Today the Hooligan children got to visit Santa Claus at Tri-County Mall. There wasn’t any hemming or hawing or digging in of heels at the last minute. We weren’t sure how S.Hooligan would react since she claimed she wasn’t going to sit on Santa’s knee, but she went forward willingly.
I couldn’t hear what Santa asked them or what they told Santa. I was outside the official bounds of Santa’s domain, trying to snap digital photos of the proceedings from a distance.
After the Hooligans had posed with Santa and a big brown Teddy Bear, they clambered down and accepted their miniature decks of Santa playing cards. (I envisioned elves playing Texas Hold ‘Em with Christmas cookies as poker chips). When they ran up to me, I asked them what they’d told Santa they wanted.
“I said it was his choice,” J.Hooligan replied. I thought this was an interesting strategy, considering there are specific things I know J. wants for Christmas.
When I queried S.Hooligan, she said, “I told him I wanted that Dora thingie.” I don’t know if Santa is clever enough to interpret that, especially given S.Hooligan’s speech patterns and tendency to mumble when she’s self-conscious. Fortunately, Diamondqueen knows exactly the toy S. desires. And it’s a fact that moms and dads are Santa’s most effective accomplices.
Actually, we were in dread that S.Hooligan would ask for what she really wants: one of those motorized Barbie cars a child can actually drive. For several weeks S. has been accosting people as they come in the front door, dragging them to the Toys’R’Us catalog, and deftly flipping to the exact page where her dream car is pictured. Pointing, she says, “That’s what I’m getting for Christmas. Mommy is thinking about it.” The child hasn’t caught on that when Mommy is “thinking about it,” it means there’s not a snowball’s chance in Tahiti of that gift appearing under the tree on Christmas morning. J.Hooligan eggs S. on, though, because he’d like to drive such a car himself.
Last week Diamondqueen and I told them both an enormous fib — that all the cars had been recalled for lead paint. J. seemed to buy it, S. didn’t really understand what we were talking about. Here’s hoping she’s happy with the “Dora thingie” and won’t hold her dashed dreams against her mother — or Santa.