Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Irrational Fears: The Bugasy

I was changing my toddler, when what appeared to be a bug came flying over the changing table and landed on her chest.

“Aaah! A bug!” I cried.

My daughter flinched and screamed as well. I swatted at it, caught it, and realized it was a hairball, which had clung to Night Night the White Blankie.

My living room carpet gets vacuumed almost daily. Not only does she get cereal all over it on a regular basis. If there is anything resembling a bug, she will point it out and refuse to move until I have picked it up, identified it, and properly disposed of it.

Someone gave my kids this interesting little flashlight-light device. It projects a “galaxy” onto any surface you point it at. If the surface is far away, such as a ceiling, the galaxy is large. If it is close, it is miniscule.

The kids were fooling around with it and decided to point it at the baby’s stomach.

“Aaah! A bug!” she cried, clutching her stomach.

“It’s not a bug,” we explained, “It’s a galaxy.”

“A bugasy! No bugasy!”

I took away the toy, but she continued to hold her stomach throughout dinner, chanting, “No bug. No bugasy.”

This episode made me flash back to when my eldest was her age. She was afraid of animated dolls. Children at this stage of development are working hard at making sense of their world. My little one knew foreign objects didn’t belong on her stomach; my eldest knew that nonliving things should not roller skate or talk. Our job is to reconcile these inconsistencies with the scientific rules they have figured out on their own, so they can be at peace with the world and themselves.

The Bugasy Episode went on for a week, the kids occasionally teasing her with the galaxy light just to get a reaction from her.

The following week would be a new thing – but I’ll save that for another post.

Picture above: Bear has no fears as she makes herself at home in front of our new Amish electric fireplace.

1 comment:

Loren Christie said...

Isn't the "Yule Log" so cool? Bear is a smart dog! The baby is very adorable- can't wait to make her say "Bugasy" for me. Love when they say things in a cute new way! I will not tease her with fake insects, I promise.