the following morning, my mother, oliver, and i went to the broadyway square mall to get santa pictures taken. it was brutal. the line didn't appear long, but it was barely moving. i felt sorry for all the people snaking along behind us and was grateful we had gotten there when we did. families ran to the nearby chik-fil-a to grab lunch, eat lunch, and then wait some more. i phoned brian after we had been waiting a good 30 minutes and as he was just getting to the outer edge of town and suggested he might be able to make it to the mall in time. he drove across town found a parking space and got through the penney's with more than enough time to spare. oliver started getting grumpy as he arrived at the front of the line at least an hour later and after both nap and lunch time. as i placed him on santa's lap i feared we would be getting one of those screaming child santa photos like some of the customers before us. he quickly quieted down and sat very solemnly on santa's lap until it was all over with. he was 100% without humor, curiosity, or joviality. it was a business meeting with santa. all work. financials to be audited.
i'm sure we lolled about the house the rest of the afternoon and then put on our pants to eat xmas eve meatballs with my sister's family before heading out to church. we spent glorious little time in the sanctuary before carting oliver off to some secret baby room. we dawdled around there and, despite my extensive experience with having my child viewed as a girl, i managed to ask a lady how old her daughter was. in my defense, the poor lad was dressed in what was essentially a bibbed red plaid dress gathered at the bottom into knickered knee cuffs. oh lordy was it ever the girliest boy clothing i have ever seen. her husband had dissented, but she won the clothing competition.
the fun ended abruptly when oliver kept darting behind these folding panels and managed to get his finger squished in between and scared the crap out of me because i couldn't immediately figured out which way the panels needed to swing to release it and i didn't want to squish it even more and mother-of-the-girl-boy told us which way and he was free and we were out of there. he wore his xmas pajamas from last year.
xmas morning, oliver emptied the modest contents of his stocking (crayons, coloring book, two seuss board books, one of those $1 wooden yellow helicopters he picked up at the target). we restrained ourselves with gift giving to him because many dollars went to purchase the present he would receive the following week at xmas #2 and because he gets way too much from extended family members and because it's absolutely ridiculous the amount of things people feel they must accumulate and insist that others accumulate. he received nothing from santa. he doesn't even know who santa is. i am okay with that. we also gave him a track extender set for his wooden railway that we purchased on clearance ages ago, a GALLOP board book, and a couple of puzzles we got him ages ago on clearance. brian gave me a necklace from etsy and a cd. i gave him a chord book and one or two other things. i think that was it.
my sister's family showed up and it was pure, unadulterated gifting carnage followed by guitar hero. we eventually had xmas dinner and then brian ditched us. oliver and i were staying on two more nights in order to see friends and have $500 in car repairs done because the camry was idling pretty rough. after doing an oil change and an inspection and replacing the radiator, the car still idles rough. oh well. you can't say i didn't try.
the weather was super shitty those two days, so we stayed home bored out of our minds. the first night, my parents watched oliver and i went to dinner at some new asian place called julian's with christie and barbara. i dined on kamikazes and had to pee so bad on my 10 minute drive home that i ended up pulling into a service station.
in summary: i like kamikazes for dinner.
i received large, difficult-to-break crayons and a coloring book in my stocking:
this book has already been colored:
brian opens his stocking to find wholesome gifts like bubbie's pickles, uncomplicated chocolate, garlic-stuffed olives, nuts, and fruit. he makes sad faces because, despite multiple reminders, he was under the assumption that i would prepare my own stocking. santa claus did not visit mommy.
i might never have paul mccartney in my life, but there's always this:
daddy's new gig bag:
presenting mr. happy: