"Will we actually SEE Tracey Beaker like I'm seeing you now?," says Child 1 before I've even managed to open my eyes. She's already fully clothed in an attempt to speed us up. She's been working on a few drawings this week to give to Daddy when he comes this afternoon to take them to the cinema and out for dinner but she decides to give her favourite to her off the telly. I see over breakfast she puts her address on the bottom with a note 'maybe you could write to me,' and not for the first time I feel a lump in my throat. Child 2 has gone into melt down over socks - she hates to wear them- and has stuffed them down the back of the sofa while her sister is asking me to help with our postcode. Then there's a full scale hunt for five teddies which absolutely have to come with us. Finally we're out and speed walking into town.
As soon as we arrive at the Assembly Hall we're met by The Pickering Centre angels, I was in bits. "She cries A LOT, sometimes on the phone," states child 1 to anyone who will share her mild embarrassment.
Then the magic begins. Santa came out to see the children (big and small) and gives them each a gift. He was soon followed by the most convincing looking anamatroic polar bear you will ever see.
One of the volunteers then whispered to me, "look, Tracey Beaker is coming down the stairs". I tried to call Child 1 to get her attention but it came out like I'd been sucking helium. More face flooding. Thank god Child 1 can handle herself because I tried to help her ask for an autograph but couldn't get the words out.
After Child 1's year was made, we got on The Santa Train and went about town, singing as we went. The girls dad met us in town and took the girls off for their afternoon of fun. It was only when I got home, I realised with all the wind in my hair and the face leak, I looked like I was about to go on stage to perform Cats Still, I don't think it does any harm to reinforce the crazy ex-wife stereotype now and again.
I made good use of my free hours by getting the front room Christmassy. Actually, I had a really long nap and then woke up and berated myself for leaving it to the last minute but the result was the same. I've been a bit practical and gone for an alternative tree this year as the girls going to their other family so it makes sense not yo go overboard.