Thursday, December 18, 2008

Please Mr. Postman

This year many soon-to-be Christmas presents arrived at our house via UPS. I've even been hailing the driver with a big "hello Santa," each time she delivers a box.
At first I worried about what would happen if a box arrived when C was home. H I could get around but C would ask a lot of questions and would naturally want to open the box. As fate would have it most of the boxes arrived during school hours. Most of them, that is, until Friday. On Friday the mail truck when by while we were walking home from the bus stop. An unusual occurrence given that our mailboxes are all at the end of the street. As suspected when we rounded the corner into the driveway I saw a box on the doorstep. He'll see this in a minute I thought. Desperately I began to fein an interest in our scarecrow, and miraculously he came over to investigate. I inched back down the driveway, picked up the empty recycle bin (Friday is trash day) and carried it towards the garage. I veered slightly to the left and brought the bin down on top of the package, swooped it up and carried both into the garage.
Either he missed the whole thing or he pretended not to notice.
Having dodged that bullet I breathed a sigh of relief and went in the house. Minutes later I'm changing a baby and there's a knock at the door. Yikes, I think, UPS driver. Usually she just taps and leaves so I exit the bathroom and when C says, "there's someone at the door," I answer, "that was just me banging the changing table."
Just then - another knock.
Why doesn't she just leave? I wonder, looking towards the front door. But wait, it's not UPS Santa, it's our across-the-street neighbor Dave, come to borrow an onion. Since he and his wife had the decency to build their addition long before we accumulated a house full of children, I bear him no ill will.
Another possible package fiasco avoided.
Dave is barely across the street when the mail truck is back in our driveway. The mailman was looking for his lost set of keys.
Somehow C doesn't notice. He is engrossed in the book, How to Draw 50 Dogs.
On Tuesday my parents were on their way out the door with H and C when there it was, a package on the doorstep. Normally I would have been looking out every once in a while or listening for the driver's faint knock but H had just put his finger on the hot burner and spent the last 20 minutes howling.
Again it worked out as my parents convinced the kids they didn't have time to watch me open the package. A package, which, I assured them later was just another running book for daddy.
Yesterday we're at the bus stop waiting for C and it's rainy so we're in the mini-van, the twins have been napping and went straight from naps to preschool pick up to bus stop pick up. I'm feeding them Yo Baby while we wait for the bus. After bus arrival I'm getting ready to head out when the UPS truck starts down the road. We live on a dead end dirt road and passing the UPS truck in a mini-van is not an option so I stayed put in the driveway of one of our snowbird neighbors till the truck went by again.
Waiting on the front step when we got home was an enormous box.
What's in that? I wondered. Everything I ordered (at least everything I could remember ordering) had already arrived.
There was no way to conceal it and H and C were soon clustered around it.
It was addressed to our neighbor two doors down, number 25, not number 35. I was a little hurt to think UPS Santa didn't even know my name after all the exchanges of pleasantries over the past month. Maybe it was a different driver.
Relief that the package was not for us was soon replaced by exhaustion at C's relentless obsession with delivering a box that would in no way fit in my van.
"Let's wait till daddy gets home," I suggested.
"Nooooo," he pleaded and headed off to the shed to look for Ken's dolly.
Unable to find it he suggested we drag the package down on his sled.
"Sleds don't work unless they're on snow," I reminded him. "I think we should wait and put it in daddy's truck."
He was growing frustrated with my nay saying and obvious attempts at procrastinating.
Finally I caved. "Maybe we could put it on top of your red wagon."
Off we both went to the shed to fish out the wagon.
In the meantime H wet his pants because, in classic George Bailey style, I wasn't there to keep him company while he went to the bathroom.
"See Joanne. Here's what the world would be like without you. Little boys going about peeing their pants."
"Thanks Clarence, guess I'll stick around."
After we cleaned up H and the twins, who both needed outfit changes for the same reason as their big brother, I walked C to the end of the driveway, placed a flashlight in his hand (yes, it was dark by now) and watched him triumphantly walk the box, which teetered on top of the wagon, down the street to the neighbor's house.
He did not remember to check for cars on the way out of their driveway.
"I forgot Mommy, is that okay?"
"We'll keep practicing until you remember, honey."

song: Please Mr. Postman • artist: The Marvelettes

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