Friday, January 05, 2007

The Pink Pig and Santa Claus

Everyone has holiday traditions. My favorites are the Loser party-- which I will get to in another post-- and going to see Santa and the Pink Pig with the kids.

Every year I have taken the kids to see Santa. And except for the first year when Carmella was 10 months old and I went alone I have gone with Dee Dee and her kids. Sometimes others go with us: Lala, Bubbles, Tara and Chase, Stacie and the girls etc.

Going to see Santa is always an exhausting experience for which Dee Dee and I reward ourselves with a long and leisurely lunch afterwards-- a lunch where we share a bottle-- or 2-- of wine and turn a blind eye to the shenanigans of our wild bunch. And yes, on that day we are one of those mothers who let their kids do whatever. And yes, it is partly because the wine makes us not give a damn what anyone else thinks but we are also too tired at that point to reprimand. And since we lunch so late the only people who are bothered are the servers-- who are generously compensated with a big tip for their patience. At the very least, we have yet to be asked to leave a restaurant. And, that is something.

However, Dee Dee and I did not share a bottle wine the first year we went together. Carmella was 20 months old and Max 2.
I remember Dee Dee's crest fallen face when I said I would have to pass on the wine. I was newly preggers and keeping my secret. I was surprised she didn't call me out right then but she just seemed mildly annoyed that we couldn't be festive and didn't press for a reason.
Carmella did not sit on Santa's lap that year. Sure she talked a big ole talk about sitting on Santa's lap but when sit came to lap she melted. She even cried hysterically when Max lapped it up with Santa.
This was also the only year that we went to North Point Mall so it is just as well that I didn't get a picture.
See, then my Santa's would not have matched.
For Carmella's first year--when I did get a picture-- and for subsequent years when I did too we went to see the Lenox Santa.
And it was just this year--5 Lenox Santa pictures later-- that Ryan asked me: Did you know that Santa is the same in all these pictures?
Did I know?
Honey, I planned it that way.

The hardest year . . . okay, wait, let me make that the most humiliating year was the next year when Carmella was almost 3 and Beau was 4 months old.
Dee Dee and I went to Lenox and Tara and Chase joined us that year.
This was also the year Rich's, now Macy's, reintroduced the Pink Pig.
But most importantly it was the year that I bought matching Christmas outfits for my kids and was the year that Carmella completely wigged out about Santa and a homeless lady in the mall screamed at me that I was a horrible, neglectful and uncaring mother who did not deserve to have children. That last part might be true, but tell me this?
Tell me.
Does this look like a picture of a neglected child? Beau? Maybe. Carmella, no way.
For the record I did not make Carmella have her picture taken--just Beau. She was screaming, clutching the railing because she was just that close to Santa and was also petrified for Beau. At that age she was very dramatic and I just pretty much chose to ignore it rather than pander to it. And that made me a horrible mother in that crazy lady's mind. Whatever.
And Beau? For the record? Was thrilled to sit on Santa's lap. But then again, Beau at 4 months of age was thrilled with everything. I mean, I was actually a bit worried because I didn't think it was normal for a baby to be that happy all the time about everything. I even brought it up at his 6 month appointment.
How I miss those days . . .

So I didn't get a picture of Carmella and Santa that year either. Just Beau. Which I think is okay since Carmella's first Santa picture was solo and they had the same set for Beau's solo picture. See how it worked out perfectly for my Santa picture menagerie that the sets match for when I had a solo kid picture vs the 2 kid pictures? Yeah, I know that probably only makes sense to me.
The next year was understandably less eventful and I really wish that the crazy mall lady could have been there to see how Carmella calmly and willing climbed into Santa's lap and told him every thing she wanted and gave him a picture and hugged him. But she wasn't there. And here is the proof positive of that event: Okay, so I will admit that Beau-- who was 16 months-- was a little freaked out but a few tears isn't even worth mentioning next to the Santa antics of Carmella that I had endured in past.
And here are some pictures of the next year when both kids smiled cheerfully on Santa's lap:

I think the easiest Santa expedition was this year by far. It was just Dee Dee and the kids and I.

And while the kids are still like a pack of indians when they are together, Dee Dee and I waxed hopeful over our bottle of wine that in just 10 short years the kids--at least Max and Carmella-- will be able to drive us home from the Santa trip and we will be able to get justifiably tipsy. They will still want to see Santa and ride the Pink Pig at that age, right?

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