Baby steps. That's how my girls work. Baby steps.
Last year, we had been a family for a mere month and we thought we knew it all. We hadn't planned on forcing the girls to meet Santa last year but thought, well, it might be worth a try. We dressed the girls all cute-like (red and green and all that jazz) and headed to the mall. Lo and behold, the big guy was there. He sat upon his velvet throne so mighty and cheerful. We thought, yeah, we can do this. I mean, there wasn't one screaming and crying kid in a two mile radius! He had NO ONE in line! It was surely meant to be!
OK, so we stepped closer, and closer, and closer. One step too far and Laney violently shook her head no. I'm pretty sure the little voice in her head was shouting in Mandarin, "BOO YAH!" (This is the phrase our guide in Ch*na told us to say to get the vendors to take us seriously and leave us alone) Ok, ok, so we didn't push our luck. Santa was nice enough to come over to the little fence and give our girls high fives. They were cool with that. Santa was neat...as long as he is inside that fence. (Kinda like we view tigers)
Fast forward to this year. This has been the best Christmas ever! (If you don't count the year I got my 10-speed bike). The girls have been such fun. They GET it! They understand the concept of Santa, the reindeer, the presents, etc. Well, as much as a near three year old can understand.
So this year, we have been building it up. We started talking early on about sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what you want. Sweet Abby just kept saying, "No, I can't like Santa!" She meant that she doesn't like Santa. No chance her cute little hiney was touchin' his soft red pants. Laney just sat the fence. One time she said she'd be brave and sit there, and another time she'd say "NO WAY" (The 2008 verson of Boo Yah)
Well, we got up bright and early on Saturday morning and got the girls ready in their red and green gear. They opted for lunch first, but I think they were stalling. So we ate and then headed to the mall. Third in line!!! Can you believe our luck? Santa just got back from lunch (carrying a slurpee nonetheless) so we were early in the "we're skipping our nap for this" frenzy. Life was good. The girls were good. They thought Santa looked neat. Awesome!
One family done. Only one more between us and Santa. (Holy cow I'm channeling Ralphie on Christmas Story) Well, we stepped up to the same metal fence from the year before and anticipation built. I was settling last minute picture package details (I KNOW--20 bucks for WHAT? Memories? Oh, yeah. I forgot) when all of a sudden an adorable little child started to cry somewhere. What? That's MY adorable little child? My brave little Laney started sobbing at my feet. No time for tears sister! We're NEXT! Dry it up! :)
We trucked past that little gate with two girls crying and saying, "NO SANTA!" Thank the Lord Santa was as sweet and patient as the stories make him out to be. He immediately pulled out two coloring books and talked so sweetly. The girls immediately calmed down. While a line of tired parents and impatient children began to grow, we tried to convince the girls to sit on this nice stranger's lap. The young perky photo girls immediatly piped up and said they had some stools the girls could sit on so they coulld be "near" Santa without sitting on his lap. We all happily agreed.
This, my friends is our best shot.
So, we're making strides. Last year, high fives outside the fence. This year, inside the fence and on stools near Santa. Who knows, maybe by next year the girls will text Santa while sitting right there on his lap!
Memories, my family, memories. I wouldn't trade one second of that experience!