“I’m going to suck Haze’s brains out” (Yes, she has two brains. Much like a cow’s need for multiple stomachs to digest their fiber intense diets, Haze adapted to our household’s atmosphere – it gets thick in here.) I growled as I made my way to the step stool where she stood, bending over I slurped/kissed her head in an effort to munch on 2 year old grey matter.

“No, no, no, ahhhhh. Stop now.” forcefully penetrated my ear drums, not from Haze, she was laughing, but Mae, as she yelled through tears and trembling lips. This was not play acting for Mae, she was afraid I forgot that I couldn’t suck my daughter’s brains out, and, in an effort to alert the county, reached the top of her vocal range. I kept laughing and slurping Haze’s brains. When I looked over at Mae again, prior to actually stopping, and not saying that I am going to stop but go back for more, I couldn’t believe how distraught she had become.

Haze and I walked to the table, I didn’t want to “play into” Mae’s crying, but it was clear that she needed to be comforted. I gave her a hug and tried to explain that we were teasing, that I wouldn’t eat Haze’s brains (and yes, foolishly said “not tonight”, I was then met with a whimper, and had to quickly claim my teasing.) we were having fun. In an effort to include Mae in our odd teasing ritual, we proceeded to go around the table and say funny things that we wanted to do to one another “I am going to eat your ears and puke them down your throat.”, “I’m going to blow spinach out my nose and feed it to you.”, and then there was Haze, who would go through a drawn out explanation of her plan with lots of hand-motions and pointing up, it always ended with a “…on the house.” and laughter.

Mae has always been sensitive, she takes after a certain someone who’s emotions are left hanging on the clothes line for the neighbors to see – will they ever dry? I understand this about her, but it doesn’t stop me from pushing her limits. Instead of shying away from the irrational fear that I will eat her sisters brains, we eat her ears, eyes, nose, and knee caps. Actually, the knee caps make good dessert bowls, that’s where I BeGein – I’m from Wisconsin.

My Papa Sense tells me:

I tend to forget that the fears and apprehensions our kids have are not all that different than the fears that I, or other adults, experience. Its good to be pushed into an understanding of, and not give into, our fears, but we can’t disregard what made us feel that way. Just telling someone to “stop fearing” does nothing. It seems that in order to rid ourselves of fear we have to understand what made us feel that way in the first place, see how irrational that thought was, and laugh at ourselves. Think of the things you once feared, oh boy, I’m guessing you chuckled a bit. Now, what do you fear today? Perhaps, think of the things you “hate”, picture laughing at yourself for that thought. Weird huh?

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