A year or so ago we showed the movie “ET” to our children, thinking it was a heartwarming classic they would enjoy as much as we did when we were kids. But little Madden didn’t find it so charming, and found ET to be very scary. Enough that for the time being ET will remain “he who shall not be named.”
She also hates toilet flushes, cramming her hands over her ears and wincing every time she knows a flush is imminent. “I just have this made up thing where something’s going to come out of the toilet and try to get me,” she tells me.
Kids have lots of fears, and not all of them make sense or have any basis in reality. Yet, as much as we might try to reason with our children and explain away those fears, they persist. Rather than get frustrated by this, or angry at her when she takes these silly fears too far sometimes, I was thinking this morning that I should try and remember what it was like to be a kid and what terrorized me. I knew the answer immediately: flying cockroaches.
When I was little we lived in New Orleans, along with what I imagine were 20 million flying roaches. With their papery brown exoskeletons and wiggling little antennae, roaches are creepy enough, by try ones bigger than a walnut with wings on for size. WINGS. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility to walk into a room unawares and get divebombed by a roach. I lived in abject fear of them. Night time was the worst, because I thought they’d land on me in bed, or get under the covers. I learned to create an airtight compartment with my sheets to prevent any roach incursions.
This led me to wonder, what did my fellow moms fear when they were kids? What terrors kept them on their toes and super vigilant? I was surprised at how many responses I got when I asked, most of which had me laughing out loud thinking about how scared we all were. See whether your biggest fear was on their list, and share your own stories with us.
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Katherine Stone writes here at Babble as well as at her blog on postpartum depression, called Postpartum Progress. You can also follow her on Twitter as she tweets inane things about her day, or learn more about her at her Fierce blog here.