We have 11 days until Christmas. Every year I say I'm going to be prepared way in advance. Each year, I lie. I'm setting a goal to start in July next year..... I'll let you know how that goes.
So we took the little tykes to see Santa at Bass Pro Shop last week. This was Cullen's very first Santa visit. I wasn't sure how he was going to handle it. You know, the whole strange man with a fluffy beard and large belly handing out candy? Kinda freaky if you think about it. Not to mention exactly what we tell our children to stay away from. We waited patiently for our turn (thankfully we were 3rd in line) and then we walked up to the Jolly ole' guy. Okay, this Santa was amazing! I'm talking real beard with the little turned up mustache. Rosy cheeks, gleam in his eye. His belly shook like a bowl full of jelly.. whole 9 yards.
Slaten jogged up and jumped right into his lap. I held sweet little Cullen and walked him up to old Saint Nick. He reached out his hands and Cullen dug his tiny, razor sharp fingernails into my arms. His eyes widened in horror as he realized I was about to hand him to this strange man who was dressed like an over sized pin cushion. His mouth opened wide in a state of utter shock. I could practically feel the fear radiate off of him as he climbed up my body, searching behind me for a soul to help him escape. I cooed to him in my soft momma voice that this was Santa Claus. The most beloved man among children! I pried his baby gorilla grip from my arms and handed him to Santa. He whimpered and started to cry. I moved to the side so the photographer could snap a picture of my two beautiful children on the lap of Kris Kringle. A photo I could treasure for the rest of my life. One I could pull out for years to come and show future wives and future grandchildren.
Thinking quickly Santa handed Cullen a couple of candy canes. This stopped the tears, but the look of betrayal was still on Cullen's face as he glanced at me and then back at the stranger passing out candy. The photographer in her Elf hat began to shake some bells drawing the attention away from Santa for a moment and to the camera. Cullen didn't smile, but at least he stopped shaking in terror. She snapped the shot and I bolted forward to grab my baby. I returned his death grip hug and explained that mommy would never leave him with a strange man who smells like peppermint. Despite my worrying the picture turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Just the tiniest lip poke was all Cullen did. I label this year's Santa visit a success!