Fear Itself

Fear is a great and terrible thing.

Take for example, my fear of spiders. If you had a tiny insect with 6 legs, I would barely register it’s presence. Seven legs, I may look at it, wonder at the odd number of limbs it possesses, and continue with my day.

Eight legs, however, reduces me to a fear paralysed child that only takes his eye off the monstrosity to find a glass. Or a rolled up magazine. Or a shotgun. Or anything that is going to put distance and safety between me and it.

A perfect example of this would be that a couple of months ago, I woke up normal time (5-6am, thanks son) and stepped into the shower. A daily occurence. Reaching to the dial to turn the shower on, I noticed a spider, perched atop the shower head like a tiny gargoyle, only instead of stone it was made of evil.

I recoiled in horror. The fact i had been a foot away from it was enough to make me feel physically sick. I broke out in a sweat, and was temporarilly paralysed by fear. I was also naked, meaning that visually, the spider was probably as terrified of me as I was of him.

It took about 20 minutes to dispose of that one, and the rest of the day involved me twitching and looking around in a blind panic every time I felt something, or thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I suppose this is why things like this are an irrational fear.

I’m talking about fear because last weekend, my son developed one.

Ned has been scared of things in the past – The Whale on ‘Baby Jake’ or the shapes on ‘Mr Maker’ are the two most obvious ones that spring to my mind (though the Shapes no longer pose a threat to him – I do still find them unsettling, however)

This fear though, is something that does make me sad, because up until recently, it was something he truely loved.

Bath times are something that Ned adores – simply running the taps made him tense with excitement. He’d spend ages in there, and removing him caused him to cry and try to jump back in.

At my parents on Saturday, Claire was working late, so Myself and my mum decided to give him a bath and get him ready for bed so Claire wouldn’t have to when she got home.

The bath was made ankle deep and filled with a few toys (a boat and a few balls, if you’re really interested) Ned was stripped down and lowered in. Then, if happened.

He began to cry, tears rolled down his cheek as my mum picked him up, wrapping him in a towel. I checked the water, it was fine. Lowering him near the bath only created more tears. It was only after redressing him and staying the hell away from the bath did Ned return to normal. He looked haunted, like a Vietnam Vet.

The other day, we tried again the bathe him with exactly the same results, thus confirming my suspicions – Ned was now afraid of the bath (or being clean, I’m not sure yet)

Checking online revealed that this is a very common occurence in young kids, and that they eventually get over it. It’s still a shame though, as up until last week, bath times were in his top ten of things to do (which is a very elite list, including things such as standing on books, eating bolognese and Claires breasts)

I guess a common solution to better understand the fears is to google them – I know it helped me, knowing that our son wasn’t just being odd – in fact, there’s millions of odd kids out there that decide that one day, they’re just going to be terrified of the bath. We’ll just have to ride it out for now and become masters of the sponge bath until he decides he’s no longer scared.

It is odd though, but then again, so is being naked, paralysed in fear by an arachnid at 27 years old I guess.

Next week Tuesday is officially the first anniversary of the blog – wow, that came quick, so expect cake and some sort of party.

Don’t, actually. It’s a blog. What’s wrong with you?

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