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Monsters and (Not Really) Being Scared

Over the last month or two, the Pumpkin has talked about monsters and being scared, although she never actually seems scared. It's more like she is playing with the idea of being scared. I think it's a combination of her current development stage and Halloween, and I also recently bought the book Where The Wild Things Are, which she seems to like.

We talk about monsters being scary and friendly. In fact the other morning at breakfast, she demanded asked me to be a scary monster, then a friendly monster, then a scary monster and then a friendly monster. My scary/friendly monster impression consists of me holding up hands like claws and saying in a scary/friendly voice, "I'm a scary/friendly monster." She gets a kick out of it.

When this talk of monsters first started, she used to say that we needed to watch out or hurry because a monster was coming! (She also has said this about sharks and dragons and other things which were going to "get us.") But she doesn't really sound worried about it. Just pretend worried.

When it started, I used to say, "That's a friendly monster/dragon! Let's invite him/her to have dinner with us/play with us." And she would. We have had monsters and dragons for dinner and tea parties--they are pretty good guests. She accepted them as easily as other pretend friends she "plays" with (we've had Dora, Boots and Benny to tea parties, and we often have Diego in the car ride to school). She seems to act the same way about scary monsters as she does friendly ones.

She has pretended to be a monster herself. My favorite is when she puts a blanket around her shoulders and/or head, holds her hands up like claws and says in a funny voice, "I'm a monster! Grrr!"

The Pumpkin has never really been scared of things. In fact, we had to work really hard to get her to realize that some things are dangerous (edges of things that are high up, for example). In one way, it's nice that she's not scared, even of monsters. In another way, I do worry about how she will develop later when she needs to be cautious of certain things.

For now, I'm just having fun playing monsters with her.


Becoming Mommy said…
You're lucky.

We have full-blown fear mode on occasion. Not because of monsters (because his knowledge of monsters is limited to Grover, Zoe, etc.).
We have fears about bugs with stingers, predatory animals,and most recently...spacemen (Thank you poor judgement in watching Fantastic 4 with him in the room).
Jana said…
Alex likes monsters, too. But he mostly only knows "monsters" in the sense of Happy Monster Band or Yo, Gabba, Gabba. (Those are monsters, right?)

Now, let a bug or (Heaven forbid!) a stray strand of hair (yes, seriously...a strand of hair) come within 3 feet of him, and it is panic city around here.
OneHappyCow said…
I haven't been commenting much recently but still enjoy reading your blog. But I swear we have the SAME CHILD!!! This post could have described her and we are in the same phase - hurry, monsters coming, etc. Or snakes. Huh? Anyways, not actually scared, but she says she is. Interesting. (I think they are around the same age, too). Eerie, Caramama, just eerie!
Geek in Rome said…
we're in the monster phase, too. I like how they need to tell you that THIS one is the friendly ogre and THAT (all invisible) is the mean one.

I encourage them to stand up to the mean ones and find ways they are going to escape or conquer the them (with cunning, screaming, or running).

I have a theory that if they know they can beat or escape these huge frightening (imaginary) beasts they will have a head start in developing the skills and plans necessary in confronting real "monsters" like a bully or god-forbid a creep offering them candy...

I always underline that screaming your head off and running away are perfectly acceptable solutions as well as going to the police. They really get a kick out of putting the monsters in jail!

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