Llama llama Santa Claus Drama!

You guys! You guys, seriously – it’s time to PANIC! Last night the girls and I had abandoned our Family Advent Activity (Holiday Tip: heavy doses of cough medication and albuterol do not mix well with perfectly straight Christmas crafts, but that’s another story) and were instead reading Christmas stories. We had made it through last year’s new book, Santa’s Eleven Months Off and were nearly through an annual favorite, The Jolly Christmas Postman  when my crack-addict seven-year-old piped up RANDOMLY with…

“Mom, is Santa real?”

ALERT, ALERT! I started panicking. I tried to keep my eyes from widening – not, so much to keep my eyeballs from falling out of my head in sheer parental terror as it was to keep my super-sneaky, lie-detecting child from realizing I was trying to assess the future happiness of our very family RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT. I mean, WTH, child? Didn’t I always love you and clothe you and give you the bestest snacks ever in your lunchbox? Wasn’t I always so incredibly cool by not punishing you when you continuously came home from daycare with Crayola marker tattoos with which you let your friend decorate you? I have never made you buy your own clothes or pay for your share of the groceries and mortgage so WHY WERE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!?!

Crap. Wait. The question. She was still waiting! How long had I been thinking about all that? FOCUS! ANSWER! And, you know, no pressure that her 5-year-old sister – with at least two years of believability still in her – is sitting right there, hanging on to every word. Right. “Of course, Santa is real!” Good, yes, just the right amount of casual and censure in your voice. I answered quickly, but not too quickly. (Note to self: ease up on watching all those Lie to Me episodes, mkay?) Gracie looked happy. Was she happy? She looked happy. HA HA! CRISIS AVERTED! I so rule at this parenting thing! And I feel ZERO guilt if that’s all it took! I mean, she couldn’t really be asking if it was just that one eensy question!

Of course that’s when Gracie struck again. “But some kids say that Santa isn’t real and it’s the parents who put them out. Parents get up in the middle of the night and go to the store and buy presents for their kids.” Oh. heck. CRAP! She nailed it! She had the who what when where hows and only god knows why we set ourselves up for this. What do I do WHAT DO I DO?! I mean, where’s Logan Mankins* – can’t he come get my back on his off days? Who the heck let that Gracie out into the world? Who thought seven-year-olds should be allowed to mingle? And WHO TOLD MY CHILD?! I have never in my life been more in favor of home schooling. But WHAT DO I DO?!

You guys – I panicked. Um, obviously. Heh. So I did it. I did it before I could even form a conscious plan to do so. (Do you feel me glaring at you, Logan Mankins?) I lied. YES, I admit it! I lied to my children! I was faced with an opportunity to just take Gracie aside and let her in on the big secret. She didn’t even look like she would be devastated. Certainly not nearly as traumatized as me – now OR when I found out The Big Secret. But…but…but… there are only fifteen days left until frickin’ Christmas! She couldn’ta waited sixteen days?! I mean, REALLY! It’s practically her fault! And her sister was sitting RIGHT THERE! What was I supposed to do – lose everything bright and shiny and effing redemptive about this backbreaking, thankless job in one moment?! NO WAY, JOSE. You can’t steal my Christmas like that! And did I mention Bee was right there? Surely I can squeeze a little altruism outta her, right? And so…

“Gracie, how could I get that all done in one night? And what about everyone else? How would the families with no money get anything if there wasn’t Santa?” Yeah, totally donating my guilty conscience away at ChristmasCrazy today. But don’t worry! My daughter had an answer for me just like she does for everything! “You could use your magic and…steal,” she said, clearly looking for a reaction. It was obvious even she didn’t think that was plausible.

“Gracie,” I calmly responded, with a slight tone of areyoucrazy? “Only Santa has magic. People – including moms – don’t have magic. No matter how many times I say I do.”

And that was that.

Well SHOOT. She coulda just hurried up that decision to fricking believe me BEFORE my 87 heart attacks! Gracie went right back to believing and we finished the story and talking about the one time I saw Rudolph’s nose flying through the sky on Christmas Eve (dear airplanes: your red wing lights scare the crap out of children everywhere one night a year. You know this, right?), and Gracie was right there with me the whole time. Her eyes were full of light, she was contributing to the stories and what ifs and hoping and wishing and all over magic.

When I was debriefing the Ex on the phone later, partly to give him a heads up and partly to make sure we synced our stories, he suggested that Gracie was just letting me think she believed. Uh uh no way – although, really I think I’d be okay with that. But REALLY, she’s NOT. And you know how I know? Because Gracie is the worst liar in the whole history of liardom. Seriously. She overacts and tries to make up ridiculous coverup stories. It’s been well-documented in the blog. This is not me being my usual self-delusional. (Kim, quit giving me that look. I’M NOT!). Gracie is not that good an actress. The only other possibility – and I think this is really what is going on – is that she wants to believe. (Awwww – my baby Muldered herself!) She isn’t trying to make MAMA believe so much as she is convincing herself that her really nice, awesome, gorgeously pretty mama would never LIE TO HER LIKE THAT.


What am I gonna do????


*Logan Mankins is the New England Patriots left guard. His job is to protect Tom Brady’s blind side. And also to keep my baby from sucker punching ME, a job at which he failed spectacularly this week. HMMPH.


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6 Responses to “Llama llama Santa Claus Drama!”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Thankfylly, my kiddos have never asked me that. At 12 & 10 I don’t think there is no way they still believe. But, they let me believe they do and that is good enough for me. I love them so much for that. Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year and I still believe in the magic – that is part of what makes it special.

    Be sure to track Santa on NORAD – that helps too.

  2. Leandra Says:

    Ack! Oliver asked me the same question last week. I didn’t give him any answers…just asked LOTS of questions like “Why do you ask?” and “Well, what do YOU think?” I sort of let him talk himself back into believing. He said “My friend Will said he woke up in the night but didn’t see Santa, but Santa won’t LET you see him, will he?”

    I ended it by saying “Well, you know, Santa stops coming to visit after you stop believing.” Mwahahahaha — that should do the trick! LOL

  3. Leandra Says:

    Oh, and one of these might help too.


  4. Agent Torklepants Says:

    I believed with these suspicions of Gracie’s, for about 2-3 years. And i was convinced that some of the other kids stopped believing so Santa stopped going and then their parents HAD to put out the gifts. Basically, mom and dad saving a whole bunch of money depended on me believing =0].
    And with that logical explanation said, i have to say I SAW AN ELF! I SAW AN ELF I SWEAR!!!! AT THE END OF MY BED! ON XMAS EEEEVE!!!!!!!!!itwasprobablyjoey BUT I SAW OONNNE!!!!!!!

  5. Gayle Says:

    Oh, no! You did exactly the right thing. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but my youngest son, now 14, believed until he discovered the truth in 4th grade! The way he found out was, on Christmas eve, I thought he was asleep so I put the filled stocking on his bed. It turned out he was faking sleep. He and I both felt so bad! Try to keep your girls believing for as long as possible!

  6. Mary Says:

    When I was reading the first part, I heard the narrator’s voice from “The Christmas Story”!
    It sounds like you handled it well! I had a little girl tell me the other day that her daddy is Santa (she’s in 3rd grade and is “intellectually disabled”), but as she was talking, she believed her daddy is THE Santa Clause!

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