I don’t typically swim on the weekends, but I went in to the pool this past weekend because I knew it was going to be hard to fit in my usual daily swim with everything going on this week. I picked the wrong time. There were kids. Lots of kids. Like six of them.
But I was there, so I dove in anyway. At one point, they shut down the lane next to me to do swim lessons. The kid in the lesson was a tiny little girl–maybe 3 or 4? Not sure. I’m a terrible judge of age no matter the age. I heard her mother giving instruction from the bench along the wall, and she pretty soon had moved to squat at the end of the lane and give instruction. Question. Why would you pay for private lessons if you’re going to butt in and tell your kid what to do while the coach is trying to do her job?
Whatevs. That’s not even the point of this post.
As I was stopped long enough to put on my fins, I heard the mom say, “If you don’t put your face in the water, Santa will know you weren’t listening. He’s going to bring you coal.”
What the hell?
When did Santa become such a threat for kids? I thought he was a fairly jolly guy.
Besides that, let’s be clear on one thing. The girl was listening. She was just afraid to put her face in the water, so it wasn’t even a logical threat.
I just don’t understand the threat of Santa at all. *spoiler alert* He’s not even real. This mom was threatening her kid with a fake guy in a red suit. And do you really think that “Santa” isn’t going to bring the gift(s) that he was going to bring anyway if the kid never put her face in the water? No! It was an idle threat.
Years ago, I saw an episode of Dr. Phil (don’t judge; I was home sick from school) that was talking about parents making idle threats. Pretty soon your kid(s) learn that the threats you make are meaningless. Not completely sure why, but that’s stuck with me. Not that I make meaningful threats to the kids in my life. Pretty sure my niece and ‘phews know Aunt Laura is full of hot air. Good news though… I’m not their parent! I don’t have to carry through.
Back to Santa. That’s what started this whole rant in the first place. I just don’t get it. Why do kids feel so threatened? Maybe they’re used to getting good gifts from him. He was always such a disappointment to me. I never did get that pony I asked for every year, so I guess I knew he was an idle threat. I don’t recall ever not knowing that “Santa” wasn’t my parents, so I think they blew that secret when I was pretty young. Might have been my older brother who blew it.
Now that I’m an adult, I really don’t like the whole idea of Santa (especially if he’s just a convenient threat for parents during the month of December). He’s a chubby dude who spies on kids all year, and then he essentially breaks into their homes. Not good. Though I haven’t actually seen the movie, I have this picture in my head of who Santa really is (see below).