TORONTO -- The lyric, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch,” has a very personal meaning for two New Jersey children.

Children’s author Dr. Seuss’ famous, grouchy hater-of-all-things Christmas made an appearance at a family photoshoot and briefly terrified two young children.

On Monday, mother Ashley Bohl shared a video clip on Instagram, which caught the entire incident in slow motion. Her children Joseph and Gemma – decked out in their Christmas pajamas – were posing on a yellow chair in front of a decorated Christmas tree in Atco, N.J.

The video, which has garnered nearly 30,000 views, was jokingly captioned with: “My kids couldn’t wait to meet the Grinch this weekend! I’d say it went well” with a crying laugh emoji.

The clip shows the shoot going normally but the children quickly pop up from the chair once they catch a glimpse of the Grinch beginning to creep around the tree. And the video – shot by their father Joseph DeVito – then shows the pair quickly sprint away in terror.

Thurl Ravenscroft’s 1966 song “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” can be heard playing throughout the video.

In a phone interview on Saturday, DeVito told that he “knew it was going to be epic. And I happened to catch it … it turned out perfect.”

His wife set up the prank with her friend, the photographer, and an acquaintance who dressed up as the Grinch. Devito explained his children knew someone would be dressing up and popping up as the classic character, but not necessarily when.

“I told them, ‘now don’t be scared now,’ because I’d seen him all dressed up beforehand and thought, ‘that’s really good,’” he recalled. “I said ‘it’s only a costume. Like mommy and daddy who dress up for Halloween.’ And they said ‘we’re not going to be scared – we love the Grinch.’”

But as they were sitting down, DeVito whipped out his camera seconds before the Grinch popped out.

In the days that followed the viral video, dozens of commenters have accused the couple of traumatizing their children. Although DeVito says they like to joke around with their children, they don’t prank them at all.

And the family wished their critics looked at the subsequent photos which showed the Christmas photoshoot was a complete success, with the children smiling, high-fiving and eating cookies with the Grinch.