We finally had time to see Santa last night. We wanted to take Zoe to the fancy "good" Santa at Macy's downtown. They have quite the Santa Land set-up with moving reindeer heads and a sleigh filled with presents and giant toy soldiers, etc. As it turns out, it's also wildly expensive to take a picture and they don't allow personal cameras, which might explain why NOBODY was there in line. But it didn't matter because Zoe fell asleep in the car on the drive there and then freaked out when she woke up and we were in Macy's. I had told her that we were going to do "something special" and she was very excited about it until this point. She cried and cried in SantaLand and refused to do anything except sit on my lap on the floor and wail. After many minutes of this my leg was warm and wet and her pull-ups had weirdly leaked and then she calmed down. She is doing a fantastic job at potty training the last 2 weeks and she gets really upset when she knows she has to go but we're not at home and she really doesn't know what to do about it. So that was part of it.
We finally left Macy's and Pete changed Zoe's pants in the car to the "emergency" pants that only sort-of matched her plaid hoodie in that "who cares what a 3-year old wears?" way.
So on the drive home she starts singing a song and then says that she wants to do "something special" and go "downtown". I ask her plainly if she wants to see Santa. If she wants to sit on his lap and say hi and tell him Happy Christmas. And she says yes. ok. she'll do it. And I tell her that he is visiting a store from the North Pole and that we can go say hi if she wants to. And she says yes. ok.
So I check on Pete's phone to make sure that Santa will be at the mall for awhile. And I keep asking Zoe if she wants to do this. So we go to the mall in Lynnwood near our house. There is a bit of a line, but it's not a mile long like last year. We decide to walk around for a half hour and then come back. And Build-a-Bear is right there by Santa and Zoe RUNS to the store and yells "toy store! toy store!". Luckily there is nobody shopping at Build-a-Bear [last year there was a mile-long line here, too]. And I explain what happens in this store and Zoe agrees that she would like to fill something up with fluff and take it home. So she picks out this big, green frog and a heartbeat and a giggle box that we put in his hand. The girl that helped her stuff it was fantastic at her job and had Zoe help her with everything. It was actually really sweet and a lot of fun. But we also did not have to purchase a wardrobe and a car and accessories and friends for the frog. I can see how build-a-bear could empty your bank account quickly.
So then we went back and stood in a shorter Santa line. I asked Zoe if she wanted to sit with him and say hi and she still wanted to. He is a really great Santa - the same one that held her when she was 4 days old. It's not exactly Santa Land like at Macy's, but still a good time and they don't care how many pictures you take with your own camera. She refused to smile but as soon as she walked away she was skipping and yelling that it was the "best day ever!" We went to a 50's diner-type burger place called Ruby's and had some yummy cheeseburgers. Zoe played with the ketchup, the napkin dispenser, the salt & pepper and watched a train go around a track hanging from the ceiling.
She loves trains. I think I've told you that she can sing "chugga-chugga choo choo" over and over and over and over and over again.... really really loudly, too. She really likes the show about Thomas the Train and then there is a Disney show called Chuggington that she also likes.
So we got our Santa photo this year. tah-dah!