So tonight we decided to go visit Santa at the mall and get our pictures taken. We originally tried to time it so we would get there before Santa went on break, but I had to run to UPS which was a madhouse before we left, so we got off to a late start, as per usual (see below). So we decided to go to Olive Garden ahead of time, get some din, and then go see the Santa.
The Olive Garden was dead, which was awesome because Fin has a tendency to scream, so the less people to annoy, the better. The meal was going along just fine and I had just finished exclaiming what a good eater Fin was being when I heard that familiar guttural sound followed by the choking sound that signals vomit is about to happen. I instinctively cup my hands under her chin and catch the vomit. I am amazing at catching vomit. If I ever have one of those "woe is me" days where I'm complaining that I'm not good at stuff, remind me to revisit this post to remember that vomit catching is my thing. Anyway, the waitress just happened to choose that moment to check on our table and we freeze, me with my hands full of vomit, and Bean chewing on a bread stick looking back and forth between the waitress and the vomit. We pretend nothing has happened and keep as still as possible, hoping she won't notice. She asks if she can get us anything, and we just sit there frozen and say, "Nope nope, we're good! Thanks!". She walks away but then just silently slips a stack of napkins on our table 30 seconds later. Best waitress ever.
Even with my amazing vomit catch, vomit still gets on Finley's shirt. We didn't come prepared with a backup though, so I just button up her sweater and dab her with some hand sanitizer to help cover the vomit odor and hope Santa doesn't notice.
So we get to the mall and see the line is wrapped all the way around Santa's Wonderland. We hop in line, and immediately a woman who is very clearly treading a thin line between sanity and insanity comes up to me with one hand on her hip and the other pointing at me like a scary old bitty and shrieks, "Excuse me! But the line starts BACK THERE and we were waiting here first!". Did I mention she was shaking as she said this? When people get all confrontational with me, I have this thing I do where I get super extra nice. Like when I'm driving and people give me the finger and I just smile and laugh. It's fun and throws them off. So I just apologize profusely and make a joke about how it's Monday (ah! crazy Mondays! Everyone can agree that Mondays make you crazy, right?). So we move back to the end of the line which I hadn't realized wrapped even further around Santa's Wonderland than originally thought, and wait. And wait and wait.
Soon Finley has had enough waiting and Bean and I take turns taking her for walks in circles around Santa's Wonderland. One of my favorite things about walking around places like the mall with Finley is what grabs her attention. For instance, there was a whole display of presents, and fake snow and twinkling lights and a dancing bear, but Fin only had eyes for the discarded tissue on the ground. Babies.
So it's finally our turn to see Santa, and Bean sticks Fin on his lap (as I secretly pray he can't smell her vomit-y stench) and immediately operation "get the hell out of Santa's lap" begins. Fin is not happy and Santa is struggling. And I just start laughing. Because I'm an evil mother and my child screaming on the lap of a bearded man in red is hilarious to me. The woman with the clapper behind the camera is working overtime trying to get Fin to smile but she just isn't having it. We remove Fin from Santa, and get in line to buy our photo. We spend almost $40 for the 2 images below. I'm really impressed with Santa. He really pulled it out. Fin, needs some work. Next year we'll start preparing early. Until then, I pretty much love these photos.