I used reverse psychology on myself today when taking the kids to see Santa. Not sure if reverse psychology actually works if you know you are doing it to yourself, but I figured I’d give it a red hot go.
You see, it seems that every year I take kid(s) to see Santa, dressed to the nines, in their “special” Christmas outfit (mouth vomit) and inevitably they crack the shits after having to wait in the queue and being badgered by their mother (that would be me) making sure they don’t get dirty for that “special” Christmas photo. All that being said, I won’t force the issue. If they’re not into it, then we leave (note 2010 is missing from the above photo. Scout started crying at about T minus 100 metres so I figured it wouldn’t be worth it). Last year, we took Inky and Scout both, but Inky looked terrified, so Scout went solo. I have been guilty in past years of being a bit antsy on the Christmas photo trip, though – the queuing, the child herding, the expectation. Part of me wonders why I bother, but I look back at the photos of me and my brother as kids, every year, sitting on Santa’s lap (or, like my brother – red and puffy-eyed in generally the same area as Santa) with fondness. It’s a festive work in progress and memories/photos I’m really grateful to have.
But this year I dressed the girls down. I let Inky use her white shirt as a mop as she went to artistic work on the Myer floor. I let her swap her shoes around so they were on the wrong feet (a battle I know I will almost certainly lose). I let Scout wear a Size 4 top with sleeves too short and “cool” hair (note use of quotation marks). I knew that if I let go of the preconceived notion that they had to look immaculate, they’d probably be champing at the bit to have a piece of Santa and his animatronic reindeer. It worked. Inky wasn’t having a bar of Santa’s lap, but held his gloved hand (creepy) and managed about as forced a smile as anyone could muster. We were waiting in the queue for ages (seriously, Santa could have had a chatting competition with Scout and even she would have left battered and bruised), but geez, those girls were patient. Well behaved. Big morning, though – I found this waiting for me 5 minutes after I put the TV on:
Inky passed out, with Scout gently stroking her hair. And that’s a better moment than anything Myer, or my ingrained control freak could ever have captured.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for I blog on Tuesdays