Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Parenting Pop Quiz

Today, in a largely futile attempt to give Noodle a longer nap, I went to the mall with a friend. Noodle, of course, woke up as we left her driveway. Thirty minutes tops. (sigh)

In any case, Q loved the idea because the mall is filled with machines. Shortly after we arrived, he politely asks, "Do you think there's a room that can fit two strollers to bring us up to the other floor?" Evidently he'd forgotten the word 'Elevator'. So we found him an elevator, and four separate reasons to use it.

After our usual twenty minute potty break in the family bathrooms (thank you to the god of malls for that invention), we decide a snack is in order. The Starbucks is located in a sunken area, so we proceed with the strollers towards snack heaven. And then I spot him.


I balked, terror on my face. We haven't discussed Santa much. Q is totally into the concept of Santa. Totally into the idea of Santa coming on Christmas. But we just had a geography lesson yesterday on where Santa lives (Q thought he lived in New York City, which really does seem reasonable), so why would Santa be in a mall?

My friend Cynthia does not realize the extent or reason of my panic. Her only child is Noodle's age. She has yet to navigate this minefield.

So I plunge ahead into the pop quiz. Carpe diem. We stroller down to the Starbucks area, right past where one of the best looking Santas I've ever seen is discussing Christmas with children, monitored by bored photographers.

As we get into line, Q says, in his secretive voice, the one used for special and wonderful things, "Hey, there's a man dressed like Santa over there."

We went over to investigate after eating a snack. The area has a Polar Express theme, but it's not that magical, in my opinion. Q is intrigued by the fake snow on the floor and wants a closer look. But he is absolutely certain that it's not Santa. It's just not. I don't know how he knows.

Here Noodle attempts to sit in Q's lap. She wants him to read to her. I found her trust that he could read to her very endearing. He found it mildly annoying, although also amusing.

Q insisted that we should go outside so I could take photos of them in their winter jackets. Although it was only mildly chilly, I popped them into their coats to see if the hand-me-downs fit. Today Q managed to get into Noodle's jacket, so I guess there might be more room than there appears to be.


ST said...

My roommates have been admiring how cute your kids are. I've been reading bits of your blog out and they are in awe of how smart and reasonable Q is.

Kbolds said...

But what did you do about Santa? The suspense is killing me

Little Terry said...

What did we *do* about Santa? That gets you back to 'resistance is futile'. We really didn't do anything deliberately.

We watched a lot of 'The Grinch' when Q was two and three, plus books that we could tolerate. (Funny, the intolerable ones keep getting lost.) I think of it as similar as to how most kids learn about their parents' religion: you don't have to explicitly discuss things that are integrated into culture.

Q comes up with interesting facts all on his own. Like Santa comes at 10:15. (I'm concerned he's going to get up at 11.) And I think there must be discussion of Santa at preschool that we definitely can't control. I'd be seriously uncomfortable if we were Muslim, Jewish, or principled in our agnosticism.

Somewhere in there Q learned that lots of people dress up as Santa. How he can tell which of these are simply dressed up people and who might be a real Santa? I don't know. I mean, the Santa we saw was gorgeous. I'd believe in him.