Friday, 14 December 2012

There's No Crying In Santa's Grotto

Yesterday I took Frostina to have her picture taken with Santa. It's a huge milestone in my parenting book. Her first photo with Santa, followed by her first Christmas, followed by a bunch of other firsts that I can photograph and share with family and friends.

So many firsts that she will have that her brother will not.

There are many options when it comes to Santa's Grotto's here in London. Some are just basic, and some (like Harrods) are quite fancy and require advance booking. Since Frostina is only 6 months old and is not always happy to be held by strangers, I opted for the closest option. That way if she freaked out and cried I would not be terribly inconvenienced.

As it turns out, she was not the one I should have been worried about.

We got to our local shopping centre and even though I had booked an appointment, it turns out it wasn't necessary. There was only one other child in front of us so I didn't have to worry about waiting too long. In addition, the napping and eating gods had shined down on us and Frostina was both well fed and well rested. Optimum conditions for a happy baby.

As I began the process of unwrapping her from her jacket/blankets/hat combo (it is freezing here in London) and getting her out of her buggy I felt it.

You know that feeling when you just know you're going to cry???

I felt it rising up in my throat. Tears welling up in my eyes. What on earth was happening?? Why was I crying? Why was I the one about to cry in Santa's Grotto??

Of course that's when it hit me. This was one of those moments that I get to share with Frostina but will never be able to share with my son. I get so busy taking care of her day to day that I sometimes forget that many of her firsts will be both exhilarating and crushingly sad.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't have my sunglasses with me. It's been a while since I've been caught out like this. So I did what I've learned how to do when the tears creep in. I dig my fingernails into my palms and try to think about something else. I also had Frostina to joke with and smile at which helped as well.

So no meltdown this time. Well, not until I got home..... but that's progress and I'll take it.

Frostina on the other hand did not cry at all. She sat on Santa's lap and let the Elf helper take her photo. No smile, but she still looked cute. I made sure to buy one photo for me and a couple for the Grandparents. I just know they will love them.


  1. Christmas is an emotional time, every mum I think sheds a tear of some sort. "I sometimes forget that many of her firsts will be both exhilarating and crushingly sad." I'd try to focus more on the "exhilarating" and truly enjoy the gift that she is...

  2. I'm finding myself crying a lot at the moment. It is so difficult balancing the enormous joy of our rainbows with the pain of our angels isn't it. Much love to you through the bittersweetness of Frostina's first Christmas. xx

  3. Focus on the will help immensely. Thinking of you all....

  4. I think you write so beautifully.