Saturday, 13 February 2010

I hope it's just a phase...

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.


MrsW said...

Poor Cubling. I can't offer much advice, I'm from the "don't be silly get on with it" school of parenting. My daughter was scared witless of the singing Christmas tree at my Mum's house. It was loud, its eyes flashed green and it was motion sensitive. We'd tell her it was off, when it wasn't really, and she'd walk past it. She was light as a fairy so would jump about three feet in the air leaving us laughing ourselves sore... so no, I'm not the best with advice on this one :)

(This sounds worse than the reality, it WAS really funny and after the first couple of times she did end up laughing along with us)

Anonymous said...

Little elf seems to be developing the same kind of issues which is weird because she hasn't been exposed to the idea of being scared of anything. Though her brother was terrified of the animatronic T-rex at the Natural History Museum. Oh, hang on...

She really does seem to dislike loud noises (she's just over two) strangers, though, in a way that's quite unfamiliar to us. We're just hoping her tolerance of loud noise increases. Tricky to avoid them in our house.

Anonymous said...

I think she must be getting wind of all this chat re. The Gruffalo. I suggested it one extra time tonight and she went for it. She announced early on it was scary, but we got through it fine and we both enjoyed it. I loved her stopping me to ask why the Gruffalo was now running away :)
Mr Cartside.

Dot said...

I remember crying when my primary school teacher read Cinderella to us. I was about four and knew the end of the story, but I still found the cruelty she endured terribly upsetting. Not sure what the moral of that is, but I did get over it. Glad Cubling seems to have made peace with the Gruffalo.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

You are the only other parent i know who has to deal with the scariness of the combine harvester in Cars. Mine have only just started to watch that bit again...

An award for you at mine. x

cartside said...

MrsW, maybe the making fun of it approach would work, who knows! We definitely had a case of the moving Xmas tree/Santa too. Childminder was as ever very kind and did switch it off.

dadwhowrites, good luck with getting her used to noises!

Mr Cartside my love, I was very impressed with that success!

Dot, that reminds me that I was terrified of Alice in Wonderland. I found the idea of size/shape changes etc highly unsettling.

Brits in Bosnia, oh, thank you! I'm glad combine harvesters are out of season at the moment, at least we don't have to deal with that one just now. Have given up on watching Cars but really hope that we'll be able to watch a movie in the cinema soon.

Metropolitan Mum said...

As a child I was terrified that big lobsters would live in our toilet, waiting to pinch me in my bum. I still haven't lost that fear completely.

Petra said...

My son at 4 years still didn't like "The Gruffalo" - "it is too scary" but now at 5 he is starting to like scary stuff! Try reading "The Gruffalo's Child" first, he always liked that one better, and I often manged to read "The Gruffalo" afterwards.



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