You better not pout (especially if you're doing it in front of my mother while shopping at Target)!
When you think about it... It does seem a little far fetched that a guy who's outlived your grandfather's, grandfather's, grandfather's youngest son can still shimmy down an endless sea of chimneys delivering toys to good little girls and boys all over the world without even slowing down for a hot meal. If I ate cookies the way HE eats them, I would have been gone ten years ago! But the fact that he continues to show up every Christmas Eve without fail, is all the validation my daughter needs to keep the spirit alive.
The other day, my mother made her usual pit stop into Target. While she was frantically searching for that one last thing that she never found, she heard a tiny voice getting louder and louder from the next aisle over. The whining soon turned to crocodile tears; and my mother, in her grandmotherly way, decided it was time to step in. As she walked up to the boy, who was now screaming at his mother, she started to sing an old, familiar song just loud enough for him to hear...
You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry
You'd better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town...
Then... As an added bonus, she gave him one of those grandma nods of disapproval when his mother wasn't looking, while simultaneously singing the one passage that would seal the deal...
He's making a list, he's checkin' it twice
He's gonna find out whose naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town!
The whole thing lasted ten seconds, which in kid time, was a solid 45 minutes of sheer hell. But it worked, just as quickly and seamlessly as my mother knew it would; because at the end of the day, even the little one's are smart enough to know that it's better to be safe than sorry–especially when it comes to a shiny new toy. Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!