Sunday, December 04, 2005

When you're 19 months, he might as well be called Satan Clause

The following post is the face of a toddler who has seen Santa and lived to tell the tale.

We prepared her all week for the big day. We told her about Santa's white beard, his red suit, his "ho ho ho." When we got her dressed Saturday morning to go to the park, she said, "See Santa!" When I asked her what she would do after she sat on his lap, she said "Give santa a big kiss."

Talk is cheap, especially when fueled by liquid courage from Mommy's nursies.

When the Holiday Lights train pulled into the station in Santa Cruz, Nutmeg was excited to see it. She pointed. Her mouth hung open. It was a train -- that in itself is one of the most exciting things in the world to her -- and it was covered with Christmas lights. This is a child who will spot one string of white lights over the door of a 7-11 and applaud, crying out to passersby, "Yay, Merry Christmas!"

But when got on the train, her mood went downhill. I don't know if was the crowd or the hour getting late, but after 10 minutes or so she only wanted to be held, and despite everyone around her singing her favorite carol, "Jingle Bells," her spirits were not bright.

But the primal scream was not unleased until Mrs. Clause made her way through the car. Nutmeg's daddy suggested Nutmeg high-five Mrs. Clause, but when the old lady in costume raised her hand, Nutmeg lost it, struggled to get away, and shouted, "No, no," as if the woman was holding up a live cobra instead of a well-manicured hand. But even that horror was nothing compared to Nutmeg's reaction when the white-bearded Santa merely walked by her. He knew better than to try to hand her a candy cane; he gave hers to me and stayed as far from my child as possible. Nutmeg wasn't the only kid on the car who looked like the train had been playing an endless loop of dismemberment and immolation films, either.

On the way home, I asked her if she had liked meeting Santa.
"Yeah," she said.
"Do you want to meet him again sometime?"
Well, that saves me one trip to the mall, at least.


Kori said...

Oh, no. I'm so sorry. I think that Santa Claus, or his anagram cousin, as you so aptly refer to him, falls under that "clown" category for kids. I mean, a big, bearded man who gives you presents sounds fun, but then when you see him, bright and smiley and bigger than life, it's just frightening. Clowns are like that, too. Sure, they make great balloon animals and squirt seltzer like pros, but they are often super creepy.

Anonymous said...

First of all, is this the train through the redwoods? Wahhhh, I'm going to cry! I love that train. I took it with my now deceased grandma when she came to visit us in Santa Cruz. I so wanted to take Elliott, but we couldn't get the timing right. Oh well, it takes off from near my dad's house in Los Gatos. I'm sure we can go when we visit.

Enough about me...there's a toddler in our playgroup who is terrified, absolutely terrified of Santa. I was laughing about it, but then this mom pointed out that he's a weird old man who sneaks into your house late at night when you sleep! Who wouldn't be afraid?

dorriemo said...

The Mall Santa freaked out my kids, too...they always said that he smelled bad. My twelve-year-old figured out last year that WE are Santa, so this year she's looking to helping us play Santa for our ten-year-old. Kids are so fun!