I've already blogged today, but it's time for a happier post, so I'm "breaking the rules" (not that there are any, really) and doing a second one. If it means I hit my 200th post that much sooner, so much the better, right?
So, despite the fact that I suffered major doubts about whether I could really handle venturing out alone in the 30 or so minutes that led up to our departure, Abby and I made it to that Christmas party. And we had a blast.
Our journey through the front door was chaotic as ever; I had myself ready well ahead of time but then found myself waiting on Sleeping Beauty to rise from her nap. It was just as well, since Tom was running a little behind on the biscotti that he was making for the cookie exchange, and I couldn't leave without our homemade treats, anyway.
I had tried to plan ahead and lay out Abby's outfit while she slept, but I couldn't find certain elements of it, like the white tights, black sweater, and black patent leather shoes that she wore just this past Wednesday for the photo session at the mall. Tom had undressed her in the living room prior to taking her upstairs for a late nap that day, and I had seen the dress lying around, but not anything else. I found one shoe up in her bedroom, and took a quick look around for anything else that might be missing, but didn't see it. Since I wanted to get her napping as soon as possible, I let it be, figuring that the other things might be in the living room anyway, and just required a closer look there.
After circling the living room some unknown number of times, I surmised that perhaps I had simply not looked well enough upstairs.
The end result of all of this assumption was that when Abby awoke, I was unprepared. A second look in the bedroom proved fruitless, and a second look in the living room revealed the black sweater, but nothing else. Frustrated and angry, I finally resigned myself to making due with simple white cotton socks, and white-and-pink dress shoes. Not the best match to the dress, but at least they weren't sneakers.
Thankfully, Tom did the wise thing and stayed out of the way, focusing on the biscotti instead. It was pretty much ready for me once I got my head on relatively straight, and I grabbed the container of it, along with a couple of coats, a diaper bag, a camera bag, and my purse, as I flew out the door.
We arrived just over an hour late, but it seems that we timed it pretty well in the end. I had planned to come on time and leave a little early, but Santa didn't make his appearance until 6:00, so of course we wanted to stay long enough for that!
I was fully confident that I would get an adorable picture of Abby with Santa. To the degree that she ever had separation anxiety (which wasn't much), she was always a bit more uneasy around unfamiliar men, but I figured she was over that stage, and she's not a shy child. Reserved, initially- yes. But shy? Not so much. And she was pretty excited to see Santa come out in costume. She'd been hearing a lot about him over the past few weeks, but hadn't yet seen a "live" version.
So I was pretty surprised that as I led Abby by the hand towards Santa's chair, she pulled a dead-weight drop-to-the-floor tantrum move, and began to cry. I thought that maybe she just didn't want to be led in that direction at that moment, or that she wasn't prepared to approach just yet. I picked her up and held her high so that she could see the other toddlers and babies take their turn, and I kept asking her if she wanted to try it too. She didn't answer- just watched the goings-on in fascination.
When I felt that enough time had passed, I carried Abby across the train-track threshold and placed her directly on Santa's lap. I suppose that I moved too quickly for her to react, because she didn't appear to be fighting me, but once her tush touched down, hysteria ensued. Back-arching, lap-to-floor sliding, skirt rising up above head, crying, screaming hysteria.
She recovered quickly once I picked her up and removed her from the situation, but I felt horrible. I never would have given the thing a second try if I had known she would be so upset. Ugh. Talk about a bad assessment.
But then I had an idea. I had noticed earlier that our gracious hostess had set up a frame-decorating station in the basement, complete with stickers. Abby loves stickers, so it seemed just the thing to do to cheer her up. And no one else was in the room, so it gave her some space and breathing room, too.
This was our masterpiece.
Abby chose the stickers, and I placed them for her.
It's supposed to hold the picture of Abby with Santa, which was never taken.
Maybe we'll just use this one instead:
It's the only one I managed to take before I got too focused on following her around to do anything else. Bonus: it doesn't reveal the white shoes and socks that I was forced to settle on when I dressed her. Because the truth is, every time I looked upon that Santa picture, I would have fretted about the fact that her outfit was incomplete. Maybe looking at this scene, I'll just remember the fun that we had that evening, instead.
Santa can wait until next year, or until never. That's up to Abby. She'd be my favorite part of the picture, anyway.
(That second black shoe, by the way? Yeah- it was in the living room after all, under a sofa pillow. Never did find the tights...)