While waiting in an absolutely-ridiculous-for-a-Wednesday-night-are-you-kidding-me-with-this-nonsense line for Mall Santa, I realized that I am officially becoming That Mom: Things that were once a magical part of parenthood that I was so excited to participate in are now mostly just a colossal pain in my butt. Like taking the kids to see Mall Santa.
Can you believe we've been doing this for six straight Christmases now? That we used to do it completely voluntarily and unnecessarily when Noah was a baby and didn't give a rats' ass about seeing Mall Santa?But no matter! You are seeing Mall Santa, small turtle-like infant! MAMA WINS AT MEMORIES.
Now, of course, there's no getting out of it. Traditions have been established! Myths have been perpetrated! Lists have been written!
Well, okay. That right there warms my grinchy heart a little. (ALSO A LOT.) After close to four years of fine-motor occupational therapy and handwriting help, plus six months of "Noah is demonstrating some red flags for dyslexia, let's keep our eyes on that" (BECAUSE THE FUN JUST NEVER STOPS), it completely thrills me to see him pick up a crayon and just...write, sounding out letter after letter, making the more non-phonetic aspects of the English language his adorable, chicken-scratchy bitch.
(Thing #1 is a "SHUTTLECRAFT." From Star Trek, of course. But those are not actually readily available these days, since the cool kids are all into...I don't even know. Battle hamsters? Isn't that an actual thing? I also bought my nephew some of those Beyblade whatevers, which was a frightening and disorienting experience because I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I JUST PURCHASED. AM OLD AND EASILY STARTLED. But Jason was able to track down an acceptable die-cast shuttlecraft that's actually older than Noah himself, so now we just have to shake the guilt we feel over purchasing some collector's beloved mint-in-original-packaging life's work in order to indulge our six-year-old's current obsession du jour.)
(Things #2 and #3 are both Lego sets. Because we have 4,593,029 Legos in our house, which is not! enough! Legos! Even though my College Anxiety Dream [I have a final for a class I never attended and don't even know for sure where it is] and my Waitress Anxiety Dream [my section suddenly fills up with dozens of tables and no one is ordering from the menu and my pen doesn't work and the manager tells me I also have tables at the restaurant's other location so quick get on this bike and pedal on over before people get mad and leave] have both been replaced with the Lego Anxiety Dream [I'm trying to board a flight at the airport and Legos start falling out of my luggage, and as I frantically pick those up I realize there are actually hundreds of Legos scattered everywhere and I can never get them all and I wake up in a panic because DON'T TELL NOAH I LOST THE HARRY POTTER LEGO FIGURE'S HAIR OMG.])
Ezra has no such list, or even any specific requests besides "PWESENTS!" Sometimes he'll say "ZOMBIE PWESENTS!" but most of the time I sense he'd be thrilled to unwrap a giant box of those air-filled packing pillows that Amazon uses. Those are a good foot-stompin' poppin' time, you know. He's getting a baseball glove, a karate uniform and a first aid kit.
And Baby Ike? Well, he's getting a couple hand-me-down baby toys that I plan to lovingly dab at with an antibacterial wipe and then wrap up nice for the photos. Sorry, kiddo. But this is ain't my first rodeo. I put you in a ridiculous vest and dragged you through dirty, contagious crowds of strangers and plopped you on some random old dude's lap while a woman in an elf costume waved bells and squeaky toys in front of your face. Clearly, I have more than fulfilled my holiday duties to overwhelm and bewilder you at every possible occasion.