Happy Birthday

March 25, 2012

“What is it? What did you get me?” asked the rambunctious little boy named Darren. His mother walked into the room holding a bag that he knew would certainly contain his birthday present.

“Oh sweetie, you’ll just have to wait.” said his mother. Her loving eyes playfully narrowed into a weak scorn. She loved her son and she wanted to make his perfect day one that he would not soon forget. She knew she had picked out the perfect gift she just needed to wrap it and hide it.

“Oh come on Mom! Just a peak! Everybody else always gets me okay presents, but yours are the best.”

“Nope. You’ll just have to wait until Friday for your birthday party.” she replied. She knew he was going to have a hard time containing himself. She looked at her husband reassuringly. “And Harry, could you put this up so Mr. Sticky Fingers won’t end up ‘accidentally’ opening his gift to early.”

“Fine. You guys never let me have any fun anyway. Why would anything else change? It’s only my eighth birthday for cripes sakes.” he said with a pouting bottom lip.

Today was Monday. Darren knew his tiny little brain couldn’t possibly wait that long to open that present. Immediately he decided he was going to scheme his way into peering into that delicious box. He had to see what lie within. Even if it meant getting in a little bit of trouble.

It took him many hours of scouring around the house to find where his present was hidden. He had to hide his scouting missions because if his parents noticed what he was up to the jig would surely be up.

On Wednesday he eventually found it. The top shelf of his parents closet. They had tried covering it with some older sweaters but some of the wrapping paper still shown through.

Target acquired, now it was time to move in for the kill.

Darren waited until the evening when his parents had left to go to a friends house. They sometimes left him alone at home when they wouldn’t be gone for long. This was his only opportunity. He had all the steps laid out ahead of time. All it took was a quick hand and a sensitive ear.

When they said their goodbye and walked out of the door Darren sprang into work.

He raced to the garage and brought the step ladder and a roll of clear tape with him up to his parents bedroom.

He locked eyes on the present and quickly retrieved it the way he had practiced it in his mind.

Success. So far so good.

It was beautiful. Bright blue paper with a golden bow to top it off. He decided that if he just removed the pieces of tape that were holding the wrapping together he should be able to slide out his prize take a peek. Later he would replace them and just follow the folds to make it seem like he never even touched it. He even took a note of how the sweaters rested on the present before his retrieval.

The plan was flawless.

For each sliver of tape that he removed he checked over his shoulder. He perked up, wide eyed like a meerkat, at every sound that the house made. He knew he would surely be punished if he were caught. He kept up his pace like a surgeon trying to save a life. Delicate work that had to be done quickly.

Finally he got to the brown box that was hidden. It revealed nothing. He listened for his parents and continued further into the mystery. Just a peek is all he desired…but his urged yearned for more.

As he pulled back the flaps of the box to reveal his little surprise.

What he saw left him feeling a little perplexed, but excited none the less. It may not be exactly what he wanted, but he knew how to get it.

He gave himself a devilish little smile.




Jessica and Harry pulled into the driveway having only been out of the house for 45 minutes. They had just gotten back from a friends house where they dropped off some Tupperware they had borrowed. As they walked up to their front door they could smell smoke. They feared their son, whom they had left alone for only a few minutes, was in danger.

They threw open the door to see their young boy sitting at the dining room table happily eating a piece of blackened toast. Smoke still hung in the air throughout the house.

“What’s happened here?” they said in unison.

“Sorry to ruin the surprise. But I couldn’t help myself.” said the little red-headed rascal they called their son.

The little boy took hold of a butter knife and applied some more butter to his slice of charred toast. There were several plates with burnt up slices on top of them. Small stacks of ten each dripping with butter scattered around the table.

“A toaster! The best birthday present ever! I love you mommy and daddy!” said the tiny future-arsonist. He slipped out of his chair and gave his parents the nearly eight year old equivalent of a bear hug.

Jessica and Harry looked at each other with curiosity.

Jessica spoke up. “Honey, what toaster are you talking about? We don’t own a toaster.” She tried to hide her growing anger. Her son had nearly burnt the house down.

“Jessica,” started Harry. “The toaster was for you. Happy early birthday.”

Harry tried to compensate. “At least he didn’t find the Transformer we bought him.”

Darren offered them both a heavily buttered slice of carbon and asked, “Well, if the toaster wasn’t for me, can I still get my Transformer?”

His parents agreed. They had burnt toast for dinner and Darren had is Transformer early.

The plan had worked perfectly.