There are some advantages to having more than one child. After having gone through all the stages (up to twelve, at least), I can pretty much know what to expect in any given situation, and our visit to Santa was no exception.
I was prepared that nearing age two causes some serious stranger anxieties, and, let's face it, a big guy in a fully red suit with white fake fur trim, a big wide belt and beard, topped with a red hat -- pretty overwhelming for any kid, particularly a two year old.
So I planned well and was prepared for the outcome. We planned to go right after school and right after the nap. I choose this time because there would be less of a line. We walked straight up and had no wait. A BLESSING, I assure you. I was prepared that she wasn't going to "take" to Santa, so we planned a picture with her and Josh and then one with just her -- in that order so that she wouldn't start out being a wreck. She did well in the picture with her and Josh. I told the lady taking the picture that I was aware she was going to cry and go crazy when I handed her off to Santa, but to just take the picture and it would be fine. No stress on my part, eh? She did set off in full form, but the photo was made so quickly, it didn't matter. She even waved at Santa as she was leaving. Had this been my first go-round (as in with Josh), I would have been distraught that his pictures were bad. Now, I consider it part of her development and move on. Poor Josh -- my "parent teacher".
Now, I WILL say that this Santa was lacking a whole lot in the personality department, practically dropping her the first time I handed her off and then not even talking to them at all -- nothing, I had to tell Josh to tell him what he'd like for Christmas. You can see his winning personality in the picture of the three of them. He's not even making positive body language. Oh well. Can't have it all.
So, here you go: Christmas pictures with Santa 2009.