Well my little grandson may never be considered one of the bravest little babies in the world, but he certainly provides us with plenty of laughter. He quickly developed a sense of fear. First it was just loud sounds and voices, loud laughter, quick jolts or movements. Being afraid is actually an important sense that we need for basic survival. I once watched a report of a woman who had no sense of fear due to a birth defect in her brain. She literally will step into traffic with not a thought, walk into a dark ally toward someone she does not know and any other thing you can think of that puts her life at risk on a daily basis. She has to spend her life reminding herself of what to fear to keep herself safe. You can quickly realize the need to fear just thinking about the various scenarios that can end your life or at least do some harm to your body.
By the time he was four months and his godfather was visiting from college, we found out that Zy was afraid of larger than life men that like to pump a little iron. Yep, his godfather is a big guy and my little man did not want any part of him at all! Throughout the entire visit little man was apprehensive, clinging to mommy or me or just trying to get as far away from the ‘big scary man’ as he could. Now you have to wonder what on earth could scare him so? After all, can’t he see that his godfather is just another person? We never could figure it out. On a visit to great-grandmother’s house in Mississippi Zy continued to exhibit his fear of people in general. We had to slowly introduce him to everyone but there was no getting away with being scared. His great-grandmother, aunties and uncles showered so much love on him he could not help but to enjoy being in their company. Being afraid of them was just not an option.
Now being afraid of inanimate objects is another story indeed. Ahhh…where do I start? Let’s begin with mom’s old Addy doll. When my daughter was young she liked to chop off the hair of her dolls and draw makeup on them. Needless to say, the doll lost its initial cute charm after a visit with the Imani Spa. When my little grandson’s daddy picked up that old doll and showed it to little Zy he completely freaked out! Screaming, crying and crawling away as fast as he could to the comfort of his mommy’s arms was the only thing on his mind. This little phenomena became a slight object of our individual humor once word spread. Somehow the doll ended back at my house just so they could demonstrate. I tell you, little Zy just had a look of terror as that doll came towards him! By this time Zy had learned to crawl up the stairs and I was babysitting while mommy was at work. So, yes, you guessed it…the doll became the stairs guard! As long as that doll was sitting on my stairs, no gate was needed because my grandson feared the wrath of Addy! At times my little sweetie would stand at the bottom of the stairs looking up at the doll and ‘talk’ to her. It seemed as if he was giving her a piece of his mind or cursing her out for preventing him from climbing the stairs. He was scolding her for ruining his fun!
The big blue Spider Man ball at great grandmother’s house was my next piece of amusement. Zy had been enjoying himself playing with monster truck toys rolling them back and forth on the floor when we found the ball. The assumption was of course that we can extend his fun with the introduction of a ball. Not! As we rolled the ball over to him that familiar look of fear and fright flight came upon him once again. He started crying and crawling away as fast as he could! I’m thinking it may have been the colors constantly moving or all those big Spidey eyes all over the ball. But needless to say, we have decided to wait before we buy little Zy a ball!
Next on our list is the oak tree moss plants. Some people call them air plants but they look like sage green sea urchins. They grow all over the oak trees here in Texas and I have seen them sold in Florida shell shops along the beaches as novelty ‘air plants’, named thus because they seem to need nothing but air to keep alive. The big oak tree in my back yard is a host to these little creatures and mommy thought it would be nice to show a now walking and playing son this really cool thing from nature. For my little grandson, they are a nemesis, a creature just as scary as Addy! He screamed and proceeded to wiggle out of her arms. We tried again to show him the plant… ‘wink wink’…yes, you know us by now…we ‘showed’ it to him on purpose! As he was on foot he proceeded to run the other way crying in terror.
Last night he reminded us of his other fear…that of big vehicles. Our neighbor was pulling out his truck with the lights on and my little grandson developed that intense feeling that ‘this thing could make a pancake out of me’! Or maybe it looked like a monster. But here’s the question…do babies understand what monsters are? Does Zy fear things because of a growing sense of self-preservation or just a sense of ‘WTF is this?’
So I guess we won’t have to be so worried that our little man will be trying all kinds of stunts that will hurt him. His sense of fear is well under way and will serve him for a very long and safe life ahead.