Dear Dave

Monday 8 June 2009

Dealing with fear

Dear Dave,

I dread going to the barber as much as other people dread going to the dentist. Dentists look into my mouth, smile and tell me what wonderful teeth I have. Barbers wave scissors around my head and complain my ears are at different heights. I know who I'd rather visit, thank you very much.

But I guess we all have our own fears. Marie refused to go downstairs on her own the other morning in case Spooky Spoon from Numberjacks was waiting for her. Since Spooky is basically a computer animated piece of plastic cutlery with a face, I found this terror somewhat hard to understand.

Marie also leapt around screaming at the sight of a fly recently, and on another occasion she made a big fuss about a gnat that was so small, it took me several seconds to spot. I had to roll my eyes and tell her not to be so silly.

Of course, it's easy to dismiss other people's fear. I can't see why anyone might get worked up about confined spaces, for instance, and I don't find open bodies of water terrifying either. I even laugh in the face of custard. I'm not especially courageous but I don't find these things scary at all. Therefore, anyone who does cower at the prospect of being locked in a small cupboard on a boat with a bowl of dairy-based dessert topping must be a real wuss.

Possibly, anyway...

Despite all her cowardly shrieking about fictional eating utensils, Marie proved herself braver than me yesterday:

While Sarah's been away, we've done a few things we don't normally do. Maybe it's that the nice weather has put me in a adventurous mood or maybe I've felt the weight of having to be the fun parent as well as the nagging one. Whatever the reason, we've tried some new foods, mixed up the routine and branched out with a couple of activities.

Marie has particularly had fun with some chalk I found:

At ground-level, this is all people and flowers and rainbows. Somehow, from a storey up, it looks like Teletubby Armageddon...

In this spirit, when I caught a spider that was scuttling round the kitchen yesterday, rather than chucking it straight out the window, I decided to let Marie examine it. I had it trapped with a mug and a piece of card but I quickly swapped the card for a clear saucepan lid. The arachnid was nearly 5cm from toe to toe and lurked menacingly at the bottom of the mug, the curved lid magnifying it in a disconcerting fashion.

I hate spiders. Throw a spider into the whole cupboard/boat/custard scenario and it would definitely be a lot more frightening (not to mention messy). I was worried I'd made a mistake and Marie was going to freak.

She peered at it and then said, "It's beautiful!" She insisted I put it on the back of her hand so it could crawl up her arm. When it wandered off after we let it loose in the garden, she was heart-broken.

Then she freaked because she saw an ant near her shoe. It wasn't even heading towards her. I couldn't really laugh at her too much, though. After all, she'd just enjoyed something that would give me nightmares.

I'll try and be more supportive next time she hides under her duvet at the thought of malevolent dining implements...

Yours in a woman's world,



Mayzie said...

I'm with you on the spiders. In fact, I'm pretty sure I am more scared of spiders than anyone else in the whole wide world.

Because of my fear, I have learned not to get too annoyed at the things the Monkey gets scared from. Hopefully he outgrows his fears though.

DadsDinner said...

I wouldn't mind if Sproglette developed a fear of jumping around while balanced precariously on a heap of cushions piled on a couple of beanbags stacked on top the sofa.

But no.

She has a fear of gnats which causes her to jump around every time a tiny fly enters the room... even if she's balanced precariously on a heap of cushions piled on a couple of beanbags stacked on top of the sofa.