I’m afraid I’m starting to develop an addiction. And I’ve only got a few more weeks to enjoy it. I’ve been extorting decent behavior out of my toddler by throwing Santa’s name around. I actually picked up the phone last night to give him a jingle. CP definitely grasps the concept of how the phone works (my fault), so she put the brakes on the crazy behavior for a few minutes. We went to see Santa today at Grandma’s job. So now she also knows that Grandma knows him. Powerful stuff. And I think that seeing him in the flesh has really put a face on this whole “naughty and nice” thing.
Do I feel guilty? Yes, a little. But to be fair, she has been insane lately and perhaps I feel a little justified. I’m aware that this sounds a little un-Christmasy of me. And possibly un-motherly. But the fact that I have a tool with which to reign in my 2.5 year old (if even in the slightest and if only temporarily) has been rather exciting. I am aware that this power has its limits. I ran into a friend the other day whose 3 year-old nephew apparently hit the Santa-wall. She reminded him that Santa’s watching and he needs to be a good boy. His response? “Whatever.”
Damn. It sent shivers down my spine to hear that. So, in order to offset the lump-of-coal state of mind, what I’ve been doing is focusing on the positive. Which I try to practice anyway – I’m not all doom and gloom! We have made sure my daughter was part of the process when we recently passed on some toys that she outgrew and again when we participated in a toy drive. We explained that Santa sees the nice and he would think it was pretty cool that she shared with other kids, even though it’s nice to do things just for the good feeling it gives you. (Yeah, I don’t think she’s there yet but I’m trying to plant a seed).
At any rate, for Christmas this year I think that I should cut both of us some slack. This toddler phase just makes me a bit frazzled because I’m nervous that she’s going to become a self-centered, bratty, screeching adult. Cause they exist, people. My plan is to have less of a plan and just let it ride a little more. Teach her good stuff and stay firm, but relax a bit. And maybe up the ante by giving her a gentle reminder that a coveted fire engine hangs in the balance.