We all went to get our flu shots today. The very excellent nurse at our GP’s office gave them to us smoothly and swiftly, as always. HRH went first while Liam watched, then I got mine, and then Liam got his. He was fine until the needle actually went in, and then he yelled and gave poor Marilyn such a look, as if to say, “How dare you?”. Of course the needle was out of his arm and out of sight by that point, so he cried a couple of insulted tears and then everything was fine a moment later. He played with the office toys for the requisite fifteen minutes to ensure no one had a bad reaction to the vaccination, and then we went home for lunch and a nap.
When Liam woke up we got back into our coats and the car to do some holiday shopping. But first we checked to see if Mr S. Claus was receiving. He was, and there was no one in line, so we walked through the lovely little landscape our mall has set up to meet him. Liam was very interested in the elf who met us. He was interested in everything actually, so interested that Santa himself was kind of “Yeah, so, it’s Santa” experience despite this being the first time he’d seen him in person. He wanted to look at the bows on the prop presents, and at the sparkly snow that was part of the landscape (“Snow! Cold,” he told the elf), and at the tiny Christmas tree with lights (Santa explained that all the trees at the North Pole were Christmas trees), and to hold the elf’s hand. Liam even got a little stuffed penguin from Santa. The picture they took shows a very serious little boy (who isn’t so little, yikes) on Santa’s lap, and it’s the only one they got because Liam slid down to check out the set. “He’s curious. That’s a sign of intelligence,” Santa told us, which was very kind of him; we just laughed as we chased after the boy before he wandered off the walkway into the snow-covered forest and oversized instruments.
It was lots of fun, and Liam seemed to enjoy the whole thing. We expected him to be fine, but there’s always that little dash of anxiety about how a toddler is going to handle a new person, particularly a stranger in a red velvet suit who holds said toddler on his lap when the child doesn’t yet fully understand the concept of Santa Claus. The staff was excellent with him, though, and it helped that we went in the afternoon on a weekday so there weren’t millions of people around.