Did you know that Santa has a house in Midland? He comes and stays here every year for the month of December. It's a delightfully magical place. You walk in and there are things! happening! everywhere! Trains are running, elves are working, airplanes are flying through the air. It's really quite fun. And then, of course, there is Santa!
Last year, Ella was 5 months old and really didn't care too much about Santa, though as I recall she thought his beard was fun. And Julia. . . well, Julia cried. Not too surprising if you know our girl. She did NOT want to sit on his lap. Well here, look at the picture from last year:
Notice the death grip on Clark.
So this year I had low expectations. My goal: no tears.
We walked into the house, and the girls were both very excited about the decor. Loved all the action. About halfway through the line, there is a sleigh photo-op. We snapped a photo:
Then we attempted to get one more with Julia looking at the camera:
Julia was still distracted, and Ella desperately wanted to be held. This did not bode well for Santa-time. At this point you could tell that both girls' anxiety levels were rising.
As we got closer I would let Ella take a look at the kids in front of us in line, and let her see that they were sitting on his lap. I told her she could do that if she wanted, but she didn't have to. And I tried to make it very clear to Julia that she didn't have to sit on his lap. No one would make her do anything she didn't want to do.
Ella went first. She wanted nothing to do with Santa. But, I didn't force the issue, so she didn't cry. A picture with Santa with no tears. 1 girl down, 1 to go.
Clark set Julia down on the stool next to Santa. You could tell she was nervous.
Julia has a hard time talking to strangers. But I think she felt she had to tell Santa what she wanted, or else she might not get it. So I was bursting with pride as I watched her muster up all her courage and say, "I want Hello Kitty squinkies and Hello Kitty slippers." I think it took every ounce of bravery in her little body. But she did it! And she didn't cry! I was so very, VERY proud of my girl.
Then we played in the igloo outside, and all the anxiety was forgotten.
Mission accomplished. NO TEARS. Maybe next year we'll get girls smiling at the camera while sitting next to Santa. Baby steps.
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