I talked to #1 this morning at length about her daughter’s birthday party.
She told me that Lilli was petrified of the “Giant Rat”, a.k.a. Chuck E. Cheese. She cowered in her mother’s arms while the rat approached and even though my daughter tried to wave him off, he still menaced enough that her hubby had to step in to turn the rat around. For the rest of her party, my newly 5 year old Lilli quaked in her shoes every time she even thought the rat was coming. She even refused to sit at the head of the table because she couldn’t see the door.
That’s my baby!! Always take the gunslingers seat and never sit with your back to the door!
Before we go on trips, we send out a “Getting to Know You” form for the kids to fill out. It helps us to figure out some of their likes, dislikes and fears. Other than horror movies being a big No-No with this group, clowns were the most often mentioned fear. I, myself, have no love for the painted grins on the faces of clown either. I wonder what it is about costumed characters and clowns that freak people out. AND, if so many people are freaked out by them, why do they continue to promote these things to kids?
Stuff I guess I’ll just never understand…
While #1 and I were chatting about the giant rat 0rdeal, I remembered one of her experiences in a similar place. She was about 3 and a Chuck E. Cheese-esque establishment called “Showtime” had just opened in the mall. I decided to take her to see the animitronic animals in “the band”. She stared wide-eyed at them for a bit, but I’d made sure we sat as far away from them as possible, just in case she got a little spooked. Once the novelty had worn off, she started bouncing in her seat and dancing to the music. She seemed especially interested in the gorilla, but nevertheless, she was having a ball.
In fact she was enjoying herself so much, that she began to nod her head up and down and kick her feet and in a moment of sheer bliss of body movement and music, she SLAMMED her head onto the table. She went completely still and I remember being worried that she’d knocked herself out. I called her name and asked if she was ok and slowly she raised her head and looked up at me with those big blue eyes that were sparkling with unshed tears, bottom lip trembling with an expression so hurt, I knew in my heart that even though the knot on her head was turning purple, she was wondering how in the world, after being in such a complete state of bliss, she could suddenly hurt so badly. And then she wailed.
Poor baby. I remember going to her and picking her up to comfort her the whole time I was shaking with that nervous laughter you get in those kinds of OMG situations, but also thinking about what a lesson she’d just learned. A few cuddles and a pat or two and she calmed down and got back into her chair, but it wasn’t too long after that, she was smiling, kicking her feet and bouncing to the music again – just with a little more control this time. That’s when I realized she’d just reminded me of a lesson as well.
Even though you are happy as a clam, sometime crap happens. The important part is, did you lose your bliss, or did you recover and return to your happy place just a tiny bit wiser?