Sunday, November 29, 2009

Five seconds of terror

It was my brilliant idea to arrive at the mall when it opened this morning for a quick sit on Santa's lap. In keeping with tradition, DH grumbled Is it really necessary that Bean sees Santa every year? yet insisted that he come with us when I informed him ever-so-politely that YES, according to the "Appearances are Everything: How to Look Like a Good Parent" manual, it is absolutely necessary -- which means busy weekends are our only option to see the jolly fellow, and I figured that early in the day, early in the season would yield the shortest wait.

Sadly, I neglected to look up what time Santa arrives at our mall, which happens to be a full hour after the stores open. I obviously failed to allow the extra time needed for him to check his list (twice) and pop a handful of Imitrex. We managed to keep Bean busy during that wait, with help from the play area and countless kiosks scattered between the stores, waiting to suck away your hard-earned dollars for 45 seconds of your child's happiness. (You want your child to be happy, don't you? DON'T YOU?) We are fortunate that Bean has not yet figured out that the little merry-go-round toys actually move when you put money in them, as for now he is content to turn the steering wheel and provide his own sound effects. Beep beep.

After surviving the first hour of chasing Bean around the mall and protecting our wallets from the siren call of those crane grab-a-toy games, we got in line. After a 15-minute delay by the big man (which earned us a free print), they finally allowed the first kid to sit down. After another excruciating 45 minutes of waiting, during which my Bean's nap time grew dangerously closer, it was finally our turn. We warned the attendant (who I believe works at the local Circle K during the elf off-season) that we have a screamer. He responded that we would do a "drop and snap," which is apparently a highly technical term in the business of Santa photography.

We plopped Bean in Santa's lap and bolted out of the scene, without so much as adjusting the poor kid's pantlegs. They took the picture immediately and we scooped him back up. It's truly inspiring how quickly toddlers can escalate from mild apprehension to horrified wailing. That being the case, DH and I were actually shocked at how (relatively) calm Bean looks in the picture, as had the photographer pushed the button even one second later, we would have captured trauma level at least equal to the Easter Bunny Incident of earlier this year.


DH may question how subjecting my child to his darkest fears (Mommy, where are you going? And why are you running?) constitutes good parenting.

It. Just. Does.

I'm pretty sure one day, Bean is going to thank me. Or something like that. Right?

Anyway, fortunately the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend wasn't nearly as traumatizing for any of us. In fact, it was downright lovely. It didn't escape me how much we have to be thankful for this year. It also didn't escape me that next year, we will have a two-and-a-half-year-old Bean and seven-month-old Twinklets. I will likely not have slept more than 2 hours at a time in least eight months; I will look absolutely haggard (as my optometrist put it) with a tenuous grasp on sanity. If any grasp at all.

Although I know I will have even more to be grateful for in 2010... I think I'll hang on to this Thanksgiving just a liiiiittle bit longer, if you don't mind.


Photobucket

21 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Definitely a picture worth showing his girlfriend when he's 25.

Kate said...

Improvement from the Easter Bunny Incident! His eyes are open with Santa!! DH and I laughed out loud at this one. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Michelle said...

Aww definitely better then the Easter incident. Good thing they were fast on the trigger. I definitely think it is a must and worth it. Next year should be interesting.

Mary said...

lol @ drop and snap, I may ask for that this year when we go!!!!!

Next year you'll be thankful that you are through the toughest part of newborn twinfants and looking forward to lots of sleep in the future!

Loved the belly pics btw!

K said...

LOL that one made me giggle, the drop and snap, I love how they didn't seem to flinch when you told them and had a ready phrase for what they do in incidents just like this. I love the pic and i'm sure he'll appreciate it when he's older :)

lisawitt said...

omg, not funny for bean, but that pic is priceless! glad yall had a god thanksgiving!

IF Optimist, then... said...

I completely dig this picture of bean. The drop and snap is awesome and I actually love the creepy easter bunny with glasses photo too. He will get you back one day Sunny...you'll rue the day. ;-)

So awesome that you had a great Thanksgiving. I think 2010 will be quite an interesting year for us all.

Coffeegrl said...

I am also thankful that Sophie hasn't figured out that those machines actually move if you put money in them - hours of free entertainment!

Santa was late here on Sunday too. We were meeting a friend at the mall and thought we'd head home, but since Santa was scheduled to arrive at 11:00 (in 5 more min.) we thought we'd wait. At 11:30 he still hadn't shown up. Santa's on strike?

I love that "Drop and Snap" is some magical Christmas elf term!! Reminds me of Elle's "bend and snap" from Legally Blonde.

Jen said...

I LOVE it!!! This is definitely a keeper for future show n tell. I plan to do the same with Jillian very shortly although I've contemplated a day off mid-week to avoid the crowds. Or perhaps I'll just send Jeramy with her.

Red said...

I think that is the kind of photo my Mum wanted me to get of Champ, she specifically requested a screaming toddler photo. It is a right of passage as a parent. It does mean you are doing the right thing! :)

Alo, yes, our Santa photo was at Westfield, hence the watermark on our photo. Small world, for multinational corporations! ;)

OppositeOfOops said...

Bean may not thank you one day ... but in about 15 years, his girlfriend will.

gerardinebaugh said...

Yes! This is in the parenting manual! It’s in mine. Every year I got the screaming picture, and later as the kids get older they do think they are cute. They drove mom and dad crazy screaming… But look I sat on Santa’s lap. They remember every Santa with bad breath…:-)The last year they will sit is the hardest one. You will hear “I am too old for Santa!” breaks my heart.

Martha said...

I love this picture, Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing Bean's adorableness. OMG!! Love it!!
Thanks also for your nice comment, I so appreciate it.

Furrow said...

Last year I respected Zo's fears. This year, we're going for the drop and snap. Priceless.

Nicky said...

Glad you got the photo! Apparently, torturing your child for 5 seconds still makes you a better parent than the totally neglectful ones who DON'T attempt the photo with Santa. We skipped it last year, and you would not believe the number of people who told us that we were bad, mean parents for not bringing LL to see Santa.

It didn't seem to matter that we skipped it not because LL would be scared, but because we're Jewish. Still neglectful, apparently. :)

Hollyween said...

Dear headless 'C',
While I enjoyed your headless belly shots shown below, I can't believe you subjected your poor innocent child to that ever so jolly Santa Claus! You are going to ruin Christmas for that poor child, I swear it.

But hey... I loved it anyway.

Foster Family Blog said...

Too funny! You describe the incident SO perfectly, as if I was living through it myself . . . oh wait, Audrey did the same thing!

Allison said...

Okay, that is a really good looking Santa. That sounded weird. What I mean is, that Santa looks real!

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Shelley said...

I LOVE the picture. It cracks me up. The poor kid - you can just see that he's just about to lose it!

Kate said...

My DH recommended that I send this link to you: http://www.sketchysantas.com/
:)