We made the mistake of dragging the little ones to the bowling alley after they had opened presents and eaten sugar and opened presents again (and, it occurs to me now, not eaten lunch). They were a little over-stimulated. Oh, let's face it: we were all over-stimulated. It took a good evening of tea and rummy and a walk to set us back to rights. (The kids went home and slept, I assume. They were all smiles in the video my brother sent of them playing with their new puppet theater from my parents.)*
Before we left for bowling, we took the stomp rocket outside and stomped on it until our fingers froze off and our eats hurt, watching it fly up into the sky.
Small people bowling is high levels of adorable. This alley had bumpers that came up only for the kids during their turns. The rest of us had to deal with gutter balls. They also had a dragon whose back was a ramp from which the kids could roll the ball down the lane. It still moved at a glacial pace, too slow to stay in the middle of the lane, but at least it made it to the end and usually got a couple of pins. "I have 59!" B. would say excitedly, and we congratulated him heartily, because that actually is quite impressive when you aren't even big enough to roll the ball between your legs.
We had paid for two games, but we had to quit after one, because of imminent meltdown. And not just the kids. We were all happy and Christmassy, but a little bit bleary-eyed. It was time to rest. Christmas is for that, too.
* My dad was supposed to go to ikea to buy puppets on his way to a conference the weekend of my grandma's funeral, but of course he could not go because we were funeraling, and I forgot to go the next weekend when I went up to Gone West, so I had to stop by on my way to the Gone West airport. It was three hours before my flight and I was standing in the ikea on the phone with my mom, with her telling me, "Just get one of each. No, that one, too." I walked out of ikea with 13 puppets and got to my car before I remembered that I already had a full, tiny suitcase. I stuffed puppets in every crack and cranny. I had to sit on my suitcase, literally, to get it to zip, and I had one puppet that would not fit, so I rolled up the three foot long rattlesnake and threw it in my purse. It came in handy as a pillow in the middle of the night. I became so attached to it that I fully intend to buy a new one on my way back into State of Happiness. B. loves it. It featured prominently in the puppet show in the video.