(Start at the beginning)
Christmas Eve … at long last.
And what a perfect Christmas Eve it had been. Nick had the day off. So they went to the Christmas Eve parade that morning in town, had lunch at a local restaurant and strolled around the downtown area for a few hours that afternoon – just enjoying the sights and sounds of the season.
They ventured home, Noel being put down for a nap that lasted a good two hours. She was tired, for sure – the excitement of Christmas having drained her. Dinner was a most wonderful pot roast, followed by chocolate chip cheesecake. They took one more car trip to see the Christmas lights in the area and then ventured home for the night.
Presently, Noel was in the kitchen. Having been bathed and diapered and dressed for bed, she was making up a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa. And her bedtime clothing for Christmas Eve was a long t-shirt, red in color and with Rudolph on the front. She had several shirts with the famous reindeer on them. But the house was very warm that night. So she opted out of wearing the red flannel shirt.
“You ready, BabyGirl?” Nick called from the living room, Noel picking up the plate and glass – then crinkling her waddle into the living room.
Every overhead light and lamp in the house had been dimmed. And every single nightlight had been turned on, even the ones in the hallway and bathroom outlets and everywhere. The electric candles in the windows were on and the Christmas tree glowed brightly. Setting the plate and glass on the end of the coffee table, along with the crayon-scribed note that read: For you, Santa, Noel sat on her Daddy’s knee. See him reaching into his shirt pocket, she opened her mouth to receive her pacifier. But he didn’t take a pacifier out of that pocket. Instead, he took out a little slip of paper.
“Princess, there is one gift I would like you to open tonight,” he said, handing her the slip of paper. “But you’re going to need to find it.”
Huh? What did he mean by that?
The little slip of paper had a clue written on it. And Nick explained what it meant.
“All around the house, I have hidden more clues on slips of paper,” he said, Noel bouncing up-n-down on his knee as this sounded like fun. “So you need to read each clue and go where the clue suggests that you go. Let me help you with the first one. Read to me what it says.”
“This is where Daddy goes at nightime, when it’s time for bed. Look underneath where Daddy lays his head,” Noel read.
Oh, how neat! It rhymed! But what did it mean?
“Where does Daddy go to sleep at night?” he asked.
“To bed … to the bedroom,” she answered.
“And what does Daddy lay his head on?” he asked.
“A pillow,” she answered, trying to figure this out.
“And what’s underneath that pillow?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she answered honestly, her eyes then growing big-n-wide as it all made sense.
She leapt up off his knee and crinkled her waddly sprint back the hallway and into the bedroom, diving onto the bed and digging underneath the pillows.
Finding another clue, she read what it said:
“Oh, so many ornaments on the evergreen. Find your next clue among them, hanging from a string,” the note said.
Ornaments? Evergreen? The Christmas tree!
Leaping up off the bed, she ran out into the hallway and back into the living room. Going right over to the Christmas tree, she began to inspect the layout of the ornaments hanging on it, knowing well what that layout was since she was the one who decorated the entire tree. And indeed, there was a slip of paper, hanging from a string among them all.
Taking that clue down, she read it aloud.
“When in this place, a lot of times dreams keep you occupied,” she read with a tiny voice, her heart pounding with excitement. “But this time, Daddy wants you to look, not on top, but on the underside.”
Now this one seemed tricky. Looking at Nick, she tilted her head to the side.
“Where are you when you do your dreaming, BabyGirl?” he asked.
The crib! The nursery! No! No! No! Not in the crib. On the underside of it.
Away she waddled, crinkling up a storm as she sprinted back to her nursery. Getting down on her hands and knees, she crawled right underneath her crib and looked up. And there was the next clue, taped to the bottom.
Getting the clue down, she read it to herself:
“Open the door you love to open when on the counter you kneel, find the thing you like to sip … the one you use at meals,” the note said.
This was getting easier … and more fun! The clue was telling her to go to the cupboard that had all her sippy cups in it. Out to the kitchen she sprinted, climbing up onto that counter and kneeling there as she opened the cupboard door in front of her. Looking under the lunchtime sippy cup and dinnertime sippy cup, she found the next clue.
Turning around and plopping her diapered bottom down on the counter, she read the next clue but didn’t understand it. Nick thought this might be the case. So he got up off the couch and wandered over to the kitchen entryway.
“This look-at-you holds all the things in a girly girl’s collection but look inside the look-at-you that often holds your reflection,” she read with a small voice, the looking at her Daddy with confusion.
“What looks at you when you look at it?” he asked.
Oh! A mirror! The bathroom mirror!
To the bathroom she sprinted, opening the mirror and immediately finding the concealer he couldn’t find last night. Most ironically, that was what he taped the next clue to!
And that clue read: “On the living room couch sits someone you know, that guy, that Daddy man. So go to him and straddle him and take what’s in his hand.”
Oh, he was so over-the-top sometimes!
Walking out to the living room, she took the next clue out of his hand and read it to herself but not understanding it. So she sat on his knee and read it to him.
“An everyday item that gets used and used, in a stack, just waiting to make you sublime,” she read with raised eyebrows at the wordiness of this clue. “But you need to look where we will be when you stare up at the ceiling for the fifth time.”
She thought about it for a moment. “When she stares up at the ceiling for the fifth time”? When did she stare up at the ceiling? During sex?
She waddled back to the bedroom, looking at the bed and then looking at the ceiling above it. But there was no clue taped to the ceiling. Looking across the hallway into her nursery, she looked at the ceiling above her crib – finding no clue taped there either.
This one was really tricky.
“An everyday item that gets used and used, in a stack …”
What everyday item? In a stack?
Rocking back-n-forth on her feet, to her left and to her right as she thought about it, she heard the crinkling of her diaper. And that was when she figured it out.
The changing table! Underneath it, was a stack of diapers!
Going over to the changing table and looking under the fifth diaper, she found another clue. Not knowing this was the last clue, Nick began to slowly walk back the hallway.
Sitting on the floor in the nursery, Noel opened the clue and read it aloud – not knowing this was the clue that would lead her to the present.
“Daddy keeps promising to clean this out, to organize it, but he hasn’t made a dent. However, if you look all the way in the back, there you will find your Christmas Eve present,” she read, guessing this one right away.
Getting up and waddling across the hall, she saw her Daddy standing there. Getting onto the bedroom rug and crawling back to the closet, which is where the final clue was telling her to go, she flung open the closet doors and crawled into the back.
And in the back of that closet, she found a cardboard box – fairly large in size. Pulling the box out of the closet, she set it next to the bed and took a seat on the bed mattress. Nick sat next to her on the bed. Using her nails to slit the packing tape on the top flaps, she opened the flaps – seeing that the box was an entire case of pink diapers!
OMG! PINK DIAPERS! Just as she had asked for in her letter to Santa! Nick did indeed read that letter she wrote to Santa and then made the lone purchase she asked for.
Pushing Nick down on the mattress and then climbing on top of him, she straddled his hips with her bent knees and kissed him with an open mouth, grinding her diapered mound into his waist.
Oh, he was magician. He could do anything, even making their first Christmas Eve together memorable … with a little yuletide archaeology.
Continue on to the conclusion – Saturday, December 25th