Stranger Anxiety Pictured

Santa and Aly are laughing

Kids go though interesting stages, don’t they? Leah was very outgoing, even with strangers, until maybe October or so. Leah and I were shopping at the grocery store, she strapped into her car seat in the cart I was pushing. Towards the end of the trip, an old guy came up and started talking to her, and you could see her tense right up, but he kept his distance, so she was fairly mellow. Then the old guy’s wife comes out of nowhere (Leah couldn’t see her coming), pops in front of Leah and tickles her foot. It was instant screaming in terror, which of course caused me to have a good laugh. Here’s best part:

The old lady angrily turns to her husband and says, “Look what you did to that baby!”, grabs him by the arm, and drags him away. We’ve even seen the stranger anxiety thing with people who see her every week – it’s an interesting phase.

When we went to visit Santa in December at Home & Company in downtown Holland, we knew that sitting with Santa was going to be a problem, so we let Aly go hang with him for a few minutes, hoping it would make Leah more at ease when we plopped her up there. Aly had a great conversation with Santa, and then we added Leah to the mix. It’s fun to see the anxiety develop before turning into a complete screamfest, with both Aly and Santa laughing. (Don’t worry, Leah stopped crying about two seconds later).

Is that a smile I see?


Yes, sort of looks like a smile


Oops, maybe that’s not a smile

Yep, definitely not a smile

Santa and Aly are laughing

Like I said, the outburst was short-lived, no last harming done, except maybe to Santa, who had an even crankier baby on his lap right before Aly hopped up there. Here’s a happy picture of Leah right before seeing Santa:

Leah about to see Santa at Home & Company

Aly, of course, had a great time with Santa, and conversed with him for several minutes. She even lingered to have a few laughs with him after she got up from his bench.

Aly & Santa at Home & Company

Aly & Santa at Home & Company

Aly & Santa at Home & Company

Now, Aly hasn’t always been so keen on Santa. Witness this picture from a few years back, also taken at Home & Co:

Taylor = happy to see Santa. Aly = not so much.

Nor is Leah’s Christmas screaming limited to Santa visits at the store. Here is a picture of Leah at home in front of the Christmas tree:

Leah & Aly at Christmas



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