It’s 5:30am and it’s Christmas morning. I wake up because I think I hear a rattling of the stair gate — the one which we still close every night even though at this point Peter could probably open it and wander the house if he felt like it and we wouldn’t mind.
My being alert somehow wakes up Katherine too. ”I thought I heard something,” I whisper to her. We strain to hear the sounds of an overjoyed child on Christmas morning, but… nothing.
We drift in and out of consciousness until shortly after 6am. Now Katherine wakes up, and she has to pee. REALLY has to pee. This is bad, because Peter has a habit of waking up about 6am whenever I leave the room to start my day. She tries really hard to hold it, but ends up grumbling as she sneaks out of our room and sits on the toilet.
Peter runs out of his room, stops in front of the gate, and gazes down the stairs. Then he turns around and sees Katherine on the toilet.
“Buddy, it’s too early,” she says. ”It’s not morningtime yet. Go back to sleep.”
Still not completely awake, he turns and thump-thump-thump-thumps back to his room, crawls under the covers… and falls right back to sleep?! Katherine climbs back into bed with me until…
It’s 7:30. Both of us wake up as we hear Peter whooping and hollering from the den. Then he thump-thump-thump-thump-THUMPs his way upstairs and into our room, to show off his filled stocking. (No 4 year old moves quietly or slowly on Christmas morning.)
But where’s Jack?
Oh, here he is, working on a Lego set in the playroom. It’s the one he got on Christmas Eve from Nana and Grampa. Wow, he’s made a lot of progress. How did he get so far?
Turns out it’s because he’s been up since 5:30 — that rattle was him after all. He snuck downstairs, saw all the presents, remembered that he couldn’t open them without us and that we wanted to sleep until it was light out, and went back to his room to read Calvin and Hobbes until 6:30, then came down and played with his existing toys until we got up. He heard the whole Peter incident, too.
We totally win Christmas morning. From that point on, it was present opening, a Skype to Indiana grandparents, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and cheesy scrambled eggs, and a relaxing morning before packing up to go visit relatives.