Monday, January 02, 2006

Play It As It Lays

My Mom loves to tell the story about how, when I was a child, my parents were never able to tell me ahead of time when we were going to Disneyland because I would get so excited that I would hardly sleep the night before--thus turning me into an overexcited, exhausted, ticking time bomb zombie while at the supposed Happiest Place on Earth.

Well, a little more ticking time bomb-ish than the rest of the kids there, I suppose.

So I was a little worried that maybe Finn had inherited this anticipatory anxiousness from his Mom when, on Christmas Eve, he showed no signs of winding down to sleep. Knowing that Santa would finally be making his long-awaited and much-publicized appearance THAT VERY NIGHT, Finney repeatedly resisted our efforts to get him to bed.

After a number of fruitless attempts to coax him into slumber (didn't he notice all those other kids contentedly sleeping in their beds in the four hundred Christmas stories we read him?!?!), and knowing that he was way overdue for some serious shuteye, we finally just had to close his bedroom door, muffling his pleas to stay up with us, and hope that he would eventually find his way into his bed, where he could properly host visions of sugarplums and such and we could get to work on rolling out the red carpet for Santa.

Once we closed the door, though, this is what we heard:

"No, not now! No, not now! No, not now!"

(Note the special emphasis on NOW, as if he'll clearly miss something spectacular--Reindeer tapdancing on the roof? Santa playing Frisbee golf with the cookies we left out for him? Mom and Papa slagging down too much egg nog?--if he retires this very minute.)

But since we held our ground and didn't respond, this simple plea soon became his mantra, his grand exhale, and the soundtrack to his final physical winddown for the day:

"No, not noooooooowwwwwwww! No, not noooooooowwwwwwww!"

This went on and on and on, as is Finnegan's Way:

"No, not nooooooooowwwwwwwwwww! No, not noooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww!"

Until, finally, we heard:

"Well, maybe just a five-minute nap."

Followed by delicious, festive silence.

And this, dear reader, is what we saw when we cracked open his bedroom door two minutes later to check on him:

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