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The Toddler and The Big Guy, Round 3

The nagging started weeks ago. "Momma, I want to go see Santa," the Toddler would say. Over and over. And over and over. There were a few false starts in the quest to appease She Who Had Things to Tell The Big Guy, but tonight was the night. Tonight I picked the kid up from school with full intentions of taking her to see Jolly Old Saint Nick.

"What are you going to tell Santa you want for Christmas?" I asked the Toddler.

"Penguin game!" she would say.

"Are you going to sit in Santa's lap?" I asked.

"Yeah!" she would enthusiastically reply.

I was positive she was lying. Not about the Penguins game part, that I believed. I didn't believe her that she was actually going to tell it to Santa. If history is an indicator, she was sure to be all about Santa, right up until the moment she was close enough to smell the booze on his breath and kid pee on his pants. So, I figured the perimeter to be about ten feet or so.

When we first walked into the mall, the line to chill with Santa was a long one, so we wandered upstairs to visit the Mouse for a bit. As Alexis ran all over Mickey's store telling me she wanted the Daisy t-shirt, the Minnie dress (btw, BOO-YAH! It's already under the tree!), the Cinderella figurines, the Minnie pajamas, and the four-foot tall stuffed Minnie, I kept telling her, "Well, I guess you'll have to tell Santa you want that, too!"

She agreed. "Yeah, I tell Santa!"

We finally emerged from The Disney Store empty-handed and found the line for Santa had gone down significantly. I repeated my, "Are you sure you want to go see Santa and sit on his lap?" interrogation and was met with the smiling face of an excited little girl as she grabbed my hand and drug me towards The Big Guy.

We got in line and spent ten minutes listening to an elf's spiel about photos. I'm not sure why I should select a portrait package when portraits don't yet exist, but I had no problem just rambling, "Two 5x7's, please." I knew it wasn't going to happen.

As we moved closer and closer to Santa, Alexis continued to express her enthusiasm. "I see Santa!" "Look! It's almost my turn!" "I'm going to tell Santa I want Penguins!" and on and on.

I started to believe.

And yet, I didn't.

We moved closer and closer, and suddenly we were next. I looked down at Alexis and asked, "Are you ready to go see Santa?"

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!" she replied as she crumpled into a little pile of frightened Toddler goo.

That's all right, kiddo. You just keep on being scared of strange old guys in red suits who promise you toys and claim to not want anything in return.

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Reader Comments (35)

So freaking cute. I do think it is wise to be afraid...very afraid.

December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertexasholly

poor sweetie ...

is she getting penguin tickets?

Wonder why it went anon. It was me.

It's just not right that he wears a crushed red velvet suit like a lounge singer, is it? At least she's getting her Pen-ins. Does she still say it that way?

December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wait till she's a teenager. Then she'll sit in Santa's lap and tell him EVERYTHING she wants. Yep.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFlea

never have understood torturing poor innocent children with sitting in some old guy's lap ;-)

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterthe planet of janet

I agree with Alexis - the idea of Santa is great, but when it comes to actually sitting there, I'm not for it at all.

Thanks for coming to "visit" me, too! :)

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Yea, I saw that ending coming. So, no photo, huh? I'm trying to decide if I should take Dylan. I think he would probably go over to him, and maybe even tell him what he wants, but I am pretty sure he wouldn't sit on his lap, and a smile would be out of the question.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I think it's great that our kids are listening to that inner voice that says, "Oddly dressed old man wants me to sit on him! Danger! Danger!"

The Santa that we visited was SO FAT that he didn't have a lap to sit on. Even if my kids hadn't been batpoop terrified, they would have been out of luck.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulia O'C

@AnglophileFF--Sadly, she has started pronouncing "Pen-ins" as "Penguins." :-(

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby

Priceless. I want to tell you that I was 16 before my mother got a photo of me sitting on Santa's knee. I was so proud to receive a photo in 2005 of my niece Marley sitting on Santa's knee, lollypop in each hand, red-faced, screaming at the top of her lungs! She looked just like me!

PS I knew that Minnie Mouse dress would be under the tree!

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Purple Pinkie

If only ALL strange old guys who promise you toys and claim to not want anything in return would wear red suits so we could spot them from 100 yards away...


December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWonderful World of Weiners

@The Purple Pinkie--Not THAT Minnie Mouse dress! It's a red dress with a hood that she can wear everyday. The Minnie costume? NOT HAPPENING. Period.

