A mom who believed her toddler loved meeting a mall Santa found out that he was signaling for help following looking at a snap of his encounter.
Kerry Spencer had taught her kids to baby sign before they could speak so they could make contact while they were infants.
But she never expected 1-year-old son, Samuel, to use his expertise to send out an SOS at the same time as sitting on Santa’s lap.
Terrified, the toddler resorted to using his baby version of ASL to sign “Help” to his mom during the time that the photographer at the Provo Town Center Mall in Provo, Utah, snapped a picture.
Kerry told Today parents:
“I was standing to the side when the pic was taken and actually didn’t see that he was signing for help until I saw the photo.
“Poor buddy didn’t love Santa very much, ever really. So we didn’t try to get him to go much after that.”
For some years now, Kerry has posted the extremely amusing photo of Samuel on Facebook.
“We all laugh at the photo now. Posting it is one of our favorite family traditions.”
Kerry explained Samuel’s sign was
“Strictly speaking, his thumb should be up, not sideways.
“Babies learning to sign often mispronounce words, but it is the sign he always made when he needed help.”
Given his extreme anxiety, that was Samuel’s last real talking with Mall Santa.
Now a teenager, neither he nor his younger sister, Lily, are fans of Father Christmas.
However, Kerry added, they do not mind the presents he leaves.