It’s the holidays again, that stressful time of year when parents overextend their checking accounts and their patience. The time of year when we may behave in ways unbefitting individuals who are trying to teach other, smaller individuals how one should behave. The Santa kick really was an accident. Really. However I’m not sure how my two-year old son perceived it after our confrontation over oatmeal or juice or hot dogs – I can’t remember. I’m sure to him it seemed that Mommy, Mean Mommy as I’ve been known, turned and punted the singing and dancing Santa doll across the kitchen on purpose. I felt the weight of the thing against my shoe as I took the step that sent Santa hurtling onto the table and into the pile of unwrapped Christmas gifts still in their bags. I continued walking for a second before I decided to stop and see what I’d actually hit with my foot. My son’s reaction was no reaction which I found odd, especially since I was apologizing and laughing simultaneously, wondering what permanent damage I’d just inflicted on my child’s psyche. It was funny to me. I couldn’t help it. My son, sitting helplessly in his high chair, as Mommy seemingly booted the jolly old elf. Since then Santa has taken a fall (I dropped him) in which his mechanical spine suffered damage, and he is no longer able to shake his butt and move his tiny feet. My son beseeched me to fix the doll, but as of eight o’ clock this morning Santa remained paralyzed. He does still sing his Jingle Bells song as enthusiastically as ever, though.