Santa Zhu Zhu


This is Mr. Squiggles. A Zhu Zhu. He and his pals Chunk, Pipsqueak and my favorite, Num Nums, are like The Jonas Brothers of the toy hamster world. Virtuous, pure, and desperately WANTED.

But lucky for us, Emmy is just a little sprout with no Christmas list of demands for Santa this year. She's thrilled with a box of Tic Tacs and a toilet paper roll. Still, The Good Doctor and I made the rounds this weekend at the most hellish place known to man. Toys R Us. The formula for how much you like that place must be inverse in proportion to your age. When you're little it is like THE BEST PLACE EVER. But good LORD as an adult I would rather pluck ten hairs from each nostril YES I WOULD than walk those narrow aisles of toys on shelves above price tags for completely different toys and secretly kid-slimed packages that you pick up and go, "Why is that wet?"

But we are now Parents. And as Parents, we are friends with Parents. Who have children. Who have birthdays and Christmas gift requirements and other such obligations. So we're looking for Yo Gabba Gabba, which I had no idea was the name of a line of products. I thought The Good Doctor was saying, "OK yada yada" when he was mumbling about gift ideas for his nephew. And we come across the treasure trove of Zhu Zhus.

For 129.99, you get two hamsters and the fake habitrail thing and other such accessories that keep Num Nums and his crew happy. I was like, "What a total rip for a hamster that's normally like 8 bucks!" But it's genius from a capitalize on Christmas if you're a company that suddenly has the hottest toy and it only retails for like 8 bucks perspective. RE-PACKAGE AND UPCHARGE! Merry Christmas y'all!

But that's how we got started on the Santa conversation and what we're going to tell Emmy when she's "of age." Which is like what, 4? When kids start knowing about stuff and wanting stuff and DEMANDING MOMMY I MUST HAVE IT NOW stuff? I really don't know how to do the whole Santa thing. Have I mentioned my English as a Second Language Upbringing? With the Vietnamesey parents?

I don't think they ever told me there was NO Santa. It was just assumed that I knew that. Presents were paid for by hard earned cash earned the hard way by working parents. But they were always just a little bit off. I remember 6th grade Christmas when I wanted cool pink or black Isotoner gloves and Guess? jeans and other assorted things that my friend Regina was asking for on her Christmas list. I got brown-ish colored gloves, Esprit sweatshirts, and generic versions of the assorted things Regina got. And I was so awful. I think I cried and told my mom how wrong those presents were. I know, a slap across the face would've been justified. She totally tried her best but just didn't quite get the subtle differences between what I wanted and what she got me. 

The fact she didn't kick me to the curb and still buys 99.9% of my gifts from "Mom and Dad" really means she is the kindest woman ever. My dad has probably purchased about 5 gifts for me in all my life. And they include mail order ice spikes that attach to my shoes via giant rubber bands. So annoy. But man, does that guy love GETTING gifts. I already have this year's list. GPS, computer monitor, dinner at The Boiling Crab.

Anyway, I'm essentially very challenged in the Santa department. In addition to my own lack of firsthand growing up with Santa memories, I'm a terrible liar and secret keeper. I once blurted out, "I can't wait to give you your guitar!" instead of "I can't wait to give you your gift!" one Christmas. And then kicked my own ass repeatedly as The Good Doctor laughed so hard because I spoiled my own secret.

I'm also not a creative story teller. Sure that's what I do for oh, a living and all, but I just don't know how I'm going to tell Emmy about Santa and then PERPETUATE THE LIE. Because if she is really truly my daughter sprung from my own parts, which my parts can testify that Yes Ma'am she did indeed spring from them, She Will Ask Questions. About Santa's origins, his bathroom habits, and why is he inside all the Walmarts and why is he sometimes black or white or Latin but never Asian, as my friend pointed out. 

I know this because any child of mine will end up questioning me to death and I will be terrible at coming up with quickly formed logic on the spur of the moment. So we've agreed, I will leave it to The Good Doctor to spin the tangled web we weave when we set out to deceive. Emmy, when you're of age to read this blog, I'm sorry. It was your father's idea to tell you all the lies fun stories about Santa. 

He did say it would be cool if we did the whole Santa thing but used it to up our street cred with Emmy. Like every year Santa would bring her all the lame gifts like math worksheets and pencil sharpeners and Mom and Dad got her the PONY! and the BIKE! and the Zhu Zhu equivalent in the year 2012!