The Most Wonderful Time...of the Year

We went to see Santa. Karlyn's almost four but better late than never right?

It was. A disaster.

I got there early to get us a "fast pass" so we could return later that afternoon to see the jolly red man. I was slightly frustrated trying to get us out the door; toddler's love to stand still while you dress them. Also, how much longer can I call her a toddler?

The line wasn't bad at all and soon enough it was almost our turn. One of Santa's helpers suddenly goes, "OK, here's what's gonna happen. Santa's gotta take a break."

OK. That's fine...bummer, but we'll walk around for 15 minutes. We stayed in line though because I wasn't sure if she had the final say. Sure enough the family in front of us got to go. Let me pause here to say that Santa was looking totally checked out. Like, I've been sitting here for four hours checked out. No smiles. Nothing. As soon as Karlyn realized we were up next she did the thing that all kids do when they've spontaneously decided to revolt and their body becomes immovable. "I don't want to do this! Nooooo!" Ryan tried to tell her that we would walk up there with her. I had my real camera and iPhone poised for the perfect shot. I wish I could tell you exactly what happened over the next 60 seconds but it was a blur. Santa quickly assessed the situation and got up to stand behind his chair so that one of us could sit in the chair with Karlyn. Weird? A little. The official "free pic" was her sitting still in Ryan's lap looking forlorn. I could feel myself getting tense. Frustrated. Perturbed. Karlyn took a flying leap.

Christmas Card 2014?

Our turn was over. And I was fuming. Santa handed Kar a candy cane.

I was not a happy mom. All I wanted was one good picture. A cute one, of my precious adorable child sitting sweetly in Santa's lap. "Karlyn, what were you doing?! Why didn't you just tell us that you didn't want to see him? Ugh. You ruined today."

Ya'll. I'm not gonna lie. That's what I said. :-( I told my child that she ruined the day because she didn't want to sit on Santa's lap for a good photo op. My heart was/is so ugly! And while I wish I could blame my reaction on hormones settling into place, I get frustrated too easily over dumb things. I was mortified afterwards over the way I'd acted.

She didn't ruin the day. I did. I tried to rationalize it by saying I had gone to all the effort blah blah blah but the truth is lots of kids have the exact same reaction to Santa as she did that day and it's no. big. deal. Karlyn was just being a kid who needed a nap. I tried to at least eek out a few pictures before we left but my attitude and her willingness were no match for each other.

Christmas Card option #2

I love this girl to pieces and I apologized over and over. Why the heck did I feel SO much pressure to get a good picture? Pinterest? (we blame everything on it) Because that's what good moms do? It's a picture. And one I had placed far too much importance on. I felt so bad because then she kept saying things like, "I'm sorry I frustrated you. I don't want to ruin your day."

Knife stab to the heart.

We came home, and she and Ryan napped. We girded up our loins - ha - and ventured out again for some dinner and Christmas shopping. I told my mom the story and then texted her later asking if I had scarred my child for life by telling her that she'd ruined the day. And that's what moms are for...to dust you off and tell you no, you haven't. You're a good mom and your daughter loves you and hey guess what, I've messed up too. 

I always want to be honest and never want to give the impression that I have all my stuff together, because I don't. I mess up and have to ask Karlyn to forgive me. And that is something I am truly grateful to have seen modeled by my own parents. They were never too proud to say I'm sorry, will you forgive me?

Oh. And today? Karlyn told us that who but Santa decided to visit her school. And she sat on his lap and told him what she wanted. (Barbie and Elsa doll)

All's well that ends well right? Plus that first picture? hilarious.

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