Thursday, December 24, 2009

Turkey Tribulations and Other Obstacles, Part I

I just don't get it. Turkeys and I haven't been getting along lately.

Originally, I was going to roast my turkey yesterday, thereby freeing up today and tomorrow with a leftover love-fest. Things naturally got in the way, including a desperate attempt to get Kryptonite's (now known as "Her Nibs") picture with Santa for her first Christmas.

Let's visit that problem for a minute (or several). My older kids are/were pretty much afraid of Santa, so the only pictures I have with him are their very first Christmases. Oh, wait. Not true. When Mighty B. and Precious Daughter were one and three respectively, we did get a Santa picture. They wouldn't sit on his lap, choosing instead to sit on the bench in front of his chair.

Anyway, being the youngest of three kids, I acutely feel the lack of pictures documenting my babyhood. My eldest sister was photographed every thirty seconds or so. When my sister, V, arrived, our parents came to their senses and took photos every few days. By the time I came along, my parents had their hands full with three children under four, and I was lucky if they remembered to bring the camera for special occasions.

Well, Her Nibs is the youngest, and she's already suffering the pains of youngest-sibling syndrome. Her baby book has little more than her footprints (B also shares this particular neglect), and if it weren't for the extended family present at Her Nibs' baptism, I'd have no photographs at all.

Getting that first-Christmas photo with Santa is a downright need, damnit.

I went to the dreaded mall, where they have what may be the best-looking Santa on the east coast. Her Nibs and I arrived at roughly 10:30. Santa isn't scheduled to arrive until 11:00, and, dagnabbit, I have to pick up the kids from school at noon. Oh well. Precious Daughter needs something dressy for Christmas Eve mass anyway (she's singing with the choir), so I take care of that instead.

(Oh. I'm picking them up because the school district, in its infinite greed and stupidity, decided that they weren't going to give the parochial schools buses for more than four early dismissals. What kind of crap is that? This *[censored]* school collects thousands of tax dollars from us every year, and they can't give my kids a bus ride? I suspect my kids' ride to school doesn't cost them that much every year. What are they doing with the change?)

Five years ago, when I last endured this nonsense, they used to take your name and dish out those clunky pager things like they use at popular restaurants. It was terrific. You could wander the mall and shop, get a snack, whatever, until it was close to your turn. When your pager went off, you returned to Santa and joined the line for only a fifteen- to twenty-minute wait. Not bad, really. It was just enough time to clean the spots off the kids' clothes and faces, change diapers, and comb their hair.

I returned to the mall at 3:30, got in line, and learned that THIS year, there are no pagers. The mall decided that they weren't going to waste money on a new set of pagers for their patrons, so if you wanted to see Santa, you got in line and waited. And waited. And waited. Waiting instead of mall-crawling and spending money in their stores. (I wonder how much money they lost in sales revenue over a $2,500 batch of pagers? I hope it's ten times that.) Her Nibs was as good as gold. She'd been wearing her itchy Christmas clothes since 9:30 that morning, and she didn't complain a bit. She sat in that stroller for the better part of an hour before getting squirmy and cranky, and once I picked her up she was as happy as a clam. Being held and having her butt kissed is Her Nibs' favorite thing to do.
At 5:00, I surrender. I've moved maybe thirty feet in line, and according to the order-taking lady, I'm still an hour from Santa's lap. The Oracle's train, running ten minutes late, is scheduled to arrive at 5:30, and it's going to take at least that long to get to the car and out of the mall parking lot. I reluctantly leave the line. Her Nibs, once again strapped into the stroller, starts squawking.

The Oracle texts that he's now on a later train. Drat. I could've stayed in line and perhaps gotten the picture after all, but it's too late. I'm too far away to go back and reclaim my spot in line (my line neighbors may have allowed that). Instead, I remembered that my FIL asked me to pick up a pair of gloves for my MIL, and I handled that instead. I also took a quick peek around at the kids' clothes, because Precious Daughter decided she did not like what I picked for her to wear, and the only stuff I'm finding is gorgeous but horribly overpriced. At this stage of the Christmas season, I'm suffering a serious case of The Cheaps. The dress is gorgeous and even has a matching dress for her American Girl, but the bugger is on sale for $60, and I'm not spending that on a one- or two-time wear.

I pick up the Oracle and relieve my in-laws. While I was gone, my FIL did my dishes and straightened up my front and back porches. He saved me a buttload of work, and I'm thankful. It makes me feel guilty, too. Isn't it enough that he's here keeping my kids from killing one another, and he does housework too?

I whine about my day to The Oracle, and I half beg him to go to the local overpriced nursery to see their Santa. This Santa is free, too. You take your own picture. All of my pictures, despite the red-eye setting, come up with red-eye anyway, but it's better than nothing. I must get a Santa picture for Her Nibs' first Christmas.

We stuff our guts at Bob Evans (love that pot roast sandwich!) for dinner and head over to the nursery. The place is gorgeous. Every year their decorations are mind-blowingly (is that a word?) beautiful, and they also have a small nativity set up in their outdoor section with live animals. (This year, Mary and Joseph were conspicuously absent from theHer Nibs was enthralled. She loved all the twinkling lights and the fountains and shiny ornaments. (Ah, yes. Part of this trip's purpose was to find a Baby's First Christmas ornament as well as a stocking for Her Nibs.) The Oracle gets in line with Her Nibs and waits while the older two and I go poking about the store.

Our shopping efforts didn't yield much, but the Oracle called a short while later to let us know it was almost our turn for Santa. Over all it was quick and painless, and PD and B joined the picture.


Rustys Mom said...

You must have hit the big time. You've been comment spammed. I hate that...E

Coffee Bean said...

Oh my!!! I can't believe they used pagers for the Santa line and then... didn't. Wow. Your story made me laugh though. Sorry. The little one days seem to go on forever when you are in them but... they don't. I promise. LOL!

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!