Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Santa Claus

Santa’s Little Helper

with 16 comments

She’s making her list, she’s checking it twice.  It doesn’t really matter if she’s naughty or nice, Santa Claus is coming to town.  In Pudding’s world, we’re gearing up for Christmas.  Never mind that this is only September.  Never mind that we’re moving from Spring to Summer here in the Southern Hemisphere.  The last thing I feel is Christmassy.  But that matters not at all to our heroine.

At the weekend she declared: “It’s Christmastime.”  And that is all is takes.  For once I’m glad that our belongings haven’t arrived from the US yet, because if she found the decorations, no doubt our house would resemble a grotto within minutes.  Last year I got the tree up the week before Christmas, and that was plenty for me.

The thing is, Pudding is right about making these preparations.  We now rely on Pouch mail services, which is sporadic at the best of times, and a nightmare leading up to the holiday season.  A couple of weeks ago we were sent an email telling us that we should make sure we order everything in the next couple of weeks to be certain we’ll have it in time for Christmas.  Oh dear, not going to happen.

At least Pudding is prepared.  She has a very long list that she wants Santa to know about.  I think she sensed our unease, and looked for other ways to reach the man in Lapland.  She found it, in her grandparents.  Pudding opens up Skype on the computer, and calls her grandparents, not minding such things as time zones.  Here is a typical conversation:

Pudding: Hello, hello, hello?  Hello….

Grandparent: Hi Pudding, is that you?  Where’s your Mummy? [It is about 5 am here, lucky we love you]

Pudding:Hello….Hellooooo  [Pudding will ignore any interruptions to her carefully planned monologue, these people are amateurs!]

Grandparent: Yes, hello to  you too Pudding.  [There you go, much better.]

Pudding: What’s Santa gonna buy for you? [A little pronoun reversal between family. Not to be interpreted as an interest in your Christmas wishes, oh no.]

Grandparent: Well, I don’t know, Pudding!  Tell me, what is Santa going to bring for you? [Good, Grandparent, you’re playing properly!]

Pudding: A toy Hello Kitty.  A toy Abby Cadabby. Some clothes for Kelly doll. A buggy for Kelly doll. A high chair for Kelly doll. A pink castle. A Hello Kitty nightgown. A wand. A pinkalicious dress…..

In the same order, every time.  It doesn’t matter which set of grandparents, she has determined that they have an ‘in’ with the jolly old fellow, and she is going to make the most of it.  You may have noted that Santa buys presents, according to Pudding.  She is unimpressed by my talk of elves and workshops.  She wants nice new shiny things from toy shops.  Preferably wrapped in pink.

Never one to miss a chance to exploit my girl’s wishes, I came up with a plan to help us suffer through this eternal Christmas countdown.  We’re going to make a big list, and bedazzle the heck out of it with winter stickers (ooh, fine motor delights) and glitter glue and all kinds of things.  When she earns a reward, she can add to her list.  But here is the thing- she must add to it.  She can use those infuriating kiddy scissors and paste a picture, or she can learn to write the new words, but that list will be her own work.

This year, Santa is managing car repairs and medical bills galore, he is going to make sure she earns everything on her list.  He is going to have his work cut out getting all the way down here on his sleigh.  Even if he does have a couple of sets of elves suckered in on either side of the Atlantic.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

Santa Daddy

with 10 comments

The Christmas right after Pudding turned two, we drove from Luxembourg to the north of England to celebrate Christmas with my family.  As my parents own a hotel and it was full for the holidays, we also got to meet the many friends and guests who were staying.  Pudding actually thrived with all the attention, which is hard to imagine these days when she is more easily overwhelmed in company.  It was busy, so we were called on to lend a hand with all the festivities.  Spectrummy Daddy was given the task of wearing the Father Christmas (Santa) costume, and distributing presents to the guests.  I kept Pudding out of the way, as she had a tendency to think all gifts were hers to unwrap at the time.  She still does at times.

We waited in the room until we heard a knock at the door.  In walked my husband still in his Santa outfit.

Pudding’s face lit up.  “Santa!”, she exclaimed.

“Ho, ho, ho.  Merry Christmas, Pudding!”, Santa replied, in a suitably booming voice.  To me ears, he sounded just right.  To Pudding’s super-sensitive hearing powers, not so much.

Pudding responded with just one word: “Daddy.”

Frantic looks were exchanged between myself and Santa.  We couldn’t have just destroyed Christmas for our 2 year-old, could we?

Me: “No, no, Pudding.  Look, this is Santa!

Pudding: “Santa.  Daddy.  Santa Daddy, Santa Daddy, Santa Daddy!”

There was no changing her mind.  Santa Daddy it was.  Even now, two years later, when she sees that picture she tells me it is Santa Daddy.  At least we got an adorable photo out of the whole ordeal.

Almost as cute as this one taken the next day:

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 20, 2010 at 6:48 am

Advocating for Santa

with 7 comments

Custom Santa Suit, http://www.costumers.com

Image via Wikipedia

Disney had given me another kind of magic.  Being in a place where my kids got the accommodations they needed, I got to see them have just as good a time as any other kid.  Normally we avoid certain things, or we tentatively try them with me hanging around the periphery, ready to pull out in case of disaster.  But at Disney, all I’d had to do was ask for the supports my kids needed, and they were given.  Which leads me to think, maybe I just need to ask more.  Maybe instead of feeling like I’m putting people out by asking for certain things, I should instead approach as though my kids are entitled to enjoy the same experiences as other children, and I have every right to ask that they be included and assisted in that goal.

I know, you’re probably wondering why I’m not there already.  After all, Pudding is in the public school system, and receives numerous supports which, while not taking for granted, I do accept as her right.  But the law here explicitly states her entitlement to a free and appropriate education.  I don’t have a hard time pushing for what she needs there.  It is when there is no legal framework in place, when we rely on goodwill that I find it harder to insist on such supports.  When I think, wouldn’t it be nice if she could do X like the other kids, but we don’t because it is too hard.  I loved taking Pudding to a sensory showing at the cinema, but until now, I’ve held back on asking.

I’ve been looking for a Sensitive Santa for a while now.  We just never seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and eventually I gave up for this year.  We’ve just been too busy, and I haven’t had time to talk it through with Pudding.  We walked into a mall in Orlando, and saw the familiar site of families queuing up to get their pictures taken with Santa.  He wasn’t a “sensitive” one, but nonetheless, out of nowhere I became determined that Pudding and Cubby took part in this quintessential childhood experience.

I approached the staff, and asked explain that Pudding found it impossible to wait in long lines.  I asked if they could suggest a time when we could return without having to queue.  The lady consulted with another, and the next thing we knew, we were being ushered to meet Santa that very minute!

I’d love to say that Pudding jumped on his lap, and told him what she wanted for Christmas, but with no explaining or coaching, that was never going to be.  She refused to sit on his lap (rightly so, as we spend the rest of the year ensuring stranger danger), but she was content enough to sit with me next to him.  Cubby screamed his little heart out, but calmed down enough when Daddy took him to sit on his lap.  In the end, we got a group photo (including Ernie) that is acceptable.

More than that, I got a lesson that it is okay to ask for what my kids need.  Being an advocate doesn’t just happen at school, I need to get comfortable with doing it all the time.  So comfortable, that when those beautiful big eyes are watching me, they see that it is okay to ask for what you need.  I can’t think of a better present to ask from Santa.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 17, 2010 at 7:58 am