Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sometimes the fodder is hand delivered to your door

My father left me a message yesterday on my answering machine. Mr. C got to it before I did. "Your Dad called this morning," he said.

"What did he say?"

"You'll want to listen to the message yourself," he said with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Sure, my father lives a bit left of center most of the time, but we're used to his idiosyncracies, I could not imagine what would be so funny on that message that my husband would not relay it to me. So I picked up the phone and dialed in.

"Hi, T__. Listen, P__ (his girlfriend) bought an outfit for Chicky. She thought you'd like to have it for Chicky to wear on Christmas day. It's a Santa outfit with a hat and everything."

A Santa outfit.

Great.

The message went on from there, but honestly I stopped listening after I heard the words "Santa outfit". I sat, slack jawed, while the rest played and Mr. C grinned. I couldn't get out of this one. How could I diplomatically say thanks but no thanks? I didn't want to put my active toddler into a red polyester velvet-like ensemble on Christmas Day. I had already purchased clothes for her to wear, clothes that would be appropriately festive yet would hold up to a day full of cookies, cakes and candy canes. An outfit that Chicky would not protest when I tried to put it on her and would not itch her delicate toddler skin or give her a rash. But someone else went out and bought her a special outfit that could only be worn once, so it had to be worn. A bit presumptuous, yes, but what can I do? I'm stuck.

My father and his girlfriend delivered the Santa suit to us this morning and it is as awful as I had imagined. A jacket-like shirt with fake belt, elastic waist pants and a hat with a white pompom, all trimmed with fluffy fake fur usually reserved for dime store teddy bears and all 100% Polyester. P.'s parting words were, "I can't wait to see her in it."

I can't even put the hat on Chicky's head without her breaking into terrified sobs. Getting her into the rest of the outfit is going to be so much fun.

Mr. C laughed over the message but when I told him that Chicky would have to wear the Santa clothes he stopped laughing. Yes, she has to wear it. My father's girlfriend had the best of intentions when she purchased it and she is genuinely excited to see my daughter toddle in the door on December 25 decked out like a miniature St. Nick.

Ho ho ho. Won't that be great?

Great.

Before my mother died she would often tell me stories of the purple fur coat that my grandmother had bought for me to wear on one of my first Easters. It was unseasonably warm that day, much too warm for a fur coat, yet my mother insisted that I wear it because not only was it a gift but it was an expensive gift. Apparently I cried the whole time because I was hot and uncomfortable but she would not take it off of me. I was wearing that coat, dammit, sweat and tears be damned. History does have a way of repeating itself, doesn't it?

These are the things we do to our children when someone gives us an inappropriate gift. I won't force Chicky to wear the outfit if she truly hates it but we're going to give it a try. If we can get her to leave it on for even 10 minutes we'll chalk it up as a victory and move on. Maybe we'll even snap a few pictures to save for posterity. And many years from now I'll tell her stories of the year I made her wear a Santa suit because someone bought it for her and it had to be worn. Hopefully we'll all have a good laugh over it.

I'd love to include a picture of my daughter here in her new clothes so we all can enjoy together but I still can't get it near her without Chicky running away in fear. But I'm going to keep trying. She's got to wear that outfit, dammit, just for five minutes whether she likes it or not.



Even if it is the most horrible thing I've seen in a long time. Oh lord, it is awful.

47 comments:

IAI said...

Oh my. OH MY.
That is awful. I have a reindeer shirt for GC to wear, that's about as festive as it gets. I have two years worth of "holiday garb" that still has tags, I'm bitchy like that. Plus, I made it known the kid would not be a dress-up doll so anyone who sent that shit shoulda known better.
But for you, a nice lady dealing with a gift with nice intentions, I say: LIE.
1: Torture the kid, snap a picture and then blame a bodily function as to why it's no longer being worn.
2: Don't even put her in it and blame the bodily function of your choice as the reason it's not on. (As in, "We put it on her and she was sooooooooooo cute but then she puked/peed/shit all over it."

Oh, The Joys said...

Yikes. I hope you have the back-up outfit at the ready.

Avalon said...

Avalon to the rescue. Put Chicky in it right before you get into the car to go to Dad's. Bring along a little, discreet container with a mixture of baby foods....peas, creamed corn and carrots work well. Right before you take her out of the car, dump some strategically down the front of the outfit, run into the house holding her at arms length proclaiming " Holy crap! Chicky just puked ALL OVER her beautiful new Christmas outfit!! Good thing we got a few pictures before we came over!"
No one will want to get close enought to confirm the story.

You Win!!

Jess Riley said...

This is just cruel. But it makes me laugh.

Does that mean I'm a bad person?

