A Visit With Santa Claus

I was up early this morning, and immedaitely got busy rolling out the second double batch of gingerbread men and making a rice pudding, to use up a full container of milk. I called to see if Riku could come over this morning, so that he could get a morning nap in before going to visit Santa at Stonestown Mall today. Daddy came up for a warm cookie before going to work.

After breakfast, Riku had a great time playing with his cars in the kitchen, and then quietly going through his books alone in the living room, and whilst sitting on his red chair in the kitchen. At 11 a.m. Riku went down for an hour and a half nap! We picked Akane up and went off with a very excited little boy. He knew he was to visit Santa and we practiced his saying that he wanted "big truck".

There was a line-up for Santa but Susan and Amelia showed up soon after we arrived, which was lots of fun. We all took turns walking around the tree area with the children, and soon it was time for the big moment. Amelia was a little apprehensive about this big guy in red waved exuberantly at her, and we hoped that Riku's enthusiasm would influence her. Riku walked right up to Santa, sat on his lap, touched his beard and pointed to his nose, and told him on cue that he wanted a big truck. Doug and Akane were taking photos with their digital cameras and managed to get some good ones of this duo.

Amelia was having none of it. Susan sat beside Santa with Amelia on her knee, but Amelia just wanted out of that scene! Poor wee girl; she will no doubt be keen next year but this year was just too soon for her. She was so much happier walking around the mall, peeking at all the decorated trees and windows and delighting everyone with her polka dotted lime green dress; one woman exclaimed that she looked just like a Christmas decoration, and she did!

After the visit we wandered into a couple of stores and Riku once more took great delight in inspecting all there was to see. The toy store was such a treat for him; lots of things to look at in great detail... a robot that moved toward him, lots of wiggly little things, assorted balls of every colour, books, etc. We had a hard time convincing him it was time to leave there but it turned out he had lots of time in Macy's (while I stood in a very slow lineup to buy a little ornament for Amelia) inspecting all the ornament baskets once again. He had such fun doing this two weeks ago, and his enthusiasm hadn't dampened in the meantime. Doug told me later he was amazed at just how many words Riku knows now; he is also so careful about putting things back in exactly the right place after he has had a good look at them.

After dropping off Akane and Riku, Doug and I set out to do a few errands... extra gifts, some grocery shopping for Ontario... bread and chocolates, and finally decided to stop for an early dinner of pizza in Noe Valley.

I was very tired when we got home, but called Jody while enjoying a hot cup of tea. All is well with Jody and Hal; they will have their first paying B&B guest on Christmas Day.

I managed to get up enough energy to make up the sugar cookie dough before Doug and I finished off the day by watching a taped tv show. I enjoyed a little back rub while trying not to doze off! Only three more sleeps.


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