I actually forgot to use the Santa leverage this year.
It could have been such an awesome Fall! How could I have forgotten?
When Julie Pennell and I took the kids to the pumpkin patch in late September, Julie was already in full Santa-pointing mode. "Now Eva, don't you DARE unbuckle your seatbelt! Santa can see you, and I know he won't be coming if you do that!" With raised and pointed finger.
I thought: great idea, I am so going to do that this year. Jack is actually old enough to know who Santa is, because he remembers that Santa brought trains last year.
Alas, I let it slide; we had another naughty few months. The Pennells came over for a Christmas dinner & music. We decorated gingerbread persons. Eva did something naughty. "EVA!" cried Julie. "Santa will NOT be coming if you keep doing that!" Eva quickly retracted. Julie whispered to me, "Hasn't this year been great? We've really been able to use Santa for everything he's worth!"
I almost cried when I realized my lost opportunities. I could've been the one in charge, the queen of my household. Instead, it was just another few months of Jack poking the baby with sticks and positioning her at the top of the stairs when I wasn't looking.
The joke was on me, big time. Especially since I still had to spend my weekends being Santa. I used precious Daddy childcare time to drive around procuring the items that would appear Christmas day...because I just didn't have the heart to take "naughty or nice" seriously.
It's too soon to start with Santa leverage now. But--Son! You better watch out, because thanks to iPhone reminders, it's coming Fall 2013.