10 December 2006

amateur hour

swe were on our way home saturday night when we heard it.

we'd spent the better part of saturday rushing around like crazy people, a day which culminated in the dreaded (but necessary) trip to The Mall. we were there to do one thing. purchase ezra's big christmas present: a buzz lightyear doll. I should also preface this by saying the ez has been a little out of sorts lately. nothing major, just the usual toddler stuff. super wiggly, extra grouchy with a whine that makes you to want to pull your eyelashes out one by one. by saturday night, we were all on the verge of something big and ugly. but somehow, we made it. we made it through the day without any major meltdowns, the dignity of the family fairly intact. most importantly, buzz lightyear made it to the car with ezra none the wiser. might not seem like a major thing but not too much gets by the kid and ward and I were basking in it. we were feeling pretty cocky, ready to celebrate. and-- the wiggling and the crying and the whining had finally stopped. when I caught sight of ezra's heavy-lidded eyes, I felt the sort of relief that only comes at the end of this kind of day. the car was silent. dear readers, it was a thing of beauty.

and then we heard it. loud and clear and from the trunk:


ward and I looked at each other in horror. we looked back at ezra and his eyes immediately popped open. he was wild with excitement, as if the rescue he'd been waiting so long for had finally come, as if he'd always known it would happen this way. his mouth made the tiniest little 'o' and his eyes were wide as silver dollars. he could barely speak. ward abruptly stopped the car. we looked at each other, waited for a divine intervention of sorts. silence. and then ezra began to scream for buzz, pointing upwards and backwards, laughing, struggling to turn around in his car seat.

in an instant, it was clear. we must play dumb. we pretended we had not heard the Voice From The Back. we turned the radio on, spoke to him soothingly, pleaded with him to go back to sleep. but the child, he knew. HE KNEW WHAT HE HAD HEARD. and he was not about to abandon hope. he screamed MY BUZZ MY BUZZ MY BUZZ and if he'd had the words he would have said, I KNOW I'M NOT CRAZY, I KNOW WHAT I HEARD. friends, there was nothing to do but to keep on driving. and hope against all hopes he'd fall back asleep. and forget. and he did. fall back asleep, that is. but he did not forget. at three in the morning, he remembered. at six in the morning, he remembered. at eight, he tried to put a set of car keys into the hands of his very groggy father, pulled him towards the front door. buzz! buzz! buzz! in back, he'd say. b a c k. slowly and with great emphasis, in case there might be any confusion as to the exact location of his beloved buzz. still, we continued to feign ignorance.

and it broke my heart just a little, but it had to be done. come christmas morning, the pay-off will be monumental. cameras will be charged and ready to go.

well, unless we pull another rookie stunt and mess that up too.


  1. that is going to be one of the best christmas stories ever.... congratulations on a job (not exactly how you envisioned, but...) well done.



    I know, I'm being mean. But I loved the story and I could just SEE Ezra's face and hear him demand to get Buzz from the back of the car and I can imagine you and Ward playing dumb. I can say that you have encountered a situation that has happened to many parents before you...though I'm not sure any of them had a child quite like Ezra ;)

  3. not just one of the best christmas stories. one of your best posts ever, i think.

  4. Pretty funny!
    I can just see that little kid obsessed from now until Christmas, talking in his sleep even, "Buzz, Buzz - in back..."

  5. Very funny story! (Well told, too.)

  6. That is priceless! I can just hear him now - "My Buzz! My Buzz!" Poor little kiddie. But you did the right thing. This is something out of a "Believe it Or Not" episode on TV. Well written, Andrea.

  7. So funny! If only you had one of those Men in Black-style memory zappers!

  8. Kellyann aka SmellyKellyDecember 11, 2006 8:58 AM

    I've been visiting you for awhile via dear Ms Kathleen...thank you!

  9. Kellyann aka SmellyKellyDecember 11, 2006 9:02 AM

    Hilarious! It's gonna be a long couple o weeks for little Ezra!
    I've been visiting you for awhile now via my dear friend Ms Kathleen.
    Thank you!

  10. That is the BEST! Gold, Jerry, gold! Hopefully, some of us will learn from YOUR mistakes! Thanks for sharing them in the way that only you can. :-)

  11. Oh, Andrea, I love it. As the mother of a toddler who misses nothing, I completely relate. My little Ruby isn't even quite two and I know she knows about all of her gifts. Luckily, someone gave her the early gift of a my little pony, so hopefully she'll be distracted for at least another week or so.

  12. this is the best christmas story yet. I love it.
    that kid is going to be crazy on the 25th.

  13. You could add this scene to A Christmas Story and it would fit in seamlessly :)!

  14. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! this is one of the funniest christmas stories i've ever heard.

  15. hee hee hee hee hee hee
    I'm still tittering with laughter now!
    I can just see the face on you and your husband when that voice appeared from the back of the car!
    So unfortunate and yet so utterly hilarious!!!
    At least the thing didn't keep on talking!

  16. I laughed until I cried! Thanks for sharing...

  17. that is hilarious, hilarious, hilarious! what a great story!

  18. that is the BEST story i've heard in a long time. i could totally picture your wee one, straining to see WHAT HE KNEW WAS THERE. (=
    yesterday, as i was doing the weekly boiler maintenance, my girl spied her present from santa although didn't really comprehend it.....just kept saying, let me get in that closet and see what's in there, i NEED to see what's in there. umm, not.

  19. Oh yes! That is hilarious! I was laughing so hard while reading that Blou came over to me and started laughing too. I don't know how you didn't crack under the pressure. Too funny.

  20. Poor widdle kid. When I was wrapping Andrea's birthday gift today, Ezra sauntered into the room and after taking one look at the wrapped present, he looked up at me, pointed at the gift and said, "My Buzz? Yes, my Buzz."

    And later on in the evening, we were at one of our favorite restaurants and after eating, I walked outside with the boy so he could get all his wiggles out. There were some short bushes in a nicely landscaped area near the front of the building and it wasn't before long when I found Ezra going through each one, peering into the shrubbery looking for his Buzz.

    Kid's got a ONE TRACK MIND.

  21. Years later, I visualize Ezra walking into a psychiatrist's office to proclaim that he has
    been hearing voices of his supreme
    commander, Buzz Lightyear!

  22. oh, this is a funny story! noisy toys will be the end of us all....
    he's going to be thrilled christmas morning :)

  23. heh heh. can't wait for those pics.....

  24. loveloveLOVE this story. hee!

    merry christmas, andrea!

  25. oh yes, that is THE best Christmas present story ever! brilliant, thanks for sharing that.