"Maddox, you get out of there right now. This is not a toy, this is not something we play with." I say in the firmest and quietest voice I can muster.
Mad is choosing to ignore me and is now making loud vroom-vroom sounds to accompany the violent turning of the steering wheel. I am frantically debating on what to do- do I haul him out of the car and let the meltdown ensue right before I am about to sit him on Santa's lap? Do I try to talk him out of this car for the next fifteen minutes and continue to disrupt other people's pictures just to avoid said meltdown. No, I cant do it. Just when I am about to scoop him up and brave the thrashing and screaming that comes along with a 2 year old being removed from a forbidden and enjoyable activity it hits me. Santa. We have been talking for 2 months about Santa watching you and how you have to be a good boy, yackity yackity... so I turn to Maddox and say
"Maddox you need to listen to Mommy, Santa is watching you. He knows you aren't being a good boy and listening to Mama." Maddox looks at me with a raised brow, thinks for a moment and goes back to vroom-vrooming.
"No seriously, dude, he is right over there and he is watching you!" I hiss and thumb over my shoulder at the fat guy in the big red suit. Maddox leans back in the car to get a look around me and is just in time to see Santa look at him and wave. The other kid is done and Santa is now waiting for us and is chuckling at the scene before him. Well, you never saw a kid try to get out of a toy car so fast in your life. He was falling over himself try to extricate himself from this thing and I had to pick him up finally because he got his feet stuck under the pedals. The picture was taken and everything went smooth from there on out. But I do now have the added pleasure of being able to remind Mad that somewhere Santa maybe watching!