No Surprise There

Following a very successful pediatric dentist appointment today, I told the kids I needed to stop at the bike shop under the guise that I needed “to check on something for Daddy.”

My son’s 9th birthday is Saturday and it’s time to upgrade his ancient (and cheap-o) Wal-Mart boy’s bike for something new with gears and all the bells and whistles. So we are looking at a great Trek boys bike, but when I went into the shop and saw the very minimal difference between a 24″ inch boys bike and a smaller adult bike, we figured we should have him try them on for size. He is close to my 5’2″ height, but he is still a boy and I did not want his bike to be bigger than he needed.

Since we wanted it to be a surprise, my husband suggested I take him to the shop and say I needed something for “Daddy’s” bike to lead him off the trail. Maybe he could “casually” sit on each bike.

So apres dentist, we headed for the shop around the corner.  My son whined a bit and said “Why do we need to go?”

Just as I was about to give him my spiel that, even though he might think nothing else matters but Lego Star Wars on the Wii, parents sometimes need to run errands, blah blah blah.

But I didn’t get the chance. As I turned over my shoulder with my mouth agape and ready to speak, my daughter turned to her brother and, in the sweetest whisper she could find said “You are getting a new bike for your birthday.”


Welp, so much for that surprise.

“Really?” he exclaimed with such a wonderful amount of excitement I just didn’t have the heart to try to trick him.

So yeah, another surprise bites the dust.

This shouldn’t come as any shock to me because little ears hear everything and my husband and I had been talking about a bike when we thought our daughter wasn’t listening. But she was. Obviously.

Both of the kids can hear a mile away any grown up talk that is going on. They know who I am talking to and ask questions about my phone conversations with my girlfriends. But when I ask them to shut off the light, close the door, wipe your feet, clean your room, they’ve conveniently gone deaf.

They are always ruining surprises for each other, too, though not always intentionally because I do however think it’s nearly impossible for a kid to hold in a juicy bit of information from a sibling. Except for those siblings who like to torture each other with chants of “I know a secret and you-ou ou dow-ownt!”

My kids don’t do that too often. They are too ready to bust out of their seams.

I do always try to have special times with each of them, maybe to buy one kid a new little toy when we are out, or take one to McDonald’s. I say “Don’t tell your brother” or “Let’s not tell your sister you got ice cream.”

Yeah right. The can not wait to tell the other one what he or she has been deprived of.

Maybe when they get older, my kids will remember that they always told each other everything and decide to keep it that way. Maybe they will even grow out of ruining a surprise.

We’ll see. My son recently told me, in front of his little sister, that a friend told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus. Oh crap. Here it comes.

I cringed thinking what was coming next.

But instead of ruining it for his sister, though clearly confused about the whole thing, my son decided his friend was wrong. So he turned to his sister and said, “At least we’ll still get presents. It’s dumb not to believe.”

“Yes it is,” I told them and that was that.

Phew. One down. Many more to go.


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