My husband thinks he's Santa Claus.
And despite his lack of flying reindeer and his inability to wiggle his nose and whisk up a chimney, he almost is.
In spirit anyway.
As far as parenting goes, this really feels like Allison's first Christmas. Last year she was a little more than a month old and stayed flat on a blanket while we shoved blinking musical toys in her face. Then she spit up, pooped and passed out.
This year she'll be able to comprehend NEW TOYS. And that fact has not been lost on Jerry.
Sometime in October, he started scouring toy store circulars in the Sunday paper. And trolling toy sites online. Then he made a list. And checked it twice.
"WHOA! LOOK AT THIS BALL CRAWL!" he said, pointing to the computer screen with exuberance. "Oh man, how COOL would THAT be to come downstairs to on Christmas morning?"
And he knew because it was on sale that I'd agree. Even better? It's deflatable, so when it loses its luster, I can happily tuck it in a corner of a closet somewhere.
Once November arrived, he was so worked up about the protocol of portraying Santa that we HAD to go shopping IMMEDIATELY. If not, I probably would've ended up smothering him with his stocking or choking him to death with a string of lights just so I wouldn't have to hear the words "get on board" again.
So Jer's mom agreed to watch Allison for an afternoon while we tried to find a compromise somewhere in between buying the whole store and buying just enough to use the coupon I clipped.
Surprisingly, it went really well. We just started loading up the cart with things we knew she'd enjoy. At the end, we figured we'd review our options, tally up the cost and edit from there if we needed to.
Then we got to the Elmo Live display.
It has been billed as the "it" present for the toddler set.
It sings, it dances, it tells jokes. It was supposed to be hard to find. Which is why Jerry had INSISTED that we preorder and prepay for one online.
But now, there they were. Dozens of Elmos in a towering stack.
"We have to get one," Jerry said.
"WHAT? ... No," I said. "We've already paid for one."
"But it's on BACKORDER," Jer said. "It's not supposed to come until sometime in December. And what if it's late like the chair?"
Admittedly a low blow, sure, but he knew that would convince me. So I begrudgingly put it in the cart knowing that I could go online and cancel our other order. And at least we'd avoid paying shipping fees.
When I got home and followed the instructions on how to cancel the order, I was sent a lovely response informing me that Elmo No. 2 had already been shipped. Weeks earlier than expected.
So now we have both in our attic -- one in a Toys R Us bag and one in a Fisher Price box surrounded by styrofoam peanuts.
And because it turned out not to be the "it" toy thanks to the insane price, now retailers are putting them on sale. And I want to kill myself.
Jerry, however, sleeps just fine at night. To him, ending up with two Elmos is just a routine part of being Santa.
And if only one Elmo lives to see Christmas morning, I'll blame a rogue elf.