Thursday, May 5, 2011

Achilles' Other Heel

We've written previously of one of J's few weaknesses, which he is slowly overcoming. He used to be deathly afraid of hot-air hand dryers in public bathrooms. Nowadays, he is willing to be in bathrooms with such hand dryers and has even tried one or two of the quieter ones.

His new foible started about a month ago when he was at the playground. Some friendly bug decided to land on J's face. J did not take this as a friendly gesture, brushed the bug away, and ran home with his hands covering his face. I wasn't there, so I don't know what kind of bug it was but there was no bite or scratch on J's cheek. Just intruding J's personal space was enough of an offense.

We didn't think much of the incident until the next day, when J freaked out about going outside. Eventually he admitted that he did not want to go because he was afraid that bugs would land on his face again. He'd put his hands up to his face, keep his eyes closed, and go almost kicking and screaming to and from the car. Poor guy.

When we were outside, he'd walk around with his eyes mostly shut and both hands shielding his cheeks. You'd think the Phantom of the Opera was lurking with his magic lasso. We tried to convince him that bugs were his friends (though I don't know how convincing we really were) and that they didn't really want to hurt him. We pointed out that Diego (of Go, Diego, Go fame) has many bug friends. J still mistrusted the outdoors, whining and dragging his feet anytime we'd go out of the house. This continued for a week or two till we decided on a new tactic.

We went to Target to find him a hat. But not just any hat. This hat has special properties. It protects the wearer from bugs! At least, that's what we told him. He seemed to believe it, because he would start going out and walking through parking lots and such with much less trepidation. He'd still hold his hand up to his face, so I don't think he was entirely fooled. Maybe he's just playing along to humor us. As he's getting more time outside, he is starting to forget. He's even starting going back to outdoor playgrounds, which is great considering the rapidly improving weather here in Maryland.

Ready to face the world in style!

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