I nudged a smiling M out of bed this morning at 8:30 with the translator app: "The kids are waiting for you before they open presents. They will go crazy in a few minutes. Will you join us?" Eventually she did, and responded to my "Merry Christmas!" with her own, in English. The most she's braved the English language so far.
However, by the time she came down I decided to toss the breakfast casserole together so we could eat after the gift opening. "Just one more thing" turned into 15 minutes, but finally we cracked into stockings. There was a lot of smiling, a lot of chocolate, a lot of excitement and many thank yous on the part of all 4 kids. The gifts flowed steadily out of the three because Criminey Pete we are spoiled rotten. I tried to limit us to 3 gifts for each kid which really meant 4 or 5 and then there were aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends to fill in the rest. Embarrassingly rich in loved ones here. Truly a blessing.
Breakfast (delicious. Make that. Use all 4 eggs as they are, though. Whites are just dull. And we left out the onion and used garlic powder because it's 9AM. Serve with sour cream.) We set out the casserole and bacon and some fruit and yogurts and cottage cheese and rolls as a buffet and everyone had something they liked with no pressure. Then they scampered off to play. M stayed at the table and helped me clear. We looked at card games and smiled politely. It's a comfortable silence, I think. I hope.
The usual kids did the usual things: Jorge worked on Legos, August played with a boat and legos and wooden building toys and anything else that flitted across his vision. Katie read a book. We played various board games. Lovely family time.
Eventually we went out to Rob's mom's for dinner and more gifts and cookies. M got Uno which, it turns out, she plays everyday at school. I played Uno for 1-2 hours every day of the summer 1997 and 1998 when I worked housekeeping, so I was excited to play with her. However, the introduction of 2-3 minor rule differences and the fact that the skip card looked like a zero threw me off completely. I told her she must have different rules than the US but I would learn hers. We played. She mimed at me to take more cards or play again; or quickly slid a card back at me when I over-played my turn. As I figured out the small optional rules that were in play, I realized it was 99% the usual game and used the translator to inform her that, in fact, it was not so much different rules as an old mom brain that had forgotten how to play before. :) Rob got in on a few games, too. Jorge and I played his board game; the boys played hotwheels, Katie worked on a Lego set, Rob and M played ping pong, we ate cookies and watched the boys circling the drain of exhaustion until it was declared bedtime for all.
There was talk of going to see a movie tonight, but the day has worn us all out. Beds are calling.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.