Santa: What are you doing up in the middle of the night? Santa only comes to homes where everyone is sleeping.
Me: Well you see, that's almost a physical impossibility. I suffer from a nomadic sleep disorder - you, know the kind where you get up and wander around in the middle of the night trying every couch and extra bed to find the one that's just right?
Santa: But my dear, why don't you sleep?
Me: I have three teenage girls. . .
Santa: Don't you think I know that already? I'm Santa remember. . . I have them on my list.
Me: Which list are they on? The Naughty or Nice list?
Santa: Well that, my dear, is a tough one.
Me again: You see, I think that's one of the reasons I don't sleep . . . I don't know which list to put them on myself. Sometimes I think they're terribly naughty. . . they fight. . . they lie . . . they're mean to me. . . they accuse me of freaking out! when I'm only asking a question . . . they're self absorbed, self-centered, and self. . . well, they're plain old selfish!
Santa: But they're teenagers. What did you expect?
Me: I honestly don't know what I expected. I held them as tiny newborns in my arms. . . I fed them in the middle of the night. . . I kissed them . . . I loved them . . . I tucked them into bed. . . drove them to their dancing lessons . . . helped them with their homework . . . took them to the mall. . . threw them birthday parties . . . rushed them to the emergency room with their broken bones. . . .stayed by their side when they were sick . . . You name it, I did it!
Santa: And now?
Me: Well now they no longer need me.
Santa: Not at all?
Me: I guess I should correct that. They no longer need me as long as they have my debit card. As a matter of fact, I now know what I feel like . . . a human ATM machine. . . dispensing twenties and fifties . . . and permission slips. . . and tanks of gas. . . and tampons, twizzlers, and tofu . . . but yet I've never once seen them make a deposit. And if by chance they approach the machine and it doesn't behave quite the way they want it to, I get kicked and screamed at and banged on until I give in and spit out what it is they want.
Me again: Some days I just want to post a big OUT OF ORDER sign and just walk away. Or better yet - a sign that reads DEPOSITS ONLY!
Santa: Well, my dear, I wish I could give you some magical words of advice. I've never had teenage girls before. I think the best advice I can give you is just to sit tight and wait for them to come around. You've raised them to be good people, you know. . . just keep loving them and those deposits will roll in sooner or later . . .
Me: Are you sure?
Santa: I'm not a psychic, you know, but it's a pretty good guess. Now speaking of deposits. . . let's get these stockings filled. . .
Me: Okay. . . I guess you're right. . .
Me again: And just one more thing. . .
Me: Thanks for not sleeping through the present thing this year. I'm sorry for calling you a Good for Nothing Elf. . . .I know I don't say it often enough, but I really do love you. Even if you snore a lot!
Santa: I love you too. Now let's get back to bed and try to get some sleep! We've got a big day tomorrow.