The Daddy surprised me.
This is somewhat hard to do.
I knew that the bigger of the small fry had a rather nice piece of computer hardware on his Christmas plate this year (actually, it was a birthday-slash-Christmas gift). We justified providing an eleven year-old with a counterpart of the computer Sheldon Cooper uses on "Big Bang Theory" on the bases that: (1) it was a used model; (2) he basically IS Sheldon Cooper, and as a result has computer needs beyond the typical eleven year-old's; and (3) therefore, a powerful computer is a good investment, as he already blew up my old VAIO laptop, and something with a top-notch graphics card and lots of memory has an actual shot of growing with him.
The fact that the computer came equipped with Photoshop, Lightroom and other programs that Mom has been coveting but that would stop her Dell (with its weak, "subject-of-a-class-action" graphics card) in its tracks - well, that was an added bonus.
It did stick in my craw, though, that the small fry was getting a better machine than Mom (who, thanks to the aforementioned class action, has had most of her Dell's parts replaced, so it's LIKE she has a new computer, but it's a new WEAK computer, but she can't justify walking away from it because its warranty has been extended until sometime in the next century, again because of the class action). I contented myself with the fact that I would at least have squatter's right vis-a-vis the Photoshop and Lightroom stuff.
In no particular order, I thought it odd that:
1) Dad never showed me the laptop when it arrived;
2) The smaller of the small fry received a laptop cooling pad, just like brother's, at Grandma's house last night; and
3) My gift load from the fam was a bit light.
After the kids spent several hours playing with Santa stuff and "under the tree from Mom and Dad" stuff (Connor's haul being extremely light, given that the computer was the bulk of his gift), Connor remembered that he was owed "the other item."
And that's when Dad unveiled . . . the TWO other items.
Identical Sheldon Cooper machines. Well, not identical. Mine is better. Because it has all of the Photoshop and Lightroom stuff on it. And, for the record, it's not 100% mine; basically it's going to be the "everyone other than Connor" computer. Dad wants to play "Call of Duty" on it. Parker and Mom can play I Spy and other games on it, and Parker won't have to ask permission from Big Brother to use it - he'll have to ask my permission, or Dad's, but being released from the bonds of Big Brother Oppression is, in and of itself, a Christmas miracle.
So it's Christmas morning, and Connor's building a Puzz-Ball while his computer runs a scan. (He already assembled everyone else's presents, including the complicated LEGO set that Santa gave him, AND his brother's LEGO set - did I say that he's a future Sheldon Cooper? Shelly's engineer pal Howard Wolowicz is more like it.) The little one is making his electronic dinosaurs talk to each other - and begging Big Brother to help him transform his Transformer for the eleventy billionth time. (Parker James - probably NOT a future Howard Wolowicz.) And Mom? She's playing with textures, using Batman as a guinea pig.