Yesterday was a rite of passage for the toddler: her first visit to a mall Santa. My mom and I took her, and I turned to my mom at one point and asked if we, meaning me and my three brothers, ever went to see Santa, because if I had I don't remember and she answered in four words: "I had four kids." Okay, fair enough. Plus, the nearest mall was 60 miles away, and we saw the Santa that came to the school, anyway.
I hadn't planned on taking K this year but I got totally sucked in by a Groupon ad, and since I'm totally a Groupon and Living Social junkie I couldn't pass the deal up. I decided to go mid-day, mid-week because I had seen the crowd of frazzled families waiting patiently between velvet ropes at this particular mall last year. We went through the mall beforehand looking for new shoes, to no avail, (how hard is it to find size 7 black shoes de charol? Impossible!) and when we finally got to Santa's little village I almost had an attack when I saw it was totally empty. No one in line, but wait. Is that really Santa chatting it up with the two young girls working there? What the Herman? I was still a little confused when he started to wave us in. At first the toddler K was pulling back as we got closer. Even I felt nervous for her. But he spoke gently (not like that loud Santa in a Christmas Story), and as he asked her more questions, "What do you want for Christmas? What's your name? Do you want Santa to bring you a doll?" she loosened up and didn't even seem to realize I had lifted her onto his lap. She was soooooo serious and would not crack a smile. But Santa kept on with his questions and the camera clicked and clicked and then he asked if she wanted a tickle on the knee and there it was and bam, SMILE! Aw, trick from Santa school. Smooth.
Check out the scene as it unfolded: