I was woken at 5.15 a.m. by Jamie standing by the side of the bed insisting he wanted to get up now. Thank goodness for late winter dawns – when it's obviously dark outside, it's a darned sight easier to convince a child it's not morning yet. I persuaded him back to bed by climbing up to the top bunk and snuggling up next to him, and in this way got another two hours of sleep before being woken by Katie climbing out of her bunk and heading out of the door; I followed her back to the side of our bed and persuaded her to get into our bed to go back to sleep, thereby getting a valuable final fifteen minutes before Jamie woke up again and both of them insisted on starting their day. I'd played mentions of the day's planned presents fairly low-key, and certainly neither of them woke up clamouring for presents, so I think it must have just been the general excitement of having guests in the house.
Once all three of us had managed to get dressed and breakfasted and Barry's mother had woken up and come downstairs to look after Katie, I took Jamie into town to get his glasses seen to (the frames have been tightened and the opticians have booked his eye test, which was due in January anyway, for December 10th with a view to getting new glasses for him) and then, once he was back, Barry took him to Sainsbury's to choose the cake. We had unfortunately forgotten to clarify to him that this was actually the usual Saturday shopping trip for food for the next half-week, so he was a bit bewildered when they got to Sainsbury's and didn't head immediately for the cake aisle. "OK, I'll go there and wait for you," he told Barry, who eventually had to bypass the others to make that their first stop before Jamie would settle down enough to do the rest of the week's shopping. Meanwhile, I got a bit of time to myself as Barry's parents took Katie down into town to enjoy the various attractions set up to celebrate the turning on of the Christmas lights the day before (including balloon modelling and a sort of bungee jump up and down on a trampoline). She came back sound asleep in her pushchair – I had to lift her out and take her shoes and coat off for her while she tried to curl up on the stairs and go on sleeping.
"I think sooooomebody should have stayed in bed longer this morning," I told her as I slid her arms out of her coat.
"No, Mummy,” Katie surfaced to assure me earnestly, “I wasn't sleepy then. I didn't need it then, but then some more tiredness comed onto me.”
I had to sympathise with her on that one.
Jamie and Barry got back from Sainsbury's, my mother arrived, and we all had lunch followed by slices of the cake Jamie had picked out (a model of a Nintendo DS with buttons made of icing and a screen picturing Super Mario), and then relocated to the living room for opening the presents. Jamie got a Wii from us, games for that and for his DS, and a Lego model of Buzz Lightyear in a spaceship, all of which he reacted to in totally blasé fashion. ("Yes, I can see what it is. It's a Wii.") Katie got various Duplo sets (a dump truck, a transporter, a fire station and a road-mending scenario), and a scooter, and reacted as though she had been rehearsed in playing the part of Enthusiastic Moppet: "A DUMP truck! And, look, I got MORE Duplo! This is amazing! I got such brilliant presents!"
Jamie spent the rest of the afternoon playing with his various electronic media and Katie spent it playing ramblingly imaginative games amongst her various Duplo sets, and I have now finally got them both settled to sleep, though only after Katie spent some time running excitedly up and down the upstairs hall shrieking about running through the lava with a metal cap to get things (a bit of Super Mario plot she'd picked up), and then laying out a bridge across the lava with her giant furry caterpillar and snake ("I'm getting my long toys") and a row of books. Which means it's time I went to bed myself, all ready for the inevitable early call tomorrow morning.