…Thomas cried for the hour following his visit to Santa’s lap, totally traumatized by the fat scary man with white hair, long beard, and strange clothes. Although Thomas WAS a character from the womb-to-this-day, he did not LIKE characters of any sort. At Chuck E Cheese, he closed his eyes when Chuck E appeared; Thomas very much believed “If I can’t see you, you don’t exist”. At amusement parks, if strolling characters came within 20 feet invaded his “personal bubble”, he clung to me like white on rice, closed his eyes and wailed like a banshee. So, it only makes sense he’d react to Santa Claus the same way, right?

So, keenly aware of his aversion to pretend people or beasts, why would I put this poor child through this ordeal?

Because I’m a mother, that’s why, and we have certain rights…like photo opportunities. And because at this same age, Rachel cried at the sight of Santa and I didn’t MAKE HER SUCK IT UP have her picture taken with him that year–to this day, I regret it. I wasn’t about to let another Santa photo opp pass me by, regardless of the consequence. I’m sure Santa was thrilled, of course I had to snap several pictures.

This remains one of my favorite pictures of them…just look at the expression on Rachel’s face, lol. Wonder what she was thinking?

Here’s another favorite Christmas photo. Rachel’s lips are pursed and juicy because she was kissing the angels in her arms. Rachel got away with murder when she was little, her way around “not” touching breakable things was to kiss them. Who could say “no” when she’d toddle-speak, “But I juss wanna tiss dem”?? Those are very nice Lee Middleton dolls…I bought the girl angel before Rachel was born, the companion boy version after. I’ve never played with or collected dolls (I loved stuffed animals as a child, not dollies, except for the Barbie phase….), but when I saw that doll, I had to have it. HAD TO! $130 later, it was mine, and I still can’t believe I plunked down that chunk of change for a doll……not just once, but TWICE!

Anyway, that’s beside the point, lol. I captured that look in between kisses, she always handled special things with tenderness and affection….because she wanted to make daggum sure she’d get to “tiss” the next pretty thing she wanted to get her chubby little girl hands on. I don’t think I ever said “no” and remarkably, she never broke a thing.

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