I have shared often of Laura's ability to plot. She learned it well. Yes, I said learned. Her abilities have been passed down from her Great Grandma "Nana", to her Grandpa "Poppy" (and let us not forget her Grandma "Honey"), through her Mommy and on to her brothers to get her her. Her Daddy doesn't hurt the process, either. He's a plotter from way back. So she has learned well. And her plotting brings much amusement to us every time she uses it as she has failed to learn subtleties yet. I'm sure that will come. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy the process.
Around here, plotting has become an art around the holidays. I learned this talent very well from two of the best plotters in the business - my parents. I fondly remember the year they purchased a 'new to us' console television. I was to be delivered so it was no use searching the house for it. And to extend the agony, my parents chose to give us clues. And of course we could ask questions as much as we wanted. But we learned early on to expect vague, cryptic answers. For instance, in wanting to know how the present would be delivered we came up with every direct question known to man regarding transportation - or so we thought. We asked if it was going to be delivered by truck, car, van, delivery van, and so on, and even threw in bicycle and wagon for good measure. But each time we were met with "No, that's not it" and a sly smile on my Mom's face. When it finally arrived, it came by STATION WAGON. And I began to learn just how to plot and plan for wonderful surprises. They pulled it off again the year they got us kittens, and I fondly remember them bringing home our first artificial tree AFTER Christmas as they'd gotten it on clearance, fully decorated with Disney ornaments and sparkling lights. We were told to wait upstairs while they brought in a family surprise. Oh the waiting! They knew how to build anticipation, didn't they? I recall waiting until the following Christmas with tremendous anticipation as well. Yes, they were pros. And I realize as time goes on that I learned well.
I usually begin plotting and planning in earnest as the summer comes to a close, and have things well in had by the time Black Friday has come and gone. I remember fondly the time I plotted, with Matthew mind you, to purchase a guitar 'for Krista' who just might want to learn to play someday. Asking him things like "what kid of guitar do you think Michelle should consider?" and "Do you think she'd like this color" or "How about this pick set" really helped assure that he had exactly what he wanted. Or there was the year we got the boys a gamecube... that was a lot of fun and kept them guessing for months. But this year will probably last in Jonathan's memory for a very long time.
Jonathan rarely asks for anything. Since I have a "I will not buy any more Lego's or bionicles" rule - they have far too many as it is - he really is just content using what he has to be creative, drawing, playing video games and playing the games we've collected since I was a child. His needs are not great and his tender heart falls in love with anything you get him. Sometimes I strive very hard to get him things he'd like and we decided this year would be a year for 'science' stuff since he's always interested in rocks and what not. And we have a few things for him, but not a lot. After asking him over and over again for what he wants, he finally settled on two things - a Wii (not going to happen this year) or an ipod. Hmmm... Let the plotting begin!!!