What my kids are afraid of…

May 29, 2008

1.      My kids are afraid of the dark, but only the darkness that settles in around bedtime.  The inky blackness that accompanies a homemade fort made of every sheet, couch cushion and pillow in our home is A-Okay with them. 

2.      My kids are afraid of stingrays (yes stingrays, you know the aquatic creatures that sort of look like kites only with barbs on the tail that can zap the crap out of you if you step on them).  I know this because we paid big dollars to swim with them in the Cayman Islands and as soon as my children hit the water, they scaled my torso and deposited themselves into my ear-sockets in order to evade the circling hordes.  I nearly drowned in 4-feet of water as my wife stood laughing from the relative safety of our charter.  

3.      Mack is afraid of baseballs, at least he is as of yesterday afternoon when he misread a “heater” thrown by his old man and took one right on top of the gourd.  For blossoming major leaguers, an attempt to catch a baseball with anything other than a gloved hand usually meets with minimal success.  So far Mack has tried his ear, lips and now the top of his head.  I think he has learned a valuable lesson; if not he will soon run out of possible catching alternatives and go back to more conventional methods. 

4.      My children are afraid to play in the basement alone.  This is a dilemma because my wife and I engineered our basement to resemble a McDonald’s play land.  Of course we had selfish reasons; we thought we could buy our way into a 5-minute uninterrupted conversation.  Alas, this is impossible because the only way my children will venture into the basement is if one of us accompanies them. 

5.      Both of my kids are afraid of every medicine in our inventory that is designed to go on Boo-Boos.  My children firmly believe that the application of any disinfectant creates an unbearable stinging sensation.  Even the placebo container of water that I used to disprove this strange childhood psychological phenomenon resulted in wails of agony and a flood of tears. *NOTE- don’t call a 7-year old boy’s scrape a Boo-Boo, it’s condescending.  My oldest prefers the term “Wound”.   

6.      My kids are terrified of the Santa Claus/Easter Bunny proxy that we force them to take pictures with at the mall every holiday.  However, the thought of a winged pixie snatching their discarded teeth in the middle of the night is strangely comforting to them. 

7.      Mack is afraid of the spicy red peppers used to flavor Chinese food.  It only took one mouthful to firm up this very real and rational fear.  For those of you who have yet to experience the sight of a flaming mushroom cloud spouting from your child’s mouth take my advice and remove the peppers before giving them their meal.  This will cut down on replacement cost for several perishable items such as fire extinguishers and the gas it takes to get to the emergency room. 

8.      Both of my kids have an unhealthy fear of death.  To cope with this fear they have taken to counting down my remaining years at the beginning of each new day.  Nothing makes you question your mortality more than your children telling you each morning that you’re one day closer to leaving the planet. 

9.      Cayden is afraid of the theme music from “Jaws”.  He has never seen the movie, but the instrumental is so menacing that he actually runs from me every time I start a fresh chorus.  If I do this frequently enough I can accomplish the much sought after 5-minute conversation with my wife in 30-second intervals. 


That’s it folks, everything that my children are afraid of is listed above.  Of course some day when they grow up I’ll have to revise.   Eventually they will trade their fear of a guy dressed in a bunny suit for more grown-up fears such as fear of failing.  That’s going to be a very sad day in our home. 

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