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Sensory Santa Left Me Twitching

When I was a kid, I asked my father why Santa didn't come to our house. My father replied, "because Santa hates Jews", Yes, I know. He was being funny, but to an impressionable four-year-old, it was just upsetting. My father grew up Orthodox and my mother converted to Judaism for my dad. After my parents divorced, I felt like one of the lost children who couldn't believe in Santa, because he hated me.

I decided to teach my kids that Santa was a humanitarian, a Good Will Ambassador to all the children in the world regardless of faith. He brought the kids one present. At least they'd save some money on therapy that way.

So when our local mall was hosting a Sensory Santa for special needs kids, I thought it would be the perfect time to take the kids. I had visions of all the kids greeting Santa, sitting nicely on his lap and telling him what they wanted. I envisioned the smiles and the good memories that would be captured on film for them to view in the years to come. 

And that is when reality quickly kicked my fantasy to the curb and mocked it like a laughing hyena who just stole my food. 

Me, Twin "R", Santa & My iPhone
We got to the mall and got our line-number. We then waited about an hour and let them look at the train display and run through the otherwise closed mall.

 By the time we were on stand-by for Santa, #1 had reclined on a bench, Twin "R" had thrown herself on the floor, and #3 ran off screaming, "I SAID, I HATE SANTA. I DON'T WANT TO SEE HIM!" Ok, buddy, I got it and so did he and the rest of the mall. 10-4, over and out.  He gave his trademark pout and then marched off to a corner and sat down.

When we finally got called, #1 sat down with Santa and I'm not sure what he said, but he smiled for his pic and then promptly departed. #2 took his spot and probably told Santa more than he had heard from any kid that morning. Twin "S" walked up and sat with him. She said nothing to him, but she got her photo taken. Twin "R" acted like Santa was a rabid gorilla and wanted nothing to do with him. She threw herself on the floor and refused. Finally, I had to pick her up, gave her my iPhone and sat with her to get the photo done. Who would've thought? She was my social one. As I sat with her for the photo, I saw #3 on the other side of the mall. Giving off the vibe, "screw you, bitches".

After the photo, I had lost #1 for a few minutes. The mall wasn't very big, and the shops were not open yet, so I wasn't worried. And then I noticed that the pizza shop had opened. Sure enough, he was standing at the counter probably asking for pizza. When I called him, the kid working behind the counter looked relieved. "Mom, I want some pizza", he said. I denied his request and he got angry, "what do you mean I can't have some?"

By the time we were loaded back in the car and headed home, practically everyone was melting, and I wondered why I had bothered. Why did I work so hard to get them all dressed, out the door to the mall to see Santa, when they all just turned into little screaming and whining ingrates. I gave up my gym-time for this.  I wanted them to have a nice experience captured with  the photo to preserve their childhood memory. Didn't realize that photo would cost me a few grey hairs and some extra acid in my ulcer. Who knew? Really, I should've. 
"Why do I have to wait so long?"

Note to self, Sensory Santa=need for flask. 

Next year, we'll just wave to Santa and send him an email.

Kids, stick that in your memory book. Mommy is done.     

Twin "S"


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