My daughter is asking Santa for a puppy, and many other unattainable Christmas presents.
Here’s the whole story. We lost our family dog, Smalls, three years ago. Smalls was my pet. I’d had him for 14.5 years, and he was a loving, ever-hungry beagle (of course, I only remember his good side). The kids appear to get so sad when we talk about him, although sadly, they didn’t really know him. But I don’t say that to them; I just smile and brace myself for what I know they are going to say next. “Can we please get a dog?!”
They ask this at least five times a day, and have for quite some time. I have explained on multiple occasions that we do want another dog and that we will get one, but we have to slow down our travel first. I try to help them understand that dogs don’t like it when their owners are gone, that they like routine. And finally, after hearing me explain our reasons for waiting for the umpteenth time, that’s when my daughter said, “Fine. I am gonna ask Santa for a puppy!”
Hold the phone! Can she do that? I was looking for a referee to throw a flag! No ref. No flag. Just me, my daughter … and Santa.
In response, I told her that Santa couldn’t deliver live animals. That it just doesn’t work because he’s incredibly busy and has to make too many stops to be safe for a puppy. But she’s smart and quickly countered with, “But he does in the movies.” Oh, the movies. So I said, “The movies are not the same as real life, remember. So Santa in real life can’t do what the movie Santa’ can do.” I was sitting tall, quite proud of myself for how I was handling it, but then I realized that it wasn’t working. My daughter said she was going to try to have a conversation with Santa and see what happens. I was out of explanations.
Then the other morning, our wonderful “Elf on the Shelf” arrived from the North Pole, and we had our chance to clear everything up (or so I thought). Our elf is named Bappy, a fabulous combination of Skye’s name choice “Beautiful” and Spider’s choice of “Happy”. The moment Bappy arrived, Skye took to her pen and paper to write him and Santa a note. It read:
What I want from Santa is a Dog What do you think?
Love Skye P.S. Bappy How was you’er summer”
We saw the note and knew it was our chance to tell her gently that a puppy isn’t something Santa can do. We were as gentle possible with Babby’s response. Did I mention we were gentle? Well, it was devastating to her. She really wanted a puppy, and she really thought it would come from Santa. But after a few tears she recovered, and has now returned to just begging mommy and daddy for the dog. Rumor has it they will be giving in shortly.
On the other hand, we have my son. He hasn’t asked Santa for a living pet. Instead he has asked Santa for, GET THIS, “Every single bracelet that could ever be made on a rainbow loom.” Yeah, you read that correctly … so Santa’s gotta deliver, right? I had just taken care of the dog, and now there’s this.
The thing is, I could probably do it. I am pretty good at looming. Just the other night my son and I were making a really big rainbow loom creation, one that required a massive amount of bands and quite a lot of teamwork. Spider, who is 5, originally tried it himself but got to the hooking part and couldn’t bring it home. So he enlisted me. I hope I am not the only parent who gets suckered into rainbow looming. Anyway, you can imagine his excitement when we got through the first part of the hooking section. He started jumping up and down with excitement screaming, “Mama, you are the best hooker in the family!” He rattled this awesome compliment off over and over, and all the while I was trying not to double over with laughter. Even the next morning he said, “Boy mom, you sure are a good hooker.” With a title like “BEST HOOKER,” how could I not consider delivering? But instead I said that Santa could only give each kid a toy or a craft and that the kid has to make it if it needs to be assembled/built/etc. He was fine with it.
I think Christmas 2013 will go just fine and be just what my kids dreamed it would be. And for now, I feel like my husband and I just barely made it out alive. There are still a few weeks left so that’s yet to be officially determined. I love that my kids believe in Santa, and I want them to for as long as possible. But this year has really started me thinking that I don’t know how I am going to be able to outwit my kids for much longer. They are getting crafty with their requests and their inquiries. I guess it will just come down to our ability to stay one step ahead of them.