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Monday, August 23, 2010

Irrational (To Me) Kid Fears

I am lucky that one of my best friends from college is a child psychologist, specializing in neurodevelopment. We had lunch with her and her husband last month when we were passing through Cincinnati so that my husband could watch the World Cup. And so that I could lose my voice. But I digress.

While the men were watching the game at the pub and I was trying to pacify the Kid with a grilled cheese sandwich, I started asking her about toddler phobias. The Kid is scared of dogs and some swimming pools. Particularly getting her hair wet.

Which probably shouldn't be surprising given that most black women have an aversion to getting their hair wet at all. You will probably never see a black female Olympic swimmer. Weaves and braids are expensive and don't take well to chlorine. Just saying...

Mind you, if one of my patients asked me the same question about toddler phobias, I would say, "of course, dogs and water are normal fears", but a little reassurance from a friend never hurts. Which she proceeded to tell me were completely normal and VERY common fears. The Kid was snapped at once by a dog and ever since, most dogs will elicit high-pitched shrieking and her trying to climb up your leg like a squirrel. She did okay at the beach and in the small swimming pool, but absolutely refuses to get her hair and face wet. Which makes for very interesting scenes when I wash her hair.

But then I remembered my even more irrational phobias from when I was little. 

Exhibit A: The Incredible Hulk.

Guaranteed to induce panicked hyperventilation and pleas for my dad to change the channel to this classic 80's show. He would usually laugh and tell me to go to my room. Parents just don't understand.

Exhibit B: Sam Donaldson.  You know, the former news correspondent for ABC News?

Also guaranteed to induce panicked hyperventilation and pleas for my dad to change the channel. Cue more paternal laughter.

I think it was the eyebrows.

Any irrational fears from childhood? If you have kids, are they scared of anything completely off the wall like I was?

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