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Tools not included

10 December 2012, 15:00

Tools not included

The gifts wrapped, food prepared and table set, we get ready to have our Children’s Christmas party, before my daughters leave for their month long holiday with their father. I am excited for my children as I know what they are about to get is exactly what they asked for. In my minds eye I see them jumping up and down with joy as they open one gift after the other. The grown-ups always try and co-ordinate gifts so the children get the ultimate Christmas experience.

After months of planning finally the big moment arrives and all you can see is Christmas wrapping paper fly. (Which took you hours to wrap perfectly I must add). With each one they open, their eyes grow wider with excitement and they start putting the gifts together like the pieces of a puzzle. You even remembered the batteries that were not included.

They start ripping open the boxes and it is not long before the floor is covered with pieces of boxes, paper and those irritating safety straps they use in the boxes. Your job now is to add the batteries required for each of these noisy toys and as you want to start you realize, none of the toys have the old clip-in battery covers.

Grandpa being always prepared hands you a screwdriver and you attack the heap of toys in front of you with a vengeance. The kids want to start playing and you are taking forever! The first one usually ends up being very easy to “fix”. Closing up that troublesome lid you hand it to the youngest, who runs of with a shriek of delight, switching the toy on and off every few seconds.

You think to yourself it’s Christmas, let them be for now, after the weekend they can take the toy to the other parent’s house and drive them nuts. The second toy is a bit stickier and once you see that all too familiar puppy face you smack the battery till it fits and hand it to your child. Now two of them are running around shrieking with delight, toys making noise and probably flashing with lights.

You take hold of the third toy and open up that battery holder only to face a glitch. It seems somewhere in production they had a miscalculation and now the battery that is suppose to go in there won’t fit. Off course it takes you a while to figure out exactly where the problem lies. Once again Grandpa being the savior takes the toy to his workshop and half an hour later returns with a smile on his face saying it should work this time.

You try the battery and voila it fits. With the third child finally running around shrieking with his/her siblings, making so much noise no proper conversations can be carried on, you sit back to enjoy the moment of happiness you just made for your kids, with the help of Grandpa off course.

Just as you are about to take that sigh of relief that all is well in your little world your youngest walks up to you with tears in her eyes. It seems the brand new toy just died. In between tears all you hear coming from that very sad little mouth is “Is dead”. You check the batteries, which are new, and slowly go through all possibilities of why “is dead”. After an hour or so of struggling Grandpa takes the toy to his magic workshop to fix it.

When he does not return after half an hour you go to his workshop to find out if you can possibly help. He has found the fault, but has no idea how to fix it. With a sad little girl stuck to your leg like superglue, hoping that she will soon be running around with her new toy you look desperately and Grandpa and beg him to please fix it.

Another couple of minutes and he returns, toy in hand smiling. Once more Grandpa is the hero. As the noise starts to slowly die down you finally sit back in your chair for that well deserved happy feeling that all is well in your little world.

All at once all three children walk up to you with sad puppy faces. The reason for the silence is not as you expected that they grew tired of the noise, but in fact all three toys now “is dead”!! You look in the direction of Grandpa ready to run away into the hills screaming. Grandpa takes all three young ones to his workshop and they fix the new toys as best they can.

As he returns and sits down beside you he smiles. “Shall I include a set of tools for you next year my dear?”

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