Back in the last century, a young and childless Jeff Reed reported for duty in state goverment where he practiced utility law, defending ratepayers against unfair rate hikes and other actions taken by electric, natural gas, water, sewer and telecom companies.
After his first hearing, a couple of wayward court reporters with a bird's eye view of the underside of the tables where the lawyers sat as they tried their cases sat, dubbed him "The Package."
But that's not the story I'm going to tell you today.
Today I'm ratting out the Captain who allowed his young daughter to open her birthday present -- a massive package that arrived Thursday afternoon -- a full day before the clock ticked over to declare her 12 years old.
This is signficant only because he's railed at me for years about being too permissive with the child, for being too eager to give her gifts as soon as possible, for spoiling her. (Thank you Aunt Lois for your words of wisdom in Ali's birthday card: "it's not spoiling if you deserve it."
The truth of the matter is, he picked out the gift and was as anxious to see her open it as she was to discover what was in the box, which stood about five feet tall and looked able to house a slim refrigerator or a folded up pony.
"This is her hat rack," he admitted, reminding me of another sin he'd committed with this present.
A few years ago, I bought him a hat rack to organize all his random baseball caps I kept tripping over. It might have been Father's Day. It might have been his birthday. It might have been just a "I love you honey, you're so fabulous I bought you a gift" gift. I don't remember the occasion. All I remember is he did not appreciate it. At all. He actually returned it and bought something stupid. I don't remember what he bought and I don't care.
All I know is he bought Ali a gift for her birthday that he really wanted AND he let her open it early.
I'm in such a great position right now.
Oh. The gift. It's a Yogibo (www.yogibo.com). What's a Yogibo?
It's a glorified bean bag. Oh, sorry. It's a new age version with super cool microbeads and memory and stretchable fabric. They found a Yogibo store at The Maine Mall back at Christmas and Alison had really hoped to find one under the tree. They spent half an afternoon at the store. A bromance blossomed between Jeff and the salesman, who I met when they dragged me down there to check them out.
And yes, Alison loved the thing. Much more than he loved his hat rack. But yeah. It's a bean bag that has them both more giddy than a school girl crowned queen at her first dance. They were both squealing and jumping around this morning as they tore through the wrapping and then pounced on the thing.
It was actually a lot of fun to watch. It's been a great birthday so far, and I'm not really unhappy about the Yogibo. It's going to mean I can finally get rid of the papasan chair that Jeff's had since before he first earned his nickname.
We actually started the weekend on Friday when I picked Ali and some friends from school up shortly after the bell rang to end the school week. They had mani-pedis and then Huddles yogurt before they took over the family room and stayed up until midnight talking about boys and school and silliness.
Today it's the Ali and Jenna show and they're currently sweating up a storm at the local Sky Zone, trampoline center. We'll go home later and try our hand at tie-dying, something I've never done. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't end up with another cupcake experiment. They'll be sleeping on the Yogibo, I'm certain.
That's if Jeff doesn't beat them to it. Although, thinking back to those early days, and the fact that it was a damn good nickname, he might have another assignment to fulfill.