Since Thanksgiving I have been trying to get the boys their photo with Santa. I made several attempts but something always seemed to make it not happen. A few times one or both would throw up on their cute outfits (yes, throw up, not spit up). A few other times one would have an explosive diaper. Once a friend just decided to pop in for a cup of tea (my friends seem to think I'm bored and lonely with Dave out of town - I've had a few surprise visits and several phone calls). One friend offered to go with me and help but canceled twice for good reasons - she has twins herself and she and her babies all got sick this week.
So I finally got them out the door on Thursday after 3 hours of getting all 3 of us ready. We all looked good, if I must say so myself. No puke or poop marked our clothes. I even dressed a little up myself, in one of my favorite skirts, seeing as how it isn't very often I get out and about.
The timing was right. The boys were fed, clean, and happy. I got to the mall and there was someone vacating a really good parking space. I waited patiently and then an SUV full of teens decided they wanted to fight me for it. They turned the corner, saw the spot being vacated and even though I know they saw me, they signalled their intention to take it. Fortunately, a spot right by that one just got vacated and they took it so all was good.
While I put the stroller together several other drivers waited for me to vacate my spot... yeah, right. I got the boys out of their seats into strollers, walked into the mall, realized I forgot their Santa hats and went back to the car for them. I retrieved their hats while more drivers waited for me to vacate my parking space and I surely disappointed them when I turned the stroller back around and went back into the mall.
Walking through the mall a family of 3 very stupid (yes, I mean stupid) bothered me as I was getting the boys a personalized 1st Christmas ornament. I waited patiently in line then had my turn to get the ornament personalized. Then the stupid family starts touching the boys and playing with their pacifiers. I felt torn between trying to get the ornament painted right and trying to protect the babies. Of course, the babies come first. I was too polite. I told them to please not touch my babies but if they really must, then they had to use hand sanitizer, and I handed them my little bottle and turned back to the ornament painter who had stopped progress on my ornament and started helping the next customer. I asked her to please finish my ornament since I was there first and she said, "well, you were talking to those people." I stared at her incredulously. The woman who was then being helped seemed to realize that my talking to "those people" wasn't really by choice. I could just tell by the kind and understanding look on her face.
The stupid family actually asked why I didn't want them touching my babies. Since they were, truly, deficient in mental capacity I continued to take pity on them and explained as politely as possible that I didn't want my boys exposed to harmful germs that could make them sick. The teen girl asked, "what to you mean?" See, I said they were pretty stupid. I explained further about germs leading to colds and flu. She said that she wasn't sick as her mother coughed right next to her. I said, "maybe not, but your mother seems a bit ill and I don't want my babies to get it."
My ornament was finished and it took some great effort to get rid of the family, and make my way to Santa. I got stopped a few more times by curious customers who seemed to have never EVER seen twins before. I also had to navigate through the offensive and annoying kiosk employees trying to get me to look at/buy crap. This mall allows them to yell at customers to try to get attention. Many of them actually walk right in front of you and block your path. I swear, this mall sucks in that way. If it weren't for the great shops I'd never go. As it is, I only go there a few times a year, anyway.
I finally made it to Santa and tried to navigate the stroller through the maze of ribbons that kept the line in order. When I got to the back of the line, Santa's helper closed the ribbon right in front of me and told me they were closing until 6:10, which meant another feeding/diaper cycle and also meant waiting in line with all the people going to the mall after work. I begged her to make an exception, she wouldn't. I walked off and cried.
I went to Mrs. Fields to get cookies to cheer myself up. Every time I ordered my cookies the girl at the counter just paused, I don't know why the delays. I kept having to turn my head to tell people to please not touch the babies and then I'd turn back to get my cookies and find the employee helping the next in line. Again, I protested and finally got my cookies, paid for them, then forgot them as I rushed off with the 2 crying babies.
I turned around to go back for them and a kiosk worker jumped in my way to try to sell me a heat pack. I walked around her and another kiosk worker jumped in front of me and said, "whoa, where's the fire?" I walked around him while holding my arm high in the air waving him the finger! Yes, picture me in my dark blue velvet skirt, pushing a twin stroller and waving the birdie high and mighty!
I got my cookies, went to the cush Nordstrom bathroom and fed the babies, diapered them, then made my way back to Santa's line. I love Nordstrom!!
I waited about an hour and a half and the boys were starting to fuss again for more food and diaper changing. I was near tears again for all the trouble this had taken just for this photo, which seemed so important to me. When I finally made it to the front of the line Santa's helper said she was glad to see I came back. I decided to tell her exactly what I had to go through to get to the front of the line and how she could have saved me 3 hours of extra difficulty and tears that day. She stared at me blankly, then her chin quivered and her eyes watered and she turned around and ran off. I made Santa's helper cry. She ran off leaving the rest of the line stuck. We stood there not knowing what to do. Everyone waiting for Santa then got delayed because of me.
In the end I did get a great photo, though.