My Son Hates Santa

In retrospect, I should have known it would go poorly. 

We were at a friends house, and EH was just getting settled in playing in the living room with the other kids.  We were standing in the back of the room, and every couple of minutes he would look for us, call "Mama" and then run over to me and drag me to the toy area.  I was always successful at getting him started with a new toy and then quietly walking away, but we were only there for about 15 minutes before "the event" and so I really should have known.

We heard the jingle bells approaching and everyone in the room stood up and started walking towards the doorway.  This meant that EH's view of us was now obstructed and there were strange noises happening. He started yelling "Mama? Mama?" and running towards us, and you could hear the panic building in his voice.  But there were a lot of people to walk through, and even though I was heading towards him as well, he rounded a corner just in time to come face-to-face with the big man himself, and seriously, you would have thought that someone hit him with a taser gun or something equally as crazy, based on the chaos that ensued.

He started wailing - and by wailing, I mean WAILING - and I quickly scooped him and took him to the other room.  But he was nearly inconsolable, and didn't even want to be held.  This meant that the next ten minutes or so looked a lot like this.

And sometimes like this.

He would momentarily calm himself down, and then suddenly remember the monstrosity that he had just encountered and the sobbing would start all over again. 

We tried to talk to him in soothing tones about "Santa" and all the stuff that goes along with Santa, but he wasn't having any of it.  "Ahhhh!!! I no like Santa!!!" was all he would say for a considerable amount of time. 

At one point when he had calmed down a bit, I carried him into the room, but he immediately started crying again.  So back out we went.  "I no like Santa," he stated again, quite firmly. 

Once, Mrs. Claus even approached EH to give him a coloring book, but the ear piercing wailing quickly scared her away.

So while the other kids sat on Santa's lap, told him what they wanted, got candy canes and coloring books from Mrs. Claus, and then sat in a circle listening to stories? 

We watched.

From the back of the room.

And even then he considered that to be far too close to those terrifying red and white people.  "I no like Santa!" he reminded us. 

All conversations went something like this:
EH: "I no like Santa, Dada.  You like Santa?"
DH: "Oh yes, EH, I like Santa very much?"
EH: *curious head-tilted stare that clearly stated "You're crazy, dada."* "I no like Santa."

So, needless to say, EH did NOT sit on Santa's lap.  He didn't tell him what he wanted for Christmas and he didn't get a candy cane from Mrs. Claus.  She did leave a coloring book for him, but we ended up forgetting that, and I'm not sure that he would have touched it anyway, since he knew who it came from.  We purposefully dressed him up in one of his nicest sweaters and we brought the good camera because we thought FOR SURE we were going to the best Christmas-card worthy photo of EH and Santa ever. 

It is comical how OH SO WRONG we were about that. I am fairly certain that EH will forever be traumatized from that experience, and I think it quite possible that if we tell him who brought his Christmas morning presents, he will abandon them all together, because if we learned one thing from that night, it is that EH "no like Santa."

But after Santa left?

Right back to being a cute, friendly, charming, cheesy-smiling, talkative, and cute-as-ever toddler. 

Him and Santa just weren't meant to be.