Today, on our way to Queens Park's glasshouse (which is more than that, it has a reptile zoo and a soft play area to offer and is a rather popular location to any southsider in Glasgow who has kids), there was much talk about THE LION. In fact, there are two. One on top of the monument that remembers the Battle of Langside (where Mary Queen of Scots lost, the site of the battle is a mere 200 metres from where I live). That's nice and very tall as Cubling would say, so we're cool. The second one is a different story. It's a massive plastic head of a lion, with teeth painted on it and all, just at the entrance of the beloved glasshouse.
There were tears today. Screams of fear. Cubling had said something about keeping her eyes shut as she'd walk past it (clever girl) and hiding behind mummy (good idea, I'll fight the lion should he dare to even move towards you an inch). All the plans went to shreds of course.
It took us three attempts to pass the lion. After that she was fine, and had just one more panic incident when she spotted an iguana rather closer to her than expected. After saying "I love Leguane!" - consistency is not her strong point.
My worry is that this phase has been going on for a bit and it's not getting much better. We cannot read the Gruffalo or watch the amazing BBC production. Well, I and Mr Cartside did because we love the Gruffalo, but that's after Cubling's bedtime because "I no want see him!!!! He eat me!!!!"
Sometimes, she wakes up screaming and tells me of a monster coming to eat her. During our holidays, the monster was hiding in volcanic rocks, in the gap between her bed and the wardrobe, or recently in the wall of the train station. Monsters everywhere. It's all about sharp teeth, being eaten and sometimes about diggers coming to get her or the whole car.
Then there was a dinosaur at her friend's house. Admittedly, it was big, and when a button was pressed, it moved its head rather realistically and flashed red lights across its back. But it's still not massive, doesn't move, and can be wrestled down by any toddler. However, I had to ask for it to be taken away, shame really because I'm rather partial to dinosaurs and would have loved to play with it.
Obviously we do all the reassuring you can imagine. The lion is not real, just painted. He is nice and not hungry at all. The teeth are ridiculously soft. The gruffalo is thick and the mouse is clever and doesn't get eaten - that's the point of the story, isn't it???? But no. My girl is scared of rather a lot.
So for now The Gruffalo remains unread. Even before having children, I was so looking forward to reading the Gruffalo to them, and now the book is sitting rejected on the shelf. I never thought it would come to this.