Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Santa's Bad Day

Santa's Bad Day

"I need you to make him cry."

The mother was insistent, the kid was indifferent, and mall Santa looked like he'd just been kicked in his candy cane.

"But Santa doesn't make kids cry," he said, completely confused.

"You don't understand," the mother said. "He has four brothers, and all of them are crying in their first picture with Santa. I need a complete set. He needs to cry."

That was the woman right before us when we took our oldest to her 1-year-old picture with Santa four years ago. I don't remember how that situation ended up. I know that after that last statement she appeared to flip on resting bitch face, and I got stressed and had to look away. I know Santa was visibly rattled when we got there, probably out of fear that mall security would tase him for making little kids cry. I know our kid didn't make it any easier because she screamed her guts out like she was auditioning be the lead singer for Gwar.

Fast forward two years from there and we were taking a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old to see Santa -- this time at a local library. We were in separate cars, each with one kid, running errands before we went to the library. In my defense, this branch of the library was fairly new, so after I was done with my errands I plugged the library address into Siri, who promptly took me to a Walgreens where I yelled a series of obscenities I should never have said at a computer program that couldn't understand me, and begged my child to not repeat any of the words I'd just said to Santa, or her mother, or the neighbors, or her teachers, or her grandmother....

After switching mapping applications, we made it to the library. We went in and signed the kids up, and because we were late we were promptly plugged into one of the last slots in the last group behind what felt like every child in the county.

After what felt like hours, the big moment finally came and we positioned our screaming children on Santa's lap. And then it happened. The 3-year-old scrunched her nose and pressed her lips together. For the uninitiated, this is toddler poop face (TPF), and when you see it, your obligation to the rest of humanity is to remove your child from the presence of others and wrestle that turd in private. But this was Santa, and we'd already been waiting for hours. I felt like we'd earned the right to play this one through as long as no feces was visible. Thank God it was only a fart (that we could tell), but you could almost see Santa's oversized pants ripple from the aftershocks. If Rudolph were there the smell would have turned his nose black, and if Santa had knee replacements the force would have blown them off their hinges. The overall scope of the blast was truly impressive.

But she wasn't done, and if she'd just pooped on his proverbial peppermint pie she was ramping up to pee in his eggnog.

I don't know if it was the jostling to get her on Santa's lap or the force of the fart she'd just unfurled, but her diaper had at some point worked its way loose. And at the same time she farted on Santa, she peed. A lot. As the lower half of his leg turned dark red, it was obvious that Santa was basically swimming in pee. Whatever hell Santa had gone through earlier in the night, our kid came off the bench as the closer with the goal of sending him into either retirement or therapy. If that guy didn't hang up his red suit, fake beard and cheap black belt after that, he has problems.

At that point we did what every other parent does. You don't make eye contact with anyone, don't talk to anyone, grab your kid, grab whatever bags you brought with you, and get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. But the 3-year-old, who even with sopping wet pants had some spring in her step after unloading what looked like a gallon of water on Santa's leg, jumps off of Santa's lap, runs over to the exit door and yells at the top of her lungs, "I WANT MY CANDY CANEEEEEEE!"

If any good came of the incident, it was that our family coined the phrase "hot fizz" to describe the unfortunate sequence of actions that Santa endured that night. And no the child did not get coal that Christmas, but Santa did bring her a new pair of pants.

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