(PS: I like the idea of a well-timed spill to cut the wear-time short. )

Christina said...

Yikes. I was dressed in a horrible outfit like that when I was a baby. Why do people insist on dressing little girls up in Santa outfits? Putting it on a boy makes a little more sense.

I'm with the others - find an excuse to dump something on it, then change her right away.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Get her in it for a picture or two to give the man, then say she peed all over it. So you take it of and lo and behold...the holiday is over and she grew out of it.

That's what I did for SF's first christmas.

gorillabuns said...

i'm with jess on the well timed spill or maybe you can say she pooped her pants.

something blue said...

Poor Poor Chicky Baby. (Notice that I repeated myself for added effect.)

Five minutes is all that is required. It brings a whole new meaning to "Santa Baby."

ewe are here said...

Poor Chicky Baby. Who can blame her for not wanting to wear a boy's santa suit.

Like others have suggested, 'spill' something on it. Or have a diaper 'accident'.

radioactive girl said...

Maybe she can "accidentally spill something" on it before you leave the house?

Oh, I just read other people's comments and I see everyone seems to be thinking alike on this one. If she honestly won't wear it, I wouldn't force her! I have one son who won't wear anything that anyone chooses for him because his skin is so sensitive it makes him crazy. He gets out of everything like this because of it. My other three kids must wear the dreaded outfit for at least ten minutes and then can change...you know, because it is hot or something.

Lena said...

I have the answer Tanya. Photoshop her face onto it, send them a pic, and then Ebay it. Merry Christmas.;)

wendy boucher said...

Just tell Dad's girlfriend that although you LOVE the outfit, it's not firesafe and well, she wouldn't want your little precious in an outfit that would melt to her skin, would she?

Chase said...

Heeeeheh! Sorry, but I think it's cute!

Of course, you can totally ignore my response because it's coming from someone who 1) doesn't have kids and 2) wants to dress her beagle up in pink princess costumes just for fun.

LOL!

But, really? If you get a picture, post it so I can giggle more! :)

Pattie said...

Could you tell her the dog ate it? Or it got destroyed in the washing machine? Oh my....what a predicament...if you actualy do get it on her, you must take a picture. Let your readers decide... *LOL*

MotherBumper said...

Yow-ow-ouch, that's one flammable looking little outfit, I feel for little Chicky. But at least you know the intentions were well meaning.

I love how you go from saying she has to wear it all day, to ten minutes to just five minutes...

Good luck and keep her away from open flames.

Mind you... she will look so darn cute.

Mommy off the Record said...

Aww, it's not that bad.

*stifles snickers*

Really, it's cute. Really.

But maybe just bring your back-up outfit for her so that if she accidently, say, spills on the Santa outfit, you'll have a change of clothes.

scribbit said...

Nice of them to think of you, but I can see your point. A picture's worth a thousand.

Maybe her diapers aren't so strong, leakages do occur, often ruining outfits.

julia said...

That really is horrid. Can't you spill grape juice on it, JUST before you're due to leave the house for theirs?

The blown out diaper is a good one, too. Right before you leave the house. No time to wash it.

Damselfly said...

You're a better person than I am. I can put up with a lot of stuff, but when it comes to clothes -- mine or my kids -- I would definitely draw the line. All it takes is one time putting your foot down, and I bet your dad's girlfriend won't go buying any more outfits.

Blog Antagonist said...

LOL! I guess I have to admit that I did it to my own kid, though not with a Santa outfit. For Pre-Pubescent One's first Christmas I bought an adorable little outfit (not a problem) with a matching hat (problem). For some reason, I was admanat about him wearing the hat to match. SIGH.

I don't have any advice. I like the bodily function suggestion though. Go with that one.

Dana said...

I hate to say I was forced into the same thing when Dawson was 3 months old. It was his first Christmas and he was stuck in two different santa suits....one Christmas Eve, one Christmas Day from both mother and mother-in-law.

How's that for torture? Later I told them.....Never again...I swore....and so far it's worked!

Joker The Lurcher said...

joker would love to wear this! well perhaps not... i'm with the plan to have it meet with disaster. or how about saying it will do her untold psychological damage to realise that all that makes you a santa is wearing this sort of suit?

kerrianne said...

Did it come with little black Santa boots, too? : ) Ok, I'm probably not helping, but honestly, you are surely brave for even attempting.

Anonymous said...
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Kate said...

Yikes! I can't help but be reminded of the movie, "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie's mom makes him wear the easter bunny outfit!

soleclaw said...

I feeeeel your pain.

