Dinks has been wanting to see Santa for the past two weeks. Actually, it's been since she saw him on TV at the Channel 6 / Boscov's Thanksgiving parade. Is it just me or did Santa look like he wasn't going to make it up the Art Museum steps? All I hear is, "We take ride and go see (with much jubilation in her voice) Santa!"
Wait, let's back this up a few years.
The first time Dinks saw Santa she was 22 hours old. She was still all cross-eyed and finger fumbly so she probably figured him as a giant piece of fuzz.
The next time was a year later at a pancake breakfast at church. It was a "Breakfast with Santa" thing. The food was ... okay. It was your all-American three-stack-high flapjacks with artificial maple-flavored syrup. And three sausages! ... can't forget those. Dinks managed a few bites of pancake when Santa rolled in. Santa looked like he tied one on the night before. He was cordial but a bit, shall we say, wobbly. Then the kids got the chance to line up for the traditional sit-upon and picture. My mom carried Dinks while I walked up to Santa first to show her there was nothing wrong. I didn't even get within two feet of him when the baby started shouting bloody murder, "MAAA-MAAAA!!" My mom tried to walk closer to Santa but the baby thrashed like a freshly caught swordfish. I told my mom to quickly abandon the plan and that was that.
Last year was much of the same. She saw Santa and ran, I mean took off, in the opposite direction. No screaming, no crying, just beating feet. She wanted nothing to do with him. Geo and I played "dodge shopper" as we went weaving through Oxford Valley Mall's crowd to get our child back from her marathon take-off. I was starting to think "Maybe I should have Dinks picture taken with the reindeer instead."
So this year, I got myself a plan.
"Oh ... hi, honey. What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I mean, can't I just call for no reason what-so-ever?"
"No, you don't."
"Ahhh, good point."
"So what's wrong?"
"Nothing! Sheesh. Well, I do have a favor."
"I have to go to a meeting after work on Wednesday. Can you and Dad watch the baby for me? I wouldn't be able to take her to school since I wouldn't be able to pick her up on time."
"Sure! We'd love to have the baby."
Dad (in the background): "I don't want that little creep here. She eats all of my chocolate!"
Me: "Tell Dad he's not even allowed to have chocolate."
Mom (with phone speaker away from her mouth): "Your daughter told me to tell you you aren't even allowed to have chocolate."
Dad (still in the background): "Tell my daughter I think she's a creep, too."
Mom: "Your Dad called you a creep."
Me: "I see. Well, can you?"
Mom: "Sure, we'd love to."
Me: (with evil grin) "You can even take her to see Santa!"
Mom: "Are you sure you want us to take her?"
(there was a reason why Mom asked this one)
"And she wants to see him?"
So it was done. Mom and Dad were taking the little princess to see her jolly nemesis. That was one thing off my parental obligation list for the holiday season.
Mom was leary at first because of an incident ten years ago.
My mom and my Nan took my niece to see Santa. It wasn't completely intentional. My Mom, my Nan, and my niece were all at the Neshaminy Mall. My niece was two years old and she actually liked Santa for her age. When she saw Santa, she begged to go sit with him. Well, my mom was stand-offish but my Nan, the Battle Axe, told my mom not to worry that SHE would accept responsibility if anything happened. This would also be a good time to point out that my Nan was suffering from the first signs of dimentia. So, Mom had the Santa picture done.
When my sister-in-law picked up my niece, she was presented with the picture from a smiling Battle axe. My.sister-in-law.went.through.the.roof. She was positively livid! She damn near cancelled Christmas dinner at her house because of it. My mom was in tears. Battle Axe kept saying to my mom, "Don't worry, she'll calm down. She'll come to her damn senses. Why, I remember the time when ..." and she'd go off on some memory tangent. man, she did that a lot. I, personally, didn't see what was wrong with my mom having the picture done. Come to find out that some parents are a wee bit possessive over the "sitting with Santa" thing.
I'm not. If they want to take her that's fine with me! Besides, they're old. They'll get a kick out of taking her.