Monday, January 21, 2008

How Fear Looks to A Toddler

Charlie experienced a car- wash for the first time a few days ago. You know, one of those car-washes with big moving brushes that spin around and go back and forth over the car.

Charlie, having never seen one of those things before, did not know what to make of it. I am guessing that, he must have thought, that they were big furry monsters that were attacking our car. Not like the big furry monsters on "Sesame Street" who teach you how to count , hang out in garbage cans and eat cookies .

Charlie shook with fear......I wish I had a visual.......he quaked with terror....scared. His, always practical, nonplussed, sister sat there and tried to soothe him. "It's just a car wash Charlie" "those things won't hurt you...see they are washing the car."

Then, as if to soothe himself, he started repeating: "it's just a car-wash" over and over.

When something scares him now he says "it's just a car wash." We have added others. "It's just a machine (vacuum cleaner)" "It's just a lawnmower"

But really scary things, like white movie credits rolling on a black background, is just a car wash.

( I would love to be able to see the thoughts going on in his head when he sees things)


TheCounsils said...

I don't know if you will know I wrote this but one of my 3 year twins is doing this... she is very afraid of car washes... it was her sister that "made" her this way... Autumn was the first to say she didn't like it now she eggs her twin on... Haley is so afraid we can't even say the words car and wash together.. oh and don't go to a gas station either... never bothered her until a new guy started working at the pumps and he cleaned our windows... man... now if she even THINKS we are going past a gas station she has to be reassured that we aren't stopping and going home instead... i have to tell her the trip plans... we are going here, then here and then here... and then home... not all the time but there are times when she NEEDS to know.. since this original post was in 2008... do they grow out of it??

Beat Dad said...

Well, he has not grown out of his fear of the car wash. The very mention of washing the car calls for us to reassure him that he will not be involved. Since he has found out that we can wash our car in our driveway, he is most hopeful that, that is the type of car washing that will take place and not the drive through kind.

There is a particular gas station, which we pass on a regular basis and when we do he wants to make sure that we will not be stopping there.

He is 3 and a half now, I am sure that he won't be afraid of the car wash by the time he is 5.