"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is Uncle Josh the Boogie Man?

Among other things my daughter excels at, her memory is quite amazing...

Do you remember this picture of my brother Josh? It's from halloween last October. Josh had the brilliant idea of welding an iron mask and wearing it in the presence of my children. Izzie was already wary of Josh, why I don't know, and this didn't help him win any points. To recap that fateful halloween, after trick-or-treating, Izzie wanted to go home. She was sad for the rest of the night. She wouldn't go anywhere near Uncle Josh, even when he took the mask off. She was scarred for life.

Since that was such a traumatic moment in Izzie's life, we didn't bring it up again. Well, maybe once or twice, but then it was buried...forgotten...and guess what? After a lot of work and collaboration on everyone's part, we were able to get Izzie to play with Uncle Josh. We were making progress. Scary-Iron-Mask-Guy was a thing of the past. Or so I thought...Izzie is at the age where she thinks there are things that go bump in the night. She hasn't expressed any real fear, just concern. I always reassure her that there is no such as the boogie man or monsters or beasts, well except for Noah. I tell her that she is perfectly safe and nothing is out to get her.

Last evening, Julie and I were driving back to the house with Izzie and Noah. Izzie said, "I don't want to go home." I told her it was time to go home because it was getting late and dark outside. She was silent for a moment then said, "He's going to get us." I asked her who was going to get us. She said, "Uncle Josh. I don't like Uncle Josh." (At least she called him Uncle Josh thus recognizing him as part of the family.) I asked her why she didn't like Uncle Josh. She replied, "He wears a scary mask." Julie and I looked at each other and I asked, "What did you say Izzie?" She replied, "He wears a scary mask. I don't like Uncle Josh."

Oh, goodness...Did she really just say that? How does she remember that? I mean, for real... last week I went to order some pictures I had taken of the babies, oh, a couple of months ago. The woman asked me if I remembered what day I brought them in. I looked at her like she just asked me the final question in Jeopardy...I said, "No, I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday, let alone last month." Fail...Izzie has a better memory than I do.

It took a bit of convincing, but I explained to Izzie that Uncle Josh is not scary and that he loves her very much. I told her that the mask was pretend and just for fun. Then Julie chimed in and said Uncle Josh was just playing dress up. She said that girls wear skirts to play dress up but boys don't wear skirts because that would be silly. Boys wear masks for fun and dress up. Izzie said, "Ohhh..." We ended the conversation on that note and scary-iron-mask-guy didn't come up again.

I think we at least convinced Izzie that Josh isn't the boogie man. Besides, I told her there's no way Uncle Josh could fit under her bed.

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