Saturday, March 30, 2013

Repost: Visit to Santa: Done! Now what?

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.


Dec. 22, 2010

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how ambivalent I was about introducing my toddler daughter to all the Santa Claus hoopla.

Well, we did it. She visited Santa. What an experience. I told my husband as we walked out of Mall at Millenia that it may have been one of the weirdest experiences of my adult life.

There we were: Parents, grandparents and guardians, all willing to stand in line for more than two hours just to advance a fiction -- and to pay for the privilege!

Did I say that I *was* ambivalent? Yeah, I'm *still* ambivalent.

It was a nightmare. All those kids and all that pent-up energy, just for a couple of minutes with a guy in a funny costume.

Did I mention the kids and their energy? Quite a few parents gave up trying to get their kids to behave and let them run around, screeching. At the beginning of the line, the dad in front of us had two well-dressed daughters with combed and styled hair. By the time Santa got to them, those girls had tossed their matching sweaters to their father and looked as though they'd run a marathon and then rolled around in a sandpit.

At one point, I was sorely tempted to chat with some of the screeching kids about the odds that an elderly, overweight man whose red cheeks and nose scream "congestive heart failure" would have the stamina to visit every child in the world on just one night.

But I didn't. Instead, I sucked it up and tried to keep smiling. When my daughter pointed and laughed at some of the brightly-colored decorations, I smiled. I smiled while making small talk with the other parents. When my daughter got fussy, I smiled. When Santa had to take a bathroom break just before getting to us, I smiled. When my daughter fell asleep just before it was our turn and I had to wake her for her moment in the spotlight, I smiled.

We did it, though. And we might go back next year. We'll see.

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