Tuesday, December 15, 2009

joy ride

while out shopping, we made a stop at toys r us. they have those mechanical muppets and such in the front. we walked by the toddler mechanical bull (okay, kermit) and finn pointed and squealed. fifty cents later and we've damaged her for life. she screamed so loud other parents looked at us and shook their heads.
let me repeat that: other parents AT TOYS R US. the one place where parents let their kids run amok and touch everything. candy trailed throughout the place and broken toys discarded like empty cigarette butts. and there we are. you would have thought i was dragging her through a phone store on a leash.
i took a picture while she was on the ride. but i'm not posting it. i thought it was funny at first. then i looked at it on its own, context open in another window entirely. and it made me sad. for that 4 seconds that she sat on the machine, she was absolutely terrified. and who am i to tell her that she shouldn't be scared? that there is nothing wrong? maybe it's me that has the problem. a life size green frog rides shotgun and i'm telling her that everything is okay? that this is fun?
i dreamt last night that i lived in a large mansion with glass walls. but the front door was all wood and i couldn't hear through the door and the peephole was all fogged up. so i opened the door and two men came in a took me hostage. in my dream, finn was in the other room and she was still a tiny baby. i woke up in a sweat. i grabbed a hold of the cool night air in my bedroom and wrapped it over my mouth, breathing in and out, familiarity coursing through my blood. i ran my fingers between the sheet and the pillows, counting fibers and reassuring myself that it was just pretend. it wasn't real.
green frogs riding shotgun.
glass walled mansions.
it was real at the time.


  1. i'll admit
    green frogs riding shotgun
    cracked me up
    but you're right
    fear is fear and it is a mighty big thing
    regardless of colour.


  2. I get the chills every time I come over here. I've only been a mom for a couple months now, but that would make me sad, too. Poor little munchkin! That said, those high-horse parents at T'r'Us should stick it with their smugness!

  3. What a wonderful mom you are, Krista. When I was a child fear was mandated by my culture as a way to keep even little kids in line. It took me so long to get over being fearful. And I find absolute beauty in parents loving their children so much, that they want to protect them from even the idea of fear.

  4. My cousin's little girl had that reaction with Santa, and my little nephew wailed and shook like a leaf over a pinata!! You had no idea that frog would scare her. As I was reading this post I could just see you sitting and looking at that picture and reliving those four seconds. You are a good mom....a great mom!!

  5. Reichen REALLY wanted to ride the toy train at a train exhibit a couple weeks ago and after staring at it for five minutes, he decided he was ready. When he hopped on, he wanted to hop off. I made him stay on the train and he cried and was terrified the entire 3 times around the track. I thought it was funny at first and decided it would make a perfect post. But after getting home and seeing him SO terrified and SO scared in the photos, I realized it wasn't funny at all. It was real. And I erased all the evidence of that moment immediately.

  6. YOU have reminded me how important it is to let this beautiful being whom I've been given stewardship over, to BE WHO SHE IS MEANT TO BE. I can't thank you enough.

  7. Oh, sweetie. You had no idea it would terrify her so. And NO, you haven't damaged her for life, kids are resilient and bounce back and besides, if therapy doesn't work, she'll just become an actor.

    Sometimes when things terrify others, we laugh, because we think, "It's okay, it's funny, because that person who is terrified is only terrified because they don't have all the information." We laugh because we know they are not being hurt or in harm's way.

    The other side of that road is that we can never know what terrifies someone or why it does, and when they are in that place they feel so incredibly alone. It is not them who is missing key information - it is us on the outside.

    You are a wonderful mother and your daughter will grow up to be strong and beautiful, just like you.

  8. Reading this, just for a moment, a small moment I could remember my own daughters terrified scream. I don't remember what frightened her, but I remember that heartrendering wail. It digs deep into a mothers soul and leaves a mark. Finn won't remember what frightened her so. Unfortunately mothers always remember that cry.

    It's as real as it gets.

    Tracey is right kids are resilent.
    It's the moms that aren't (winks).

    Hugs to both you and Finn sweet friend. (Hugs)Indigo

  9. This is oh so true---we just assume our kids will love something that we think is totally normal, but really, putting your kid on a big green frog that moves...not really so normal.

  10. i love everything about this post.

  11. Bless you honey - I know how you feel. Remember the horseback ride in Catalina when the dog spooked your horse? Being on a trail and 2 riders back (the leader was with you) didn't make your screams or crying easy to let go, since I couldn't even get to you to calm your fears. We had to finish the ride on the trail and I must admit you held on with both hands and rode til the end. You just didn't want to ride any horses ever after that - so we'll just keep Finn away from the shotgun frog rides. My heart swells with pride as I read any of your writings and experiences as Finn grows. She picked you as a Mom and you picked me - how fantabulous is that??? Love you TTHHIISS much!!!!! Mom

  12. Forgot to comment on the dream - I wish I could have been there to hold you - you're still my baby and I want to protect you - even against invisible-to-me demons and harm. Loving arms to hug you are always here - next time put me in the dream - I'll handle those dudes!!! xxoo Mom

  13. At first I laughed because who is afraid of Kermit, right? But on second thought, that could be totally creepy for a chiled. I am afraid of half-inch spiders. Why shouldn't a child be afraid of a giant smiling frog?

  14. I think it's so crazy when parents get upset at their children for screaming their heads off when put on a strange man's lap...SANTA...they spend countless moments telling their children don't go near strangers, but this guy dressed up as Santa is OK to hang with while the child is terrified?! Then on youtube I saw that two parents filmed their child throwing up after he ate greenbeans and was crying about it and they were laughing and posted it for all the world to see...SOME people do cruel things to their children on purpose and then laugh about it, you are not one of those parents and never will be. It's different when it's unintentional.

  15. I love this post. I think you've given me some inspiration to blog again.


use your kind words.