So this is what I got for Mack for his Santa Claus present.
(Oh, sorry, I should have first said: SPOILER ALERT! Santa is actually parents. Sorry, kids. You probably shouldn't be reading this blog anyway.)
OK, so here's what I got him:
It's a Lightning McQueen Power Wheel. Now, I will fully admit that the Power Wheel is not a toy that I'm at all familiar with (kids in New York did not have Power Wheels, because a.) where would you put it? and b.) where would you drive it?), but it occurred to me that things are different here, not only do we have a garage, but a relatively flat yard. True, it is a dog poop landmine field, but theoretically, that could be cleaned up.
So I ordered the Hot Wheels and figured that I'd keep it hidden until Christmas, at which point we would assemble it, charge up the battery, and cram it under the tree. PARENT OF THE YEAR.
What I didn't realize is that the box that the Lightning McQueen Power Wheel would come in is gigantic, easily the size of a small refrigerator. This thing is not hiding anywhere. If the delivery person had maybe wheeled it around to the back instead of by the front door, maybe we could have shoved it into the garage where all the other things are that we don't want to look at (off-season Christmas decorations, boxes for Goodwill, the Kitchen-Aid mixer that someone gave us for the wedding that I have used exactly once), but instead, he very logically delivered it to the front, and the effort it took to shove it through the door and into the dining room basically removed all possibility of further subterfuge from my mind. This thing was staying in the dining room.
I know that having the Santa Present in broad daylight was possibly going to spoil the illusion that SANTA ≠ PARENTS, but I figured, it was just a box, who was going to know? We never even fully unpacked from when we moved in July, this place is crammed full of boxes. Mack wasn't going to figure it out, he can't read. Cal can, but I figured that he would just basically ignore the packaging (it is housed in mostly plain brown cardboard, save some stylized logos and suchlike), since the dining room table is where we have his Lego City set up, a distraction that basically amounts to dazzle camouflage. The original plan would still stand. I pushed the box against the wall, label side facing in, and waited for the accolades that were sure to be forthcoming.
Then the other day, Mack was cruising through the living room during his nightly jogging circuit through the house, pointed at the box, where the RUST-EZE log was sort of halfway visible, and coolly informed me, "Mom. McQueen Car."
So the gig is up. Whatever, we'll just give it to him for his birthday, it's only 12 days after Christmas anyway. Santa's getting him a book instead.