The Santa Project.

December 12, 2011 at 7:32 am | Posted in Fail (aka: Parenting Gaffes), motherhood | 12 Comments

Until recently, O had never actually met Santa.

Personally, *I* never liked Santa when I was growing up. Maybe it was the mall Santa I had to go to, but he smelled funny and his suit was a weird flannel sort of texture.

And O is introverted with people he KNOWS. He’s really come into his own since he gained a vocabulary and we’ve spent time prepping him for new situations, but there are plenty of times where he pretends to ignore family members because he’s just not comfortable.

So I’ve never forced Santa on him.

This year, he’s been talking about Santa Claus. And we told him that if he wanted, he could meet the big guy and sit on his lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas. We playacted it a lot – O would be Santa Claus and he’d ask me what I wanted, then I’d be Santa and ask what he wanted.

His answer has always been this.

Lots of airplanes! Lots of stars for my room! Lots of tools!

Two weekends ago, on the way back from the Museum of Science, he asked me if we could take him to meet Santa Claus.

Well, okay then. I told him we’d get Daddy and go to the mall and see Santa.

Apparently there is a Santa grading system. I took him to see the one that my hairdresser recommended, the one I assume was a 10 out of 10 – full beard, nice guy, willing to take time to get the kids comfortable.

The only issue was that when you’re waiting in line, you can’t actually SEE him. Santa has his own little house. So O couldn’t really get a glimpse of the guy he was supposed to meet.

Well, until Santa had to take a potty break. No joke, they announced that Santa had to use the potty and he’d be back. Cane and all, he made his way to the mall bathroom.

And of course O had a million questions. Santa Claus uses the potty???? Where’s the potty? Is he back? Santa is going pee pee in the potty?

Not sure why that made such an impact, though maybe his version of Santa Claus included diapers.

When Santa finally came back, a million hours later, we finally got a chance to go and meet him. And when the woman told us that it was our turn, it was okay to go talk to Santa, O panicked. He first tried to drag me away from Santa, and when I picked him up he buried his face in my shoulder and refused to even look at the guy.

In retrospect, I SHOULD have said Hi Santa. This is O. He’s being a little shy right now, but he wanted to come today and tell you that he was a good boy this year and that he wanted airplanes, some stars for his room, and some tools.

I guess I panicked too. Because I didn’t say ANY of that. I just unsuccessfully tried to get him to talk and then told Santa, well, uh, thanks. Sorry. Maybe we’ll come see you again next year.

Total Parent of the Year candidate here.


So I’m trying to figure out how I can take O to see Santa Claus again. I’m thinking of skipping out early on Tuesday, getting him from school, and taking him to the mall so he can watch me tell Santa what he wants for Christmas.

This may be weird, but I always imagine O’s future therapy appointments. Because clearly we all have baggage and I’m sure we’re going to do SOMETHING to put our kids into therapy at some point. But I can’t let him tell his therapist that one year he was scared that Santa Claus didn’t know that he wanted presents because his mom didn’t tell Santa when he was too scared to do so.

Which is, now that I write it, totally ridiculous.

Still though. Christmas was such a magical time of year for me when I was a kid.

I want that for my O as well.



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  1. I am there with you on the Santa Claus thing (I actually did a post about it recently). Never had M go really. And never missed it.

    However, if you want to do a totally awesome Santa–go to The Enchanted Village in Avon. That Santa really really impressed me. And my brother took his 1 year old girls there and he impressed my brother too. (So, two recommendations!) At the very least he can have a “Christmasy” Experience with the Village.

  2. Here’s the link to my post about the Santa (has a video that shows how W reacted):

  3. How about writing to Santa? That might take some of the pressure off and still allow him to feel like he was able to express his wishes …

  4. TOTAL assvice here, but what about a letter to Santa? O dictates and you write it down? Here in the Great White North we have a large team of elves at Canada Post who make sure that every letter to Santa receives a response.

    It’s funny because Q. and I are both quite introverted, and right now E. is just a total extrovert. We were out late last night (well, late for him) at a family dinner, and he was just beside himself with excitement at all the new people who wanted to hold and cuddle him. He also flirted with the entire waitstaff, anyone in the bathroom, etc.


  5. Maybe going on a week day when it is not as crowed he will feel more comfortable. You are a great mother my friend!!

  6. The therapy part is cracking me up! Do you think that, maybe, he’d forgive you for not telling Santa when the airplanes, stars and tools showed up under the tree anyway? 🙂 Honestly, he’s probably still excited that he got to see Santa Claus. I’d see if he brings it up again. If he says “yay, I got to see Santa” you’re all set. If he asks how Santa will know what we wants, go back and tell Santa yourself.

  7. First! Hurrah! You are back!!!!

    Ah Santa. Cam was super super excited to meet him. Maggie flipped out. Maybe this year you could help him write a letter?

  8. It will be magical because of you and your husband and all that O means to you, not because of his cursory meeting with a Santa.

    That said, I HIGHLY recommend sending O a video message from Santa (where you can upload pictures of O and what he wants for Christmas, etc to personalize it). It is magical and my son loved getting his:

  9. I did that video message for W & M last year…it was fun! I also did the letter for M, one year and he LOVED it (and it is a nice keepsake, especially since it has information of what he has done that year, etc.)

  10. O and pb are alike in many ways.

    I am just catching up a bit. I have fingers crossed that you survive this cycle, either way.


  11. Mason is an extremly extroverted child, but he hates clowns, people dressed as characters, people with face paint and Santa. He asked to go the Saturday after Thanksgiving and would not take no for an answer. However, he changed his mind when we were next in line. I did do the online Santa message and I plan on showing it to him tonight. Then we will go on a week night when it isn’t as crowded. Last year he went up to him and talked to him, but would not sit on his lap. I have a feeling that will happen for us as well.

  12. O sounds a lot like my son. And don’t we all think of how we could have best handled things after the fact? I think your plan to give O another shot at talking to Santa is a good one. Also the letter writing, maybe he/you can write a letter and bring it with him so he can just show it to Santa if O doesn’t want to talk to him?.

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