As was evident from the picture below, Dash hated Santa. Trying to get him onto Santa's lap was like trying to get a cat into a cat carrier--he was less baby than pure muscle and will working together at anything OTHER THAN SANTA. I literally had to set him down and run and hope that he wouldn't roll right off St. Nick's jolly old lap.
When we got home with the pictures (there were two--one with the baby screaming, hand in mouth and one with baby screaming, hand out of mouth) I set one on the shelf in the entry. Moments later, when Dash spied it, there was teary begging, "no Santa mama, Cookie Monster." (I think he says Cookie Monster when he means monster, which in turn means scary. Goddamn that's a cute effing kid.) I had to stow the Santa pictures in a drawer and when I pulled them out to show his grandparents or Aunty, there was more crying.
Until. Until my mother came over with a picture of another baby on Santa's lap (her best friend's granddaughter). Dash took one look at the picture and became obsessed. He needed to own that picture so much that when my mother tried to take it out of his hands for a quick glance she was met with an indignant, "no Baba...Dashy's Santa!" He carried that picture around for two days until it disintegrated. Then another Christmas card came in the mail. This one had the Extra! Added! Bonus! of the three loves of his life, Masie, Mackenna & Hayden, on Santa's lap. So you can imagine what that card looks like now.
Thusly inspired, I picked up a teensy little copy of The Night Before Christmas for the baby who again professed his love for all things Santa and carried it around for ten hours. WTF? I wonder what would happen if I tried to take him back to see Santa again now (I won't, but I wonder.) I bet he would be just as terrified.
I love cows and dream of hugging their necks and smooching their soft, wet noses. Except the only time I have ever come within 20 feet of a cow (in a pasture in England where I imagine these types of interactions are common) I nearly passed out from fright and made as fast a getaway as I could manage. It's probably like that for Dash and Santa, too.