Ocoee was only 3 months old last year so we skipped Santa. We spent Christmas soaking up the sun and watching Ocoee roll over, the big milestone for that time.
This year I am embracing all the trappings of Christmas so we planned a Santa visit. A local children's store, spoiled boutique partnered with a local photographer to take photos with Santa in exchange do a toys for tots donation.
When we arrived the place was packed with loads of kids and parents. There was a train set to play with and lots of holiday decorations. Christmas music was playing and everyone was festive. Ocoee began playing with the toy train and was holding her own against a slew of bigger boy kids. She made a friend and found books to drag over and have me read.
It was going very well.
I chatted with other moms and admired the elaborate outfits the kiddos were all decked out in. After about 35 minutes it was our turn. Santa was perfect with a real beard and kind eyes. The photographer had a feather tickler and Ocoee instantly liked her, smiling as giggling as we walked up to the santa set area.
And then it went so, so wrong.
In hind site I wonder what I was thinking. The moment I handed Ocoee to Santa to sit on his lap she extended all limbs in full monkey cling mode and curled those little limbs around me hanging on for dear life.
I began to sweat.
You feel the pressure of other parents waiting, Santa sighing, and the photographer looking expectantly for me to get it together.
So I try and peel Ocoee off me and thrust her into Santa's loving lap. She is now bright red and crying like I was abandoning her forever. I was really really hot. I tried to step back thinking maybe I just need to remove myself from the vicinity.
Ocoee wailed louder. I stepped in, scooped her up and snuggle her in. She hiccup and sniffed. I was about to just walk away when the photographer suggested I sit beside Santa with Ocoee on my lap.
So I tucked into the set made for Santa and a small child, an Ocoee turned as far away from santa as she could and scowled.
Then the photog worked her magic. She tickled Ocoee and a Christmas miracle occurred and bug smiled!!
So the end result is a photo of us three (which I cropped myself out of-not a good look for me, sweaty stressed mom) and Ocoee looks sheepishly happy.