It’s New Year’s Day. I’m languishing in a pair of flannel pajamas—mimosa in hand—at my friend’s two-year-old “Pancakes and PJ’s” birthday party.
I’m sleepy after all the New Year’s Eve frolicking, but my caffeine buzz has a few jolts left to motor me through the morning.
Suddenly, a passel of little girls rush by adorned in flowing blue Elsa “Frozen” dresses. My four-year-old is not one of them. She is still in her Justice Jammies.
She looks at me with pleading eyes.
“Mommy, can we run home and get my dress?”
We decide to send daddy and he returns with the prized new Christmas dress.
Kolby marches into the bathroom, dress in hand, rips it off the hangar and crams it over her little head.
(Santa’s elves’ made her fine costume via Costco. It was $16.99.)
Santa scored—or so I thought.
It seemed nice enough in the store as daddy followed along with the secret ELF cart and I texted him all the things Kolby cooed over.
Out my daughter shuffles from the restroom—arms askew, she stands and moans like a child stuffed into an over-sized snow-suit.
“Mommy, it itches!”
The cheap sparkly tulle sleeves stab into her soft arms. I place them down by her side but they pop right back up with squeals of irritation.
“It hurts Mommy! Santa brought me a SCATCHY Elsa dress”
Tears threaten to fall from her disappointed eyes.
She looks around at the other girls outfitted in the Disney Store’s finest and much more expensive version of the dress. Their dresses are flowing, silky and elegant—unlike Kolby’s.
I want to crawl in a hole.
But then Daddy saves the day.
“Honey, let’s wear your blue jammy top underneath. It matches real pretty!”
(This man is such a treasure!)
Kolby runs off to change and I am left with the other mommies mocking me–as only good friends can do.
It was one of those moments I knew my kid would wind up in therapy for twenty years down the road.
Therapist: “Kolby why do max out your credit cards to wear only the finest designer clothes?”
Kolby: “Because all the other kid’s Santa shopped at Disney but my Santa bought me scatchy shi… from Costco.”
And I was reminded in that moment that sometimes cheap is just cheap.
And Santa needs to step up his game next year.