs Boy Wonder off to a Christmas party and rushes to the nearest fish purveying store to get the tank. Coldwater or tropical? Er, coldwater – easier no? And anyway, he has expressed no preference and surely, will never notice the difference. The bloody enormous box is cunningly hidden under a blanket in the big brother’s room. The tank needs to be set up for three days before fish are added. No panic, I have this sorted….
The final countdown:
Who knew this could be so complicated? Can I really put an electricity cable underwater? Does the filter sit below or on the waterline? The mammy finds herself on Youtube at midnight staring purposefully at geeky fishkeeping videos trying desperately to see if their filters are below or on. How did it come to this?
Disaster! There is no one to park the Boy Wonder with on Christmas Eve morning to allow for a dash to the fish purveying shop to purchase the blighters. Oh. My. God. This calls for alcohol.
A visit to Santa – what would the Boy Wonder like? *tropical fish*. Eh? When did it become *tropical fish*? And does he really know the difference??? Unfortunately, this Santa is somewhat knowledgeable on the tropical fish front and a detailed conversation ensues about which kind. Tetra, Santa and Boy Wonder conclude, harlequin ones. The frantic headshaking and eye-rolling emanating from the mammy in the corner, behind Boy Wonder is studiously ignored by Santa. Thanks a bundle.
The mammy spends a sleepless night pondering her options. The tank has been set up as a coldwater one. There is no time to change tack and make it tropical. Would he know the difference? Really? I mean, fish is fish is fish. Surely?
The cold light of day and a little more internet surfing amongst the fishkeeping geeks – two days from S Day – makes the decision plain. Coldwater fish, nay temperate, are what he’s having. If it makes for his worst Christmas ever, tough. The hard wumman act lasts for an hour tops before the wobbles set in again.
Still, at least, the Christmas Eve fish dash is resolved. It happens at 10am tomorrow. And they won’t die before Christmas Day. They won’t.
Also, the plan to transport said fish and fishtank – complete with skull ornament, of course, and real plants – across the landing into the bedroom is in place. The mammy’s daddy will have to drive across the city at 1am to help decant some of the water, shift the tank – noiselessly – into BW’s bedroom, replace the water and leave without so much as an eyelid flicker from the slumbering BW. No pressure. So long as the mammy’s daddy stays sober….
One day to go, and the mammy is feeling supremely smug that the tank in the cupboard has not yet been rumbled. The fish will be purchased by lunchtime. They will live.
But next year? He’ll be getting Lego. And like it.
Dear Boy Wonder
I love Christmas too! Thank you for your lovely letter. The elves are currently checking everything on your list and I’m sure that if you are a good boy and help your mum to get ready for Christmas, then they will make sure you get some lovely presents delivered on my sleigh.
You’ll be especially pleased to know that they are working out how to make sure your fish reach you safely and don’t freeze on the journey! I’m going to tuck them safely into my nice warm suit in a special, magic pocket.
The reindeer are resting up and looking forward to their Christmas Eve extravaganza. Have you put your Norad Santa tracker on yet this year? It’s the best way to follow me all the way to your house!
Well, must get on. These toy sacks won’t fill themselves. I do hope you remember to leave out a nice wee whisky and snack for me, and carrots for Rudolph and his friends on Christmas Eve.
And remember to go to bed early! That way you’ll wake up all the sooner and it will be Christmas Day!
With love from Santa.