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Addie Found Her Christmas Gifts So I Taught Her About Divorce

With the holiday season right around the corner, Casey has started gathering gifts for the kids. This gathering will continue right up until Christmas Eve. That means that all of those gifts have to be hidden from the kids. And when I say “kids,” I really mean Addie.

Addie is a snoop, and it’s hard to get mad at her for being so snoopy when it comes to Christmas gifts, because I was a master snoop when I was a kid. I was busted sneaking into Christmas presents a few times, but my parents really have no idea how many gifts I discovered without them ever knowing.

Addie’s the same way, only she has a hard time keeping it all secret. (Her snoopy side comes from me, but her honesty comes from Casey.) She’ll sneak into the top part of our closet and find a gift and then later in the day casually ask, “Dad, why do you have a Monster High Doll game in the top of your closet?”  When I go into the closet to relocate the gifts, I’ll find a stool stacked on top of a box stacked on top of a chair—like Addie had taken her makeshift ladder idea straight out of a Looney Toons cartoon.

To get around the whole top-of-the-closet snoop and the dangerous makeshift ladder, Casey has started dropping the gifts off at my office. The office has a scary downstairs basement where old files are stored and it is perfect for hiding Christmas gifts. It is not so perfect, however, for retrieving those Christmas gifts at midnight Christmas morning—SCARY.

Anyway, Casey dropped off a bag of toys a few weeks ago for me to hide in the office basement. Things have been a bit crazy at the office with lots and lots of things to do and I overlooked the bag of toys sitting in one of my office chairs and they never made it down to the basement.

Last week Addie had to hang out at my office after school and before I could even get from my car to my office door, Addie had already made her way into my office and had the toys sitting in the office chair out of the sack. When I walked into my office and saw Addie’s inquisitive and excited face, I knew that I’d really screwed up and that it would take one heck of a whopper to convince Addie that those were not her Christmas toys.

The whopper? Well, I decided to teach Addie about divorce. It was the only logical thing that came to my mind in that split second and I had to fix the situation. I told Addie that it was a bag of toys that a client wanted me to give to her soon to be ex-husband. This, of course, went straight over Addie’s head. She didn’t understand the logistics of divorce and how property is divided when a mom and a dad separate.

My whopper wasn’t going to work unless I did a bit more explaining, so we had the divorce talk. I explained that when a mom and a dad decide they don’t want to be married anymore, they hire someone like me to help them divide everything they own. I told her that the mom will get half and the dad will get half, and that if Casey and I got a divorce I would get half of Addie’s bunk bed and Casey would get half of Addie’s bunk bed. I also told her that we’d have to cut Woobie (Addie’s lovey) in half and that I’d get half and Casey would get half.

Surprisingly, this little conversation cured quite a few problems we have been having with Addie. First, Addie had no idea what I do for a living. When I ask her about my job, she says, “You stand in front of a judge and make money.”  Hmm. Not quite. Now she has a little better idea of what lawyers do—we help solve problems. (Alright, so some lawyers are cause problems, but you know what I mean.)  Second, the conversation helped Addie move past her wish that Casey and I would get divorced so she can have two sets of parents.

One whopper and a life lesson later, Christmas secrecy is still intact at our house.

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