I woke up feeling particularly brave and optimistic.
I made a proper breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausages and bread. Ace ate all and Jay ate most of a pancake.
We were off to a good start.
I asked the boys if they would like to go and take pictures with Santa. Even saying the words out loud felt crazy to me. What was I thinking? The mall would be so crowded. The line would be impossibly long. In my last post I wrote about being happy that I was done with the mall. And I was. But that morning I felt like we could do it. Plus I had something to return to H&M. Not that there was any rush to return it but just maybe I could pull this off.
Ace said an enthusiastic YES and Jay said an enthusiastic NO.
Never-the-less I took clothes out for them and I got myself showered and dressed. Jay didn’t complain as he changed his clothes and even went and got his Santa hat.
This is good!
I was feeling better about what the outcome would be by the minute.
We made it to the mall and Jay asked for a soft zebra.
I brushed him off saying we just needed to take pictures with Santa.
We joined what was a surprisingly short line – About 6 families in front of us – Only to realize Santa was not there. He was on BREAK!!!!
Now this is NOT good.
The lady in front of us said it would be a fifteen minute break. OK I thought, we can do this. I think.
Fortunately for us we were standing right beside a column that was climb-able. The kids were having fun climbing. I don’t know if it’s allowed but no-one asked them to get down so great.
Fifteen minutes later, there was still no Santa.
Then I heard that it was not a 15 minute break after all; he was on his ONE HOUR lunch break.
Holy crap. I mean holy milk and cookies. ONE WHOLE HOUR of doing nothing but standing in one place.
We had already been there for 20 minutes and the kids were holding it together so even though I definitely thought of bailing on the picture, I decided to stay put.
Another 15 minutes goes by and the kids are starting to get antsy now. Jay is complaining that he wants a soft zebra and that he’s hungry and thirsty. Ace is “sooo bored“.
I see that there’s an Auntie Annies pretzel stall right beside where we are. I ask the family behind us if they can hold my spot while I went to get a pretzel. They said yes. We went and each kid got a container of sugar/cinnamom pretzel sticks and a cup of lemonade. I’m not at all sure if this is a good idea but even with the ridiculous $14 price tag, it was worth a try.
The pretzel sticks bought us some more time.
Then another kid spilled a cup full of chocolate milk in front of us. That amused my boys.
Jay found a container of chewing gum in my bag and entertained himself with that for a few minutes.
Ace once again began to complain that he was bored and Jay started yelling that Santa wasn’t coming and we should go. I looked at my watch and there was 5 minutes to go. I wasn’t gonna quit now. We had waited all this time. I came up with a countdown game for Ace and started pointing out all the animally stuff that I saw around the mall. Thankfully there were lots of Paw Patrol signs around. Jay liked the one of the Paw Patrol guys with candy canes in their mouths.
Then wouldn’t you know it, Santa came back and the line began to move. As we inched closer to the front, I looked up and began to see that pretty much ALL the kids in the line were losing their patience. I had been so worried about mine and thinking that maybe we should have left so as not to disturb all the other families whose little ones were being good and quiet. That wasn’t at all the case. Not that any of them were being bad; they were all being kids who had been forced to stand in 1 spot for over an hour.
One lady commented to me that my boys are SO good. She even went as far as to say she wished hers would behave like mine. Mine?!?! I’d used every trick I know to hopefully make this work. Then she pointed to her little one (about 3 years old) who had moved up the line and was standing with another family and harassing their little girl. She called him over and eventually had to excuse her way through the tight space to get him. I saw another girl banging on the side of a stroller that belonged to a different family. One boy kept unhooking the rope partitions that help to form the lines. The family in front of us had what looked to be a 1 year old. He had been happy all along and then promptly fell asleep when it was their turn. They tried to wake him up for the picture but all he did was cry.
When it was our turn, they BOTH gave Santa hi-fives and when he asked what they wanted for Christmas, Ace rattled off his list of Power Rangers and Lego Chima and Hot Wheels stuff while Jay simply said he wanted a soft zebra. They BOTH hugged Santa goodbye. My boys really had done an awesome job and we ended up with this picture.
I never did return my item at H&M. After I paid for the picture we high-tailed it outta there and went for a late pizza lunch and then home to relax. You gotta know how to quit when you’re ahead.
p.s. Jay will get a soft zebra (I’ve already bought it)
p.p.s. Thanks Nanas for their semi-matching outfits 🙂