Friday, May 21, 2010

How To Scare the Bejeabers Out of Your Child

My son and I were having one of our rambling-chatty-not-so-focused conversations early on a weekend morning. It involved a cuddly blanket. And two dogs.

One of the dogs had plopped herself right on top of the blanket. And of course, this added heat made my child decided he no longer wanted to be covered up. He was asking if she liked to be covered up and I thought her snoring was a pretty good indication of a I tucked her in tight. He commented "Now She Will Be A Butterfly."

And I saw the light bulb in his head turn on. His eyes widened.

"Mom, Did I ever tell you about how they scared me at daycare?"

I brace myself - mind fast forwarding through horror stories, possible ways my child has been damaged, and begin planning my revenge on the soul that has emotionally damaged my child in a manner that he can only bear to speak of it 4 years later.

"At nap time, I liked to have the blanket tucked real tight around me. They said I was rolled up tight like a caterpillar in a cocoon. But you know, Mom it's really a crysilis - because a cocoon is for a moth, and a crysilis is for a butterfly."

I nod.

"She told me, 'When you wake up you will be a butterfly.'

"That really bothered me because I thought about it and if I was a butterfly I wouldn't see you anymore. And maybe you wouldn't be my Mom anymore? Or I thought maybe I would see you and I'd be yelling "Mmmmmooooooooommmmmmm!!!" and you wouldn't even notice me- because I wouldn't look like your kiddo anymore. And I was scared and worried. And I tried not to fall asleep that day."

(Sigh of relief.)

See how that was SO innocent? How many cutesy things do we say to kids every day that causes them undo concern and stress? And while I'm mostly amused by his rambling - it reminds me that you just can't make too many assumptions when communicating with children.

This is the same child that was certain we would see witches in Wichita...


Janet said...

Oh my! That is adorable, and yet somehow terrifying. Poor kid!

And mostly I'm impressed that he knows which is for a butterfly and which is for a moth. I didn't even know that.

Karen said...

A month or so ago, I mentioned something about cannibalism to my 4-year-old nephew without even thinking about the ramifications. I tried to change the subject really fast and get him talking about something else and he's never mentioned it again. Until yesterday when we were at the zoo and he asked with wide eyes if the animals eat each other, too.