Mostly cause Santa is so totally broke after that whole Penguins thing.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby

Aww...poor Alexis. My five year old wouldn't even stand in line for Santa, so I hear ya. My husband was trying to guilt him into sitting on his lap, and I'm like, Dude! If he doesn't want to, he doesn't want to. Drop it.

And the "Pen-ins" thing is cute, even if I am a die-hard Wings fan. ;)

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBunchy

See? I figure I am totally justified in not taking my kids to see Santa. Yet. Although, given Monkey's outgoing personality, I'm sure she wonders why she can't sit in ANY guy's lap and tell him what she wants for Christmas. Oy. Bun would be much more suspicious, and is as likely to sit still as she ever is.


December 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pen mama

My daughters Skye's interest in Santa lasted until 3. I think at that age she already knew there was something up with the big guy. I know I never understood the concept of putting my child on the lap of some stranger. These days it's daunting to think about.

However the wonderment in her eyes when I took her to an old world ornament shop was priceless. All that glitter and Christmas every inch of the place. I remember those moments with her far more than the Santa ones. Your little one is too cute. Thanks for sharing. (Hugs)Indigo

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIndigo

Well done Mom...I couldn't agree more;)

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNap Warden

I commend her bravery for getting as far as she did. This story brought back memories of when I was little (older than A of course) and was still NOT cool with S.C....

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElaine A.

I don't know if I should laugh with you or sob with you. You are laughing, right?

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna

Wait 'til Easter ... I have an Easter Bunny pic that ran in the paper last year that would make Alexis RUN into Santa's arms for protection. Heck, it creeped ME out, and that's hard to do!

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThree

Dude, I totally saw that one coming. That guy has ALWAYS creeped me out.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMamaGeek @ Works For Us

You got to stand in line? Lucky you. We spent two years (when she was 2 and 3) saying Santa will leave the presents on the porch. She was totally freaked out that HE WOULD COME IN THE HOUSE. Creepy crawly I guess.

Last year, she went to see Santa at the Mall--with the neighbor and their granddaughter. I got me a pic of it, but I wasn't there.

She's still totally skeeved by the guy--if he's at the Mall when we are, she's stuck to my leg like some bizarre tumor and any movement made towards getting in the line is met with violence.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermumple

I don't think my kids will EVER sit on the fat man's lap. My son swore this year that he would, but when push came to shove, he bailed.

Sounds like my trip to see Santa. Ally completely fell apart once she had to sit on his lap. Oh well. There's always next year, right?!?!

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwright

@wright--Only if she forces me. I wouldn't have taken her this year if she hadn't nearly eaten my face off trying to convince me she NEEDED to see Santa.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBurgh Baby

Lol! Santa can be really creepy, especially for wee ones.

I think it's insanely cute that she wanted to ask him to go to a Pens game!

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKacie

Aw, I think she did great getting that far. Even I'm a bit creeped out by those Santas.

I'm with you on choosing the photo packages before the deed. Drives me bonkers.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMomisodes

Too cute! Just when I get the youngest to not be afraid anymore, the oldest has decided she doesn't want to take pics with Santa anymore. Luckily I pay her cell phone bill and she smiled real nice ;-)

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Stop the presses. STOP. You bought it???? You promised you wouldn't give in!!

On another note... we don't go visit Santa.

You've just explained why.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCC

Haha that was funny! It is sad that she freaked out, but funny how YOU KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN! :)

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHey it's Amy Shipp

PS - hawt picture, man. Really a good one. I'm impressed.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrannyhead

I always think of that movie with Angelina's ex-husband when I think of mall Santa. You know - the kind who keeps a flask in his boot.

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrannyhead

Santa is a scary dude! Little Bear is 5 and she's still scared of the mall Santa! wanting to get a picture of Little Bear on Santa's lap, Diana tried telling her, "Thats not the REAL Santa. He's just a helpr for Santa. The REAL Santa is at the North Pole!"
Poor Little Bear replied, "Even worse!!!"

December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicki

It amazes me that poor old mall Santas still have so much business with all the little ones who are so afraid of him. I'm surprised that some freaked out social worker hasn't decided it's child abuse and had them banned!

God for you for not making her get up there anyway. I hate seeing that. No matter how funny the pictures turn out.

December 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamama T

She's absolutely gorgeous in the photo you've used with this post. I bet you use the word 'angelic' all the time?

December 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Caroline FB

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