Ho Ho Horrified

I'm not even going to make excuses for the black hole that I've been sucked into.

It's the Holidays.  

I'm sure you are in the same hole.

Since I work four-ten hour days, I get to spend my Friday's with little man.

We go to the zoo (his favorite), the aquarium, the children's museum or Costco (my favorite). 

This Friday we decided to spend our day visiting jolly old Saint Nick.

I decided to head to Santa first thing in the morning, which means we actually got there around 9:15.  Seems like a win considering Santa opened at 9am.

I did everything in my power to ensure that oatmeal was out of Hunter's hair (as he likes to smear it there when he's done with breakfast) and his clothes didn't have food chunks/stains (visible at least).

While we waited in the relatively short line, Hunter wanted a snack (yes, he had just finished breakfast).  So I very carefully fed him a pouch while holding my hand under his chin, since my luck and recent history would dictate that he would get "excited" and squeeze the pouch all over himself.

We made it into Santa's cabin (I promise it wasn't creepy, although it writing it sounds a bit off) without any food residue anywhere on his body.  He was the empitome of a happy bouncing baby boy.

That is until he saw Santa.

Something inside that kid yelled STRANGER DANGER and he started immediately crying.

I pulled every mom trick in the book, trying to get him to laugh, smile, calm down or even just stop screaming.  He would have none of it.

I offered him a candy cane. (I realize this makes me an awful mom, giving my one year old pure sugar)

It didn't work. 

Both Santa and the "elf" clearly had seen this before.  I, on the other hand, had never experienced a "Santa Screamer" so I had to collect myself before following their instructions of "smile at him, keep talking to him and then sit him on Santa's lap and run straight back toward the camera."

All in all, it was probably a 2 minute experience from start to finish.

For me, it felt like 20 agonizing minutes.

Once he was in my arms, Hunter calmed down, but of course was not interested in being next to Santa for another second, so he flailed his little body while I was trying to sign the credit card receipt, waved his arms and refused to be put down.

All in all, fun was had by nobody.

But, we did get a pretty great Santa Photo.

This is definitely a keeper.
I hate to say it, but crying photos are kind of my favorite. 

Or photos that have something weird/accidental in them....like that one year when my sisters and I all wore skirts and my older sister had to sit on Santa's lap (awkward) and her skirt rode up and so the only thing we look at in that picture is her thigh (Gosh I need to find that photo).

So, although Hunter hated it, I love this photo.

To be fair, the second we left the cabin, he was all smiles and couldn't wait to wave at the other kids in line, so I know he wasn't permanently scarred.

Plus, then he started licking on his candy cane, which then got stuck in his fur hat....