Since the Christmas season began, I've really been giving a lot of hype to visiting Santa in hopes that Jake's reaction to the old guy might improve. In case you've forgotten, here's the 2009 pic:
Leading up to today, both kids would excitedly tell me that Santa says "Ho ho ho" & would rattle off what they were going to ask him to bring for them. They even agreed emphatically when I asked if they were going to sit in his lap for a picture. When we reached the front of the line, Jake grinned with his first glimpse of Santa & then cheerfully walked up to him saying, "Hi Santa!" When I picked him up to place him on Santa's knee, though, things went downhill fast. While Mal sat patiently with Santa, Jake tried to clench his thighs around me to keep me from releasing him. By the time I wrenched him off of me & sat him down, this was happening:
Santa's a pretty smart guy & had a cool toy there to distract our screaming toddler.
He actually grinned as he was looking down at the toy...
& then looked up nervously, long enough for the photographer to capture this:
Then he promptly dissolved into hysterics once more. After the photo session, he never would tell us why he didn't want to sit with Santa but just kept saying matter-of-factly, "I cried." Mal happily told everyone at the picture counter, "I like Santa!"