*Wesley, Santa and Andrew*
I know what you are probably thinking... I've conquered the unthinkable... the unconquerable... and it was done without any meltdowns (well in public, anyway!) Not sure why, but this morning at 11am, I called Kelly's Country Store to see if Santa had made it there yet. I've only been to this tourist trap on the Island once before, but remember they had an amazing back room where Santa Claus made his yearly visit. Twinkle lights EVERYWHERE, and toys (both vintage and new) COVERED the walls and ceiling. There was even a disco ball in the room. Sensory overload, to say the least. Santa was IN, sooooo..., I figured I'd beat the Canadian tour buses and head on over right after I called. The boys were dressed and ready to go, so we headed out.
I arrived at the store and was pleased to not see any tour buses yet... There were still a few parking spots left at 11:15. I loaded Wesley into the baby sling and carried Andrew in. I knew that there probably wouldn't be room for a double stroller along the velvet roped pathway leading to Santa, and I was right, but I didn't expect to be early.... early along with 50 other people. ...and yes, these 50 people had 100 children running around and screaming.
After chatting with a few nearby grandpas who were "holding spots," I found out that Santa wouldn't arrive for another 45 minutes, at noon, the boys next feeding time. "Great," I thought to myself sarcastically. Wish the lady I spoke with earlier told me that Santa didn't clock in 'til noon. Grrrrrr...
While in line, a few people pointed out that I had a tiny baby, and I immediately pointed out that I had two, (Wesley was hiding in the sling.) Normally, I don't like the added public attention that having twins sometimes brings, but today, for some reason, I wanted credit for the task I was accomplishing. I was nervous, anxious and sweating in what seemed a 150 degree room, and I still had another hour and a half or so in line until Santa arrived, and until my two 12 week olds would make their way up to him.
Santa showed up at noon, we cheered, and then he proceeded to talk on a microphone to everyone for about fifteen minutes. I couldn't see him yet (with all the people there), but just kept thinking , "Wrap it up, Claus!" I can't imagine all these kids wanted to hear him talk about Rudolph and Clarice's twin reindeer babies, Gingerbread and Blizzard. All they wanted was to sit on his lap, tell them their Christmas wishes and put their letters in the "Magic Mailbox", where they'd immediately be transported to the North Pole and read by the elves... Finish off the visit with a candy cane and they could call it a day. I think about 4 minutes into his speech is when the crying started... Not my kids, but everyone elses. Ahhh, the joyous sounds of Christmas. I couldn't help but laugh to myself.
Wesley got a little warm and fussy in the sling so I took him out and now had two babies on my lap. We were almost to the finish line...
At about 1:00, we finally made it up to Santa. Just as we were walking up, (with the normal ooh's and ah's that accompany us everywhere we go :), a lady who worked at Kelly's informed the lady behind me that there was a special needs child who wanted to see Santa, and asked if it would be alright if he went in front of her child, after the twins. Hearing this, and pleased that my boys were now both wide awake without tears, I told her he could go ahead of us. She was very thankful. The little boy came and went with his mother, and then we were up to bat. Everyone within a 15 foot radius of us knew that the twins were going to be sitting on Santa's lap (someone even videotaped us while waiting in line- weird), but I wish I could've captured the look on ol' Saint Nick's face when he saw me walking up to him with Andrew and Wesley. He looked jolly, yet terrified. All I said was, "I have a bit of a challenge for you, Santa," and he accepted with a smile ;) I got two fabulous photos and packed up the boys. As soon as the three of us got to the car, that's when the double meltdown happened. I had two very hungry babies who had just gone from a 150 degree room into 40 degree dampness and wind. My little men were so good up until now, and luckily we were only 5 minutes from home. Mission accomplished ;)
Although it took us waaaaaaay longer than anticipated, we did it. The boys had their first picture with Santa, something I will cherish forever. The 'grandpa's' I mentioned earlier also shared something special with me. All of them (and there were many) had taken their children there years ago... and now, although most of their children live out of the area, they return for Thanksgiving and then, as a family, take the newest members of the family to see Santa. One family had 4 generations at the store. Amazing, and so nice to see. What a nice tradition... maybe we'll make it a family tradition as well, but we'll time it better and we'll definitely bring Dad (or maybe one of the grandpas) along next year ;)