Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Sit-Down with Santa

Yesterday, in the name of Christmas spirit and familial memory making and mixed parental messages regarding "stranger-danger" and Things You Just Have to Do Because Tradition & America & The Internet Say So, we took L to meet Santa for the first time.

Now, it's no secret that I hold a soft spot in my heart for Screaming Santa Photography. Call me callous, but nothing gives me a holiday chuckle quite like a wee tyke, bawling and red-faced, clawing at a bemused, velveteen-clad Kris Kringle.  

Given my penchant for such minor childhood traumas, I was of course holding out hope for a Screaming Santa Photo of my very own.  And wouldn't you know, it looked as if the stars were aligning to make all my dastardly dreams come true...

Just like Brad Pitt's unfortunate Chanel campaign, the signs of Meltdown Mode were staring us down from all directions as we trudged through Macy's.  L had had a rough time in the early morning hours - the residual effects of a bad cold and {I think} two new teeth.  She was fussy at breakfast and nearly impossible to put down for her morning nap.  While she woke up smiling, she broke down the second I forced her to do something that wasn't on her optimal agenda {diaper change, clothing over the head, car seat straps tightened, etc}, and I'd been playing the Should I Dole Out The $20 Copay So That The Pediatrician Can Tell Me It's Just Teething And Not An Ear Infection Or Should I Just Trust My Gut That It's Not An Ear Infection And Chill The Eff Out BUT WHAT IF IT'S AN EAR INFECTION Game for the last 48 hours.*

As we arrived at Santa's Winter Wonderland Hut, I was happy to see only a very short queue waiting for a visit with the man of the hour -- because, while a fussy photo is priceless, a fussy hour long wait is thorn in my side.  We cheerfully attempted to take our place in line when one of Santa's minions inquired as to our number. 

"Our number?" I asked innocently. 

"Yeah, we're calling numbers in the twenties right now."  

"Oh, well we haven't been assigned a number yet... What is the next available spot?" 

"Number 218." 

"Um. Okay. And when might you be calling the two-hundreds?" 

"No later than 7 p.m." 

It was noon.  

Talk about a total rookie mistake. 

Thankfully, mi padre taught me never to take a crappy first opinion, and in true T-Pop Fashion, we were able to finagle our way in pretty quickly. 

{Note to Fellow NorthParkers:  Get your number from The Number Guy and then go tell The Other Guy Manning The Line that you'd like to be worked in if folks with lower numbers are no-shows. Working this angle, we only waited about 30 minutes.}

At this point, L was begging to be released from her stroller, but wasn't pleased with the Being Held Option either.  E walked around with her and, at a low point, we bribed her with a Fiddlestick, but I could just tell... This photograph was to be an amazing, magical disaster involving snot and an ugly cry. 

At last, our moment arrived... I handed L over to Santa, and she gave us The Look... The Wide-Mouth-Bass-Look of Confusion that comes before the tears... 

And then... 

I mean, I'm not ashamed to admit I was hoping for a screaming santa photo, but damn if my kid isn't cute with that grin

Well, damn.  

If that's not the happiest, most joyful Santa photo you've ever seen, then I will eat my crying-kiddo-picture-lovin' hat. 

I just might eat that hat anyhow, because I just can't stop grinning at my sweet, smiling little meatloaf. 

Plus, there's always next year. 

*WHY are Ear-Lookee-Inee-Thingamabobs not available to the general public?  If I am capable of using a rectal thermometer, surely I can be trusted to take a peek in my child's ears so that I can save everyone the trouble of an unnecessary visit to the pediatrician.  {Says the woman who's spent at least one benjamin on "No, It's Not An Ear Infection" appointments in the last 10 months.} 


  1. "This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*ing Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse."

    Even though your little meatloaf showed the rest of our merry piglets up this year your post reminded me of this awesome Christmas Vacation quote. We too took our meatloaf to see Santa. He's 3 months old. We saw that the Bass Pro Shop (yes, I know. Only in Georgia?) had free Santa and got aggressive and trucked it up there to see what they had to offer. HolyBatman was it some crazy shit. Yes there were number-hander-outers. Yes there were separate lines for different number categories. I can't even. . .

  2. You can buy the ear lookie thingie. I think it's called an otoscope? We have one!! Check Amazon!

  3. You can buy an otoscope on ebay. The hard part is looking into a wiggly child ear. Good luck!

  4. Aside from the fact that I can't decide whether that is a really awesome Santa or a really creepy Santa, I am loving everything about this picture!! Her dress is too much cute to handle!

  5. ^^^ Santa needs spectacles. BUT L IS SO STINKIN CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Awww, she looks adorable! I want to nibble those toes.

  7. Sooooooooooooooo sweet!!!!!!!!!! :)

  8. L is precious!

    We have had many of those appointments with the pediatrician, one as recent as last week when daycare called to say she was tugging at her ear and fussy all day. Nope, just a cranky kid who's learning the different body parts. Glad she wasn't sick but not so happy to miss my office holiday party to be told false alarm. Looking into an otoscope now.

  9. Great photo! Confession - I secretly love photos where adorable kids are wailing on Santa's lap. They are just so funny to me for some reason.

  10. This might be the most perfect Santa photo ever! She's too cute!

  11. One of the blogs I read loved this thing when her triplets were little... she says it saved her a lot in copays!

    Her happy Santa picture is too cute!

  12. Love your blog! this is the best post ever. We're taking my 9 month old to see Santa tonight. This Otoscope is amazing:

  13. Sweet, happy girl!! A good screaming photo is great, but this might just be the sweetest picture ever! Poor M just slept through hers. Santa did not impress her!

  14. Yes, there's always next year. I was really thinking that Julia would give us a screaming baby photo this year, but since we clearly aren't going to make it to see Santa this year, I guess we'll never know... sad face...

  15. Ahhh! She's so cute and smiley and happy! Love it! Mac (fortunately for me) did NOT love Santa and we got a good red-faced full-on power scream photo out of him. I couldn't be prouder. :)

  16. First time commenter, but long time reader....I can't help but be a tad bit jealous of your perfect Santa photo; we on the other hand with our 11 month old got the other perfect photo. Yeah, the one where we got a nice big open mouth scream, squinty eyes, & red face...oh yeah, and the pouty bottom lip as well.

    She's absolutely adorable!

  17. Your photo is adorable! In our teeny tiny town, our Santa was located at the library and has been the cardinal Santa for 41 years. Our little guy didn't want anything to do with him, in fact, there is one photo with my husband trying desperately to pass our wee one onto Santa, and our little man is furiously latched with a ten finger death grip to dad's shoulder!

    As for the ear checkers, I also live in Texas and our WalMart sells them for less than twenty buckeroos.

  18. Never fear mama, mark my words, next year you will get your cherished screaming "get me outta here" pic. I promise! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.

  19. Like I mentioned on Instagram- I LOVE that she is all smiles. how cute!

    oh, and I, too, always wonder if I should take baby in to check if it is something important when he runs a low grade temp, etc. LOL I'm glad I'm not the only one!


  21. That picture is too awesome! She looks like a little angel and Santa...very authentic!


happy little comments!