My MIL bought E a Christmas dress. I am not sure what the intentions are for this dress. It's alright, I don't mind the dress...but when am I supposed to make E wear it? During our 3 person impersonation of a proper Christmas dinner? I certainly ain't shelling out $80 for E to have her Christmas picture taken at a studio in that dress. Ugh.

So I have this perfectly cute if not a bit annoyingly festive dress hanging in E's closet. I'll probably stage something here at the apartment, E in the dress near the tree or something.

Good luck with your santa suit. Bring extra clothes to your Christmas gathering just in case!

Ericka said...

hmm. i'm sure you wash all of your child's new clothing before she wears them 'cause wow doesn't everyone? this close to the holidays, with all of the things to get finished, bleach could somehow find its way into the washer. or the dryer could be set to 'melt.' hey, it's tragic, but these things happen.

Ericka said...

hmm. i'm sure you wash all of your child's new clothing before she wears them 'cause wow doesn't everyone? this close to the holidays, with all of the things to get finished, bleach could somehow find its way into the washer. or the dryer could be set to 'melt.' hey, it's tragic, but these things happen.

Ericka said...

gah. stupid beta blogger. sorry about the double post!

croutonboy said...

Do you think there's a missing neuron in the heads of people who buy these things? The neuron that fires after the "oh this is cute" neuron and counters with "but my god, what human, regardless of age, would be caught dead in this."

I think it's the same missing neuron that people who buy dog-sweaters lack.

lildb said...

two words: spilled milk. approx. two seconds into the, uh, "wearing" of the red/white/black/fluffy ensemble.

seriously.

T. said...

I vote for you and Mr. Chicky to get matching outfits and then post a family pic on your blog.

Cuz we all need a holiday giggle and why should the Chicklet have all the fun?

Snicker, snicker...

creative-type dad said...

Ah, I feel for ya'. The wife's "sista'" bought our daughter one of those ugly Santa outfits from like Ross or Marshalls (complete with stains and a weird smell) and wanted her to wear it.

I felt really bad for her. Even though she was 5 months, I knew she was crying on the inside...

Stacy said...

My mother pulled that oh-here's-a-cute-Santa-outfit-for-grandbaby-to-wear crap on me a few years back when my daughter was two month's old. Thank goodness she outgrew the outfit before the big day arrived. (But my mother still to this day thinks I deliberately overfed dd to get out of it. WTH?)

You should go to a thrift store and buy your father and his girlfriend two of the most hideous Santa outfits, go to their house, and (grinning like a wildcat) say, "Oh, I saw these outfits and thought they'd look so lovely on you two. It's going to be such a merry Christmas, isn't it?"

Blonde Chick said...

Could it "accidentally" get something spilled on it?

Ooops, did I say that out loud?

Nice blog ya got here!

mamatulip said...

Oh boy...yeah, that's a doozy. You're a bigger woman than I -- I would be all, "Oh, no! I spilled NAIL POLISH REMOVER all over it!!" and give a performance worthy of an Emmy.

I really, really want to see pics of Chicky in it. And I'm gonna place my bets on how long she lasts in it: 8 minutes and 29 seconds.

MrsFortune said...

I second what everyone else said ... there are a million excuses as to why a toddler had to be "changed" after you so diligently put it on her (prove that with a quick photo) ... wow. You are one decent daughter to do that.

Nicole said...

OH, but it will look SO cute.

jen said...

the things we do to appease both the young, and the old...

two words:

stiff martinis

Kristin said...

I don't know what to say... I've willingliy slapped those outfits on all 3 of my kids.

Tacky just might be my middle name.

Mamacita Tina said...

It.is.truly.awful. I'm of the opinion, if it isn't soft and comfortable, don't wear it. Of course there are exceptions, when someone gives it as a gift. Grin and bear it, yup, yup.

wayabetty said...

"Oops, the dog thought it was a toy and chewed through the whole outfit, leaving only the hat in tact." I'm trying to come up with excuses for you.

Good luck Mrs. C.

metro mama said...

Maybe you could put it on her until you get there and they see it. Then you could "accidently" spill something on it and have to change her.

Kristi said...

What's not to love? Maybe I just love mocking my own children too much. I'd have them all wearing pink bunny suits on Christmas day if I could. For my own amusement.

You'r the mama. Put your foot down.

mothergoosemouse said...

Yikes. Tah-to-the-kee.

But I'm a thoughtless snob, so what do I know?

Sandra said...

I am laughing my ass off because that is SO something my parents did when my son was one. I pretended it didn't fit him because I am rotten and ungrateful :)

kittenpie said...

Wow. You are one good kid to not just say, "Hell no!" Or that she dumped her cheerios all over it at breakfast... or loved it so much she insisted on wearing it the last two days in a row and it's now in the wash...(just a suggestion)