Santa 2008: The Visit

Oh yes, we rocked the Santa visit.  We rocked the Santa visit like baby wrangling, potty training, Santa happy pros.  “Farma” came with my husband and I and it was great to have her there.  Farma, in case you don’t know, is my husband’s mother and her name is, I think, an Americanized bastardization of the Swedish or Norwegian word for grandma.  Specifically, ‘Father’s Mother’, thus, paternal grandmother.  At any rate, it is what my children call, well, Farma.  Except for Asher.  He calls her Grandma and we can’t get him to change.  That is what we get for having the cousins who ALL call her Grandma over for an extended visit, apparently.  Anyway, I’ve wandered from the topic.

I give you, the Santa visit:

The story:

We didn’t make it out Tuesday night like I wanted to (I wanted to because it was a million degrees below zero and snowing and horrid outside and if that wasn’t the perfect night for no Santa line and a decent length visit, I don’t know what is) but K came home with a headache and even though he did agree to attempt the visit, I had NO desire to go out in a million degree below zero, really bad traffic, huge hassle Santa visit with a grumpy husband who would be less than helpful.  So even though we psyched the kids up really great and had them all in their Santa outfits which, for the first time EVER, they all LOVED and want to wear all the time and never take off, we told them never mind and offered Wednesday night as the consolation prize. 

Wednesday night (tonight), however, we were hitting pretty last minute and pretty much had to go.  We got started a lot later tonight than we had been set for yesterday but we had help in Farma going along with us.  We weren’t even on our way until about 7PM, which is, sadly, 30 minutes before Asher’s bedtime.  Not looking well for us, folks.  On the bright side, Asher spent his first diaper free daycare day today having NO accidents.  He even came home in the same pants and underwear that he left the house in.  For some reason, that last sentence makes me think of college but whatever.  On the not-so-bright side, I forgot that I had packed up ALL of his spare undies and pants in a bag and left them at daycare so we had nothing to change him into other than his actual Santa pants which I planned to put on him JUST before actually having the picture taken.  Oh, and while he dutifully sat on the toilet before leaving, he didn’t actually produce anything.

We get to the mall and thankfully get really lucky with a prime front parking space.  Asher is holding Daddy’s hand and walking behind us as Farma sprints through the mall to find Santa’s workshop.  I’m not kidding, she was taking out old ladies in her wake.  OK, maybe she was just walking normal but Asher was comparatively really slow.  Thankfully, there was a car shaped stroller just sitting there outside the department store we had to walk through to get to the mall and Ash decided he was going to drive to Santa’s place in style.  Turns out, we weren’t too far away from Santa’s workshop and as we get there I see what is known as ‘the bottomless line’.  The thing wrapped around twice.  I about died and I do believe K mentioned something about forgetting the picture but I didn’t actually register it so I can’t be certain. 

We stood in line for about an hour.  Well, by ‘we stood’, I mean someone stood in our space in line while various adults took various children for walks around the area and generally tried to keep everyone in a decent mood.  There were tears.  There was hitting.  There was a little boy that Gavin befriended that was wearing a skeleton graphic hoodie and black jeans to his Santa picture who was drinking a DQ slushy which prompted Gavin to ask if we could get slushies which prompted Jessie to tug on my jacket 8 million times to make me bend over to hear her whisper “Can I get a slushie too?” which made Asher whine and scream “I need a drink!” to anyone that might hear him for about 45 minutes.  There were 3 trips to the bathroom, only two of which were for Asher and that was only because the first one didn’t actually amount to anything other than Asher learning about automatic soap dispensers and hot air hand dryers.  The second trip with Asher was just before our turn to visit Santa when I put his actual picture pants on him.

While in the line, we pointed out Santa to the kids a few times and talked to them about what they would say to Santa.  In retrospect, I was just so worried about them asking Santa for the ‘right’ thing (ie the thing that I already GOT for them from Santa) that we pushed asking Santa for the gifts WAY more than I should’ve.  I’d have liked to talked to them about telling Santa how well they decorated the tree for him and asking what kind of cookies he liked best and stuff like that.  Oh well, the night still went well enough.  The Santa workshop was set up with ‘Mrs Claus’ greeting the little ones and holding the babies (They ALL loved her and NONE cried when she held them!  Whatever kind of freaky baby dope she had in her gloves I wanna know about) and then she’d help to introduce them to Santa for the picture.  If it didn’t work with Santa, Mrs Claus held the babies on HER lap for the picture and bliss was heard through the land.  Since I was busy putting Jessie’s black hair bow clips in her hair, I missed the actual critical moment of Asher being presented with Santa’s full attention for the first time.  I did NOT miss, however, him eagerly leaping into Santa’s arms and announcing for all his worth “I want a motorcycle.  Santa, Santa, I want a motorcycle.”  Jessie was still a bit timid but she followed Mrs Claus over to Santa and told him she was really hoping to find a pink power ranger’s costume (honestly, as long as she promises to never EVER allow her significant other to vote for her in any election, I’m OK with the pink power ranger costume).  Gavin followed through with his discussion with Santa about ripsticks and Wii games and ice skates and to tell you the truth, I’m just tickled that he hasn’t questioned Santa’s potential fakeness yet.

The pictures themselves, I think, turned out about as well as you could ask for mall Santa pictures after standing in line for an hour when you are already WAY past any concept of bedtime.  We could’ve asked for more and probably even got better but in truth, I’m happy with what we have and I didn’t want to push the whole visit and risk making it all about the picture and not more about their time visiting with the icon.  Asher turned around as we were leaving and ran over to Santa and held both his hands and said “Thank you Santa!” and holy puddle of goo, people, if I could bottle that image up forever I totally would.  Plus, nobody got peed on.

We drove home and got everyone in bed by 10PM for the early rise we all have to do in the morning for Jessie’s school program at 8 freaking o’clock in the morning.  Asher was dry all night and even peed in the toilet before we put on his ‘night night diaper’ which he insists on wearing his big boy underwear over.  I settled down to watch the taped Top Chef show before login on for this blog post.  I just have to say, it was a really good episode.  I also have to say, my daughter is the biggest little spoiler you’ve ever seen.  Ever.  The Biggest Loser finale was on last night and we had taped it but I guess K watched it with Jessica before I got around to seeing it because as soon as she sees what show I’m turning on she says to me “Oh, “______” wins.”  AHHHH!  I am now going to log off and fall into a coma for about 5 hours before I need to get up and get everyone ready for Jessie’s school program.

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