When we got to the mall, Georgia was pretty calm. Stoic, even. She looked like a Precious Moments Christmas Angel in her dress and it was refreshing to have her calmly sit in my arms rather than the usual squirming to get down and run around. I thought, sure, she will probably cry on Santa's lap. Stranger danger phase has hit and I expected a sad baby for the 3 seconds- a photo that was so pathetic it was funny.
We're called in by an elf to see Santa, and when we walk in Georgia clings to me like a cat. She starts crawling over my shoulder to get away from the man in the big red suit. I smile and I laugh and I point and I try to remind her of "Ho Ho Ho" and reassure her. I call in a friend to sit on his lap, but it doesn't do much good.
By that point, I think: "Well, she's in her dress and I'm not dragging her back here so we'll just get the photo."
I put her on Santa's lap and she FREAKS. And I'm not talkin' crying. She lets out this SCREECH that really sounded like something was seriously wrong. And you know what? All the people, and Santa and Mrs. Clause? They didn't say a word. You know when a cute dog suddenly barks and growls and everyone goes quiet for a second because they don't know if this dog is going to seriously hurt someone or not? That's what happened. A big fat SILENCE over my 18 month old's scream.
The screaming wasn't her only defense though. Oh no. Georgia started trying to CLAW Santa's face. I mean full on pulling his beard and then a quiet determination to get her little fingernails into his eyeballs.
In a few seconds that feel like forever, Georgia finally gives up trying to attack, and decides to focus her efforts on getting away. I realize that my dreams of a pathetically-sad picture are never going to happen and tell the girl behind the camera to just take the shot.
This photo does not even BEGIN to sum up the rage I saw in my daughter's eyes. Georgia was not "sad" to be sitting on Santa's lap. She was terrified- and ticked about it.
Because there are grandparents that wanted wallet sizes, my photo package came with key chains. I laugh every time I look at it now. Oh, my little angel Christmas baby.
The next day, our church had a Christmas breakfast, and Santa was there. I decided we would try again. I knew for a fact that my daughter was rested and full and that there would be no environmental factor for hating Old Saint Nick.
As soon as we entered the room and she caught sight of him- that same blood curdling scream fell over the crowd, and again, everyone became silent. I assured her that she didn't have to go closer and left the room. Later, I felt bad and wanted to give her a candy cane. The candy canes were in the same room as Santa, and as we walked closer, she spotted the door (not Santa- just the door) and sat right in the middle of the hallway and screamed.
Poor thing. I don't think I ever want her to see Santa again.