June 03, 2003
A couple of nights ago, I went through the evening routine, making sure Kelly took her shower, helping her get the tangles out of her hair, toothbrushing, then a half hour watching Mahou Tsukai Tai. Then off to bed, and time for Daddy to work on his own tasks.
However, not ten minutes passed after I put Kelly to bed before she came into the den. "Daddy, I'm scared."
I'm sorry to confess that I was annoyed. It seems that two out of every three nights Kelly complains about being scared, and I'm convinced that it's just a ploy to stay up later. So initially I was brusque. "What are you scared about? What do you want me to do about it? Hasn't Mom worked with you on how to overcome your fears?" That sort of thing. So I sent her off to bed again.
After a bit, I got over my annoyance and went into her room to check on her. "I'm still scared Daddy."
"So what are you scared about?" I asked.
"I don't want to talk about it because it makes me more scared."
Annoyed again: "I can't really help you if I don't know what's scaring you."
After a pause, Kelly finally shared her fear. She's going on a 'field trip' to 7-11 with her class in a couple of days. I'd make a crack about budget cuts, but I understand this is just an end-of-the-school-year treat for the kids. They're all gonna get Slurpees.
Anyway, some kid named Ally told her a spooky story about the walk-in freezer at 7-11. Apparently, the story says it's haunted, and it snares children with it's power cord and drags them inside to freeze to death. "I know it's just a ghost story, but it still scares me."
So now I've finally got my fingers on the Boogieman, and I'm not so frustrated. "Kelly, you're right. This is just a story, and you know the difference between fiction and real life. In fact, so long as you stay with your teachers, about the worst thing that can happen to you when you're at 7-11 is that you'll drink your Slurpee too fast and get..."
"Brain Freeze!" Kelly's hand whips up and grabs her forehead.
"Right. Now that's pretty nasty, but nothing to be scared of. Even I have had brain freeze before. I was even trying to go slow, but this shake was so cold that even little sips were enough to give me brain freeze..."
I paused a moment and then began to demonstrate: "sip ... ow ... sip ... ow ... sip ... make it stop! ... sip ... ow!"
By this time Kelly was giggling, and soon she was joining in on the silliness. I got her calmed down and said goodnight. Checking on her maybe a half hour later, she was asleep.
That felt good.
Posted by dpwakefield at June 3, 2003 09:28 PM
There's absolutely no feeling in the world better than knowing you've made your child happier through a combination of wisdom and silliness.
None, I tell you. Not a damned one.
(Found you via HansonKun's not-even-used-yet Diary-X.)
Posted by: GreyDuck at June 26, 2003 08:02 PM
Yep, that was one of the high points. Of course, I think I've noted how I occasionally fumble the ball too. Can't all be perfect moments.
Posted by: Don Wakefield at June 26, 2003 10:04 PM