Last night we took Henry to see Santa for the first time. To say the trip was a success is an understatement!
We decided to not take him to see Santa the past two years as he was 3 months and 15 months and based on his personality at the time we thought he was too young and would be afraid. For him, I am glad we waited.
Still not exactly sure how he would be with the big man in the red suit, we decided to get him pumped for the big day! (Folks, if you read my previous post about the holidays you know we are nuts about Christmas so this is really not unexpected nor a big stretch for us.) So to prepare we have been listening to Christmas music, talking about Santa, and Henry has even been watching the Santa episodes of one of his favorite shows (Caillou – ugh) to get him familiar and excited! I mean if Caillou does it then so will Henry. No, really.
Now, I am not exactly what you would call a Bass Pro Shop kind of girl (why are you laughing at this?!?!) but they have a bunch of stuff for the kids to do, crafts, free pictures and most importantly a REAL looking Santa. I am convinced this is actually the real one. I don’t know how Bass Pro gets dibs on the real looking Santa’s, but they do. Henry will not be sitting on no jank looking Santa**!!
So we walk in and of course Bass Pro shop is a wonderland of stuff for kids (and husbands) to see and get in to and EVERY little boys dream. For me? Eh. But I imagine it is the same feeling I get when I walk into a kitchen or home store so I enjoyed it with them and got excited seeing their excitement!
We didn’t even make it 10 feet into the store and Henry was OFF. I swear I needed a leash for BOTH Henry and Terry. They were all over that store. But we finally got Henry (And Terry) wrangled in enough to make our way to Santa. Going on a Tuesday way before Thanksgiving was PERFECT. There was no one in line for Santa and only about 4-5 kids the whole time we were there. No people. Nice. That is what it is all about.
So the lady came up to Henry and asked if he wanted to see Santa and he said YES and held her hand and walked up to him. Of course one of Santa’s reindeer was beside him and Henry made a sharp turn directly to it and was fascinated with that and ignoring Santa. But eventually refocused and with NO fear or hesitation got on Santa’s lap, took a great picture (even though it was his “cheese face”) and told Santa what he wanted for Christmas. A tree. Yep, the last few days when we ask him what he will ask Santa for he says a tree. We have given him suggestions for toys and it is always a tree. Silly boy.
When it was all done he said thank you and Merry Christmas (or some form of that) and we headed off to play with ALL the fun things they had for kids. Remote controlled trucks, guns, bow and arrow, train….Henry was ALL. OVER. THE. STORE. Literally. So happy. So much to do. I think we made his day. I know it made ours, even if we were sweaty from chasing him!
Daddy showing him how to work the remote control truck....
....He totally got it. And he literally shrieked EVERY time he made it crash into something. Pure joy.
That thing is bigger than him....but he had to do it by himself. Always.
Terry looks good with a pink gun ;-)
So much fun was had and I just love, love, LOVE doing these things as a family and seeing Christmas through a child's eyes. MY child's eyes. Happy sigh.
But, there is always a but....
... that brings me to this: listening and strangers because both were issues during this outing.
First is listening. Henry gets so focused that you can scream his name and he pays zero attention. At one point when we were exploring the store we lost grip of his squirmy jello like little hand and he ran off. We are yelling at him to stop and he is doing nothing of the sort. Total two year old tunnel vision. Here I am with my arms full of coats, pictures, stuff from the Christmas area trying to chase after him (and it was a sight as I am not in chase after a kid shape). He finally stopped when he got to where he wanted to go and Terry and I tried to tell him without major discipline in the store that he can’t do that and he needs to stop and listen to us. Another time in the store he did that with Terry, just ran off and started walking up the stairs. Just in a split second, off.
We usually hold his hand, but he is so damn squirmy. We have been trying to teach him to stop and listen as we are having the same problem at home where he doesn’t listen andignores us. Henry stop, Henry STOP. HENRY STOP. “Oh, huh…are you talking to me?!’ Not sure what we can do at home and in public to get him and/or teach him to stop when we call his name and listen to us.
And second are strangers. Henry used to be so shy around people he didn’t know, but then he got older and started going to school more and now everyone is his friend. We went to dinner and he blew a kiss to a complete stranger. When we were out last night interviewing a babysitter for Henry at Panera this old guy came up and sat down in the area we were sitting (strange) and Henry walked up and started talking and even grabbing his arm. No personal space. No boundaries. No fear. Even with the potential new babysitter we said we are going and he said “Bye mom, bye dad” and went and stood with this new girl.
We have started talking about strangers and politely moving him away when he gets too close to people. But what are tips and suggestions for a two year old who is just sweet as can be and overly friendly and wants to talk to everyone but needs to understand andlearn about strangers?! Is he still too young to get it?!
**Thought: how many real looking santa’s do you think are out there?!?! Even in our area alone?! Think about all the places they are over the Holiday season. I know a number of them have the Santa’s with real beards. I don’t see them throughout the year, but then BAM at Christmas they are everywhere!! Do they go into hiding during the summer months or have to shave their beard so