Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Fear

Today a woman said "You can tell he is yours" when the Tot and I came in to the gym. I am starting to see more and more of myself in him. We both fight sleep but then never want to wake up once we finally get there. We both like to lay on a pillow or stuffed critter while watching the tube. We both love books. We both are very opinionated and we both throw horrific temper tantrums when we don't get our way.

There is one thing I hope he didn't get from me - my fear. Recently my Tot has started to show some anxiety around unfamiliar things. His grandmother got him a "Roarin' Rex" toy from Toy Story and he won't go near it. Admittedly, it is bigger and has more teeth than most of his usual toys. The other day at a store, he refused to go two feet past the front door because of an enormous stuffed bear in the back corner. I even attempted to pick him up and carry him over to show him the bear was friendly and almost lost all of the skin on my shoulder in his attempt to get away from me. Last week, I was sitting on the couch reading a book while he played in the kitchen behind me. All of the sudden he started to whimper and fuss. He was looking out the sliding door in the backyard. I couldn't imagine what could be out there as we have a fence. A snake maybe? A big bug?

Even better:

The cats, on the other hand, were not as fearful. More like ravenous:

(The little rabbit should have been thanking his lucky stars for the glass door. And that the cats don't have the necessary thumbs to open it.)

In any case, I brought the Tot closer to the door so he could get a good look at the bunny and see that it was nothing to dangerous. Soon all was right in his world once again.

I have always experienced some level of anxiety about things that are new or different. I dread meeting a group of new people. I hate starting a class or joining play groups because I have such a difficult time feeling like the "new kid". It's nothing debilitating - it doesn't keep me from leaving the house or going out and having fun. Still, it's more anxiety than I would like to have to deal with and sometimes I wonder if it's "normal". It's a trait I would prefer not to pass down to my Tot in the genetics lottery (or have him observe and model - depending on which way you swing on the whole "nature v. nurture" debate). I have to believe that this new expression of fear is likely a normal part of development, right? Probably a typical symptom of his continuing individuation and the realization that he is separate from me. Still, I worry. But what else is new?

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