Hands up if you have ever taken your kids to visit Santa, walked away with an enormous smile on your face and thinking that was the most wonderful experience ever? Well good on you, I'm actually happy for you and hate you at the same time. I would also appreciate your secret in what I'm doing wrong.
Every single year my brain decides to wait until the busiest time of the season to take my children to see Santa, one of which hates him. I dress the kids up and we spend the entire car trip talking about how wonderful he is and how he's not scary and no one needs to cry otherwise you can't ask him what you want. What am I saying?
We then arrive and I can barely see Santa's little fort before the three hundred people lining up in front of me. "When can we see Santa?" "I want to get a drink." Here we go!
We shuffle forward two steps per ten minutes and Santa is in sight. Right it's time for the pep talk. "Now remember to say please when you ask for something you want for Christmas (because I don't want all the elves working there and parents in the line judging me on my feral children) and smile nicely for the camera."
Here comes the elf with the giant board of photo packages. "I'll have the most expensive one please because I am a sucker for a rip off" (well I think that anyway).
We are two people away. I'm about to snap and have pretty much promised no treats or TV when we get home, which I will definitely forget about later on. The little girl in front starts crying and doesn't want to sit on Santa's lap. Don't look at Eva. An arm wraps tightly around my leg and I glare at the screaming child. She has ruined us, thanks a lot!
Now I have the screaming child while Jack chats away about the list of things he would like and one thousand questions about the North Pole. One awkward 'you need to hurry up' conversation by the elf, which I'm about to smash in the face and I kick into desperate mode. "If you sit on Santa's lap and smile, I will get you the biggest ice cream or doughnut after we have finished. You can ask Santa's for two presents. If you don't smile right now I'm cancelling Christmas!"
The shame. I'm completely disgusted with myself. Did I really just completely embarrass myself and say all those things? Did I spend a whole year telling my kids to not take any treats from strangers to only bribe them with treats to sit on a strange old man's lap? What the hell is wrong with me? I'm a complete lunatic.
"Good job kids, let's go get an ice cream and do this all again next year."