I bet you think this post is going to be about me, right? About how, after two lost pregnancies, I’m scared to try again?
Fiona is scared of babies. That cooing babbling infant, who can’t talk or walk, yet? Yeah, at the sight of it, she’ll run to me and start pleading to be picked up while looking frantically over her shoulder at the now giggling little tyke.
It’s both hilarious, and as Fiona told me, glaring fiercely, “No laughing, Mama. Baby!”
I can’t help but grin. My girl is the sort that walks up to a group of well dressed business men leaving a building and says, “Hello Everybody! How are you?”
She doesn’t wait for a response and continues, “I good. I two. You come play with me.” They chuckle at her, ruffle her hair, and keep on moving. She is fearless with adults that would make me quake a little bit. Tattoos, leather vests, gruff demeanor? These things don’t faze her.
She plays with children who talk at least as well as her joyfully and lovingly. She races with older kids; she plays pretend; she engages. But if they can’t talk, or, worse, can’t even walk? Terrifying.
I think I know why. Almost a year ago, we were playing at the pool fairly regularly with a little girl about a year younger than Fiona. Then the little girl reached a phase of hitting. Fiona got clobbered a couple of times and then generalized the whole experience. Babies will hit and are scary.
People wonder why she doesn’t play with dolls.
I actually find it kind of endearing, this irrational fear. It’s just so cute to see her panicky expression, then look over her shoulder, as she wraps herself around me like a static-y scarf, and see a cooing, drooling baby smiling up at her and patting the floor with enthusiasm for her interesting antics. Babies love her. She’s just so interesting.
Still, if she’s ever going to be ready for us to have a second child, then I’ll need to get her used to babies. I’ll try to remember though, “No laughing”, after all, this is a very serious problem.
I know that the only way out of fears like these is through them. She’s just going to have to be exposed to more babies.
This was part of my motivation for volunteering at the local YMCA. We’re on shift with a couple of other women on Wednesday afternoons. It gives us time that we need. Time with other kids. Time to learn how to be social. Time to learn that not all babies hit. Time to learn that drool isn’t actually a biological weapon.