Today Cloud had his first hayride. It was Tobey Farms' Not-So-Scary Hayride. The hay wagon drove around the regular, Scary Hayride path in the middle of the day, when the kids could see that the skeletons had strings and the ghosts were made out of cloth and the witches were inflatable. AwesomeCloud was the youngest hayrider, but not by much - there were some 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds too. I think the presence of the other children eased his trepidation even further.
Navigating childhood fears is an interesting and complex topic. And it's one you hardly hear a thing about. Mommy blogs and child development experts wax long and hard about practically every parenting topic on the face of the earth. Yet I've hardly heard a word about addressing childhood fears, and now that I'm doing it myself, I have no guidance.
I bet it's one of the factors that turn parents into helicopter parents. You start out by rescuing your baby from every perceived scary experience, no matter how harmless, because you figure you can loosen up later when the kid is older. But the kid gets older, and older, and somehow that loosening up thing never quite gets off the ground.
I dunno. I'm just making this up.
At the end, there was a lollipop, which healed any residual anxiety that might have occurred. He seemed a little anxious, but not terribly so.
And he was clingy before the hayride, too. He cut his lip this morning, and it must have been bothering him.
"I can't walk, Mama. My lip hurts. Carry me."
He might've said that if he could. And I would probably have still carried him.