Last week Lydia and I delivered Christmas cookies to member of our church who are in a local nursing home. The bible class I go to on Wednesday morning does a cookie swap and packages up cookies to take to the firehouse and shut ins and Lydia and I volunteered to deliver to the nursing home. We had such a great time! I grew up, basically, in a nursing home because my mom was a nurse and I would go with her to work and visit the patients and hang out. I've always had a soft spot and a fascination with elderly people and I hope to pass that on to my kids. I remember many residents not having family or friends visit them and I always thought that was tragic. How do people dump someone off like a stray puppy after they have been a part of their lives? I don't understand it, but that's a whole other blog posting! ha!
I should start by telling you that Lydia is terrified of Santa! TERRIFIED! Hadley was always in love with him and since she could walk, if Santa was near, she'd tackle him with a hug! I just assumed all kids were like that so when Lydia was six months old I plopped her down in Santa's lap and said "smile." She froze for a minute and then screamed and panicked! It's been that way ever since!
So, as we were delivering cookies all of the people we would see would ask Lydia "are you ready for Santa?" and she would smile and say "nooooo..." and then do something else and pretend this conversation wasn't happening. Each person who asked thought it was the attention span of a three year old, they didn't realize it was her defense mechanism against a phobia!
We visited several folks and had some great conversations and Lydia was SO WELL BEHAVED! (Divine intervention, I'm certain!) and it was a great day! We had one more person to see and then we'd be done. We went to Will's room and he wasn't there so we scurried around until we found him in the dining room. He was a nice guy and had a fun personality so we chatted for a bit and that when it happened...
Lydia noticed out of the corner of her eye that there was a "Lydia Sized" Santa standing near the Christmas tree. That's when the day started spiraling down hill! She began hiding behind me and got very shy and was basically just acting strange. This nice man that we were visiting noticed and was trying to smooth it over a bit and said,
"Don't you like Santa? He's a nice guy."
Rapid head shaking in the NO direction from Lydia
"Santa comes to your house and brings you presents, while you sleep" he says with a big smile.
"HE WHAT? WHILE I SLEEP?" with a shrill voice and wide blue eyes!
"Yeah, and he's always watching you! He knows that you're a good girl" Will says in a comforting tone.
"HE'S WATCHING ME NOW?" she shrieks!
"mommy, is he watching me NOW?" panic growing in her voice.
To which Will overhears and responds, "Yes, he's always watching! I'm sure he sees what a good little girl you are!"
Well, that about wrapped up the day for us! I thought it was probably a good time to go on and say good bye and Merry Christmas.
On the way to the car I stopped Lydia and told her to put her coat on when she says with a little fear in her voice, "Mommy, is Santa, really always watching me?"
And, in true mommy fashion, I couldn't help but say
"yes, but put your coat on and he can't see you!"
Yeah, it was probably mean but it worked! And, it was cold outside! Ha!
All of this happened on Wednesday and we went on Friday night to the mall to get a picture with Santa. It took a lot of conversation, bribery with a trip to Godiva, about 10 pictures, 15 minutes, and a lot of patience on Santa's part but we DID get a picture!