This story was reconstructed from witness testimony, as I was too young to remember anything. My sister Megan and I were visiting Santa with our mom. This may have been the first time I had ever visited Santa Claus. I was two or three years old. Megan was three or four.
In line, I was full of chatter about meeting the big guy, what I would ask for, comments about reindeer, everything. "Well, I'm gonna thay, 'Hi Thanta, how aww you?' and then I'm gonna athk Thanta fo a twuck and..." I talked to Mom incessantly. Meanwhile, Megan reviewed the one important item on her Christmas list that year: a doctor kit. We were excited about meeting Santa, but we were basically pretty under control. Then we got to the man himself.
Mom brought me up to Santa and I froze immediately. I had been talking at the top of my lungs about my upcoming conversation with Santa for the past twenty minutes, but now, in the big guy's presence, I was silent. Not a single word. The twuck, forgotten. I just stared at Santa in silent terror.
Megan went to the opposite extreme. When asked what she wanted for Christmas, Megan hopped off of Santa's lap and began walking around in small circles, stiff-legged, chanting "Dockta kit, dockta kit, dockta kit" over and over again.
My mom stood there in shock. We had given no indication beforehand that we were going to react in this manner, but now she had to manage a semi-catatonic boy and his spastic sister. We were led out of the mall in disgrace.
Megan did receive the doctor kit on Christmas morning. And it was a really good toy.