On Tuesday night, on our way to get Ben's birthday and Christmas presents, I asked Anna June where she'd like to go for a quick dinner, just the two of us.
"Can we go to the mall?" she asked. I wanted to know why she wanted to go. "Is Santa still there?" she asked.
I was floored. She had previously said she did NOT want to see Santa. Years past have brought her to tears at the mere thought. Peer pressure, I assumed. Surely other kids she knows have been to see Santa.
I probed deeper. She vowed not to cry, to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas, and to sit on his lap for a picture.
Never trust a 4-year-old.
Tuesday night, I explained we didn't have time, and I put her off until Wednesday. Wednesday night, she went to change out of her school uniform and ended up in bike shorts and t-shirt. Her daddy vetoed the outfit, and that was all it took to cause a meltdown. She declared that not only that she didn't want to go right then, but she NEVER wanted to go.
I should have trusted my four-year-old.
Thursday night rolled around, and there were two HUGE boxes from Granny on our porch. We let AJ open just a few things - we needed to run an errand and didn't want to wait for AJ to open every wonderful thing. She pulled out some dresses. When she got to a green velvet one that she loved, I casually mentioned that it would be a perfect dress for a Santa visit. She agreed, and rushed to put it on.
Since she was interested again, we wanted to strike while the iron was hot. She seemed like she was excited.
When we got there, there was no one in line. AJ got closer, and turned back into her shy and stubborn self. She did NOT want to talk to Santa. She did not want to sit on his lap or beside him. She would not talk to him. She answered, "nothing" when he asked what she wanted for Christmas, although I supplied that she wanted a whoopie cushion, hoping that silly thought would make her smile. It did not. Basically, the picture is awful and overpriced, and AJ is not even smiling, even though both Ben and I are doing our best.
Santa tried, but AJ wouldn't even take a candy cane from him. On some level, I think I'm supposed to be proud that she didn't take to a strange man with candy.
Anyway, we ran into my cousin Laurie in the food court afterwards, which was way more fun than our actual trip to see Santa. Her kids, Tyler and Ava, gave Santa their lists, and they were both adorable and very into it. These pics are infinitely better and more special than the ridiculous one with the old guy, anyway.
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