Conversation with my daughter, Gigglegirl (age 4) on the way home this afternoon, Christmas Eve.
GiggleGirl is in a pre-Christmas anxious mood...actually, she's angry because she wants to go out of town to see her relatives right now and by golly, we'd better move it. However, when she's in a mood and riding in her carseat in my car, she has a tendency to kick the back of my driver's seat. Hard.
GiggleGirl: I want to go to Jackson now!!!
Me: No, we're going to church tonight and tomorrow after we open presents we'll leave...
GG: Grrrr....(begins kicking my chair)
After a few seconds of muttered 4-year-old cursing - razzin' Little Pony frazzin' Barney mrrpphin' Ariel...
Me: All right - I'm going to have to call Santa Claus and tell him not to bring you any presents! (make vague motions to pick up my cellphone)
GG: (whining) Noooooooo! Daddy! (stops kicking. Briefly. After a few moments she starts cursing and kicking again - rackin' Wiggles frackin' Lilo and Stitch...)
Me: Hey!! Ok, I'm calling Santa right now... (actually pick up cellphone, move it toward my ear)
GG: (whining harder) Nooooooooooooooooooooo!! DADDY!!! (stops kicking again. Even more briefly. Starts cursing and summoning minor Disney demons - brackin' Chernabog mackin' Firebird - and kicks again with more force...
Me: Ok!! That's it! I'm calling Santa. (open cellphone, make pretend dialing noises, hold phone up to ear)
GG: (crying in disbelief and terror) Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Nononononono!!!!
Me: Hello, North Pole? Yes, can I speak to Santa please? Oh, ok, yes I'll hold... (back to GG) I'm on hold, sweety.
GG: (beside herself) Daddddddddddddddy!!!!!!
Me: Yes...what? Oh, ok - can you have him call Barry _______ at xxx-xxxx (I said my real cellphone number - verisimiilitude, you know). Thank you - goodbye. (close phone, feel guilty for causing daughter to cry - well, I felt guilty for about two seconds)
GG: (sniffling) Daddy, you didn't really call Santa did you???
Me: Yes, I did, but he's busy and I had to leave a message and he's going to call me back. I'll make you a deal. If you can promise me you'll stop kicking the back of my chair I won't tell Santa that you've been bad when he calls back....
GG: (thinking, still sniffling, says nothing)
Me: Well? Do you promise?
GG: (through her tears) D-D-D-Daddy....I-I-I can't promise that!!!
Well, she never promised anything but she didn't kick my anymore the rest of the way home. I guess that's something.
Although I wonder what I would have done in someone had called my phone right about that time. And if I had "Here Comes Santa Claus" or "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as one on my ringtones I might have made it ring anyway....
Yeah, yeah, I'm getting coal in my stocking this year.