Recently my youngest has developed a phobia, to bugs, bumble bees specifically. I know what your thinking, what’s wrong with being afraid of bees, most people are. That’s fine and I think it’s sound advice to encourage kids to stay away from bees if they see them.
The problem is her fear of bees has her seeing them everywhere. We’re getting in the van to go to school. UGH! she sees a bumble bee on her car seat. She’s playing Lego in her brother’s room. UGH! She sees a bee under his reading bench. We sit at the table to eat a morning snack. UGH! You guessed it…a bee. At first I’m quick to react. No one wants to put their child in harms way of being stung. But in all cases no bee is seen. In some cases nothing is there at all, not even a piece of fluff that could resemble a bee.
I guess as her mom I’m partly to blame. As I mentioned earlier, I encourage a healthy fear of bees to avoid an innocent accidents that would end in tears. And it doesn’t help that I jump at the sight of bees, only reinforcing the fear.
And then there’s the big one. I’ll admit it here and only here that I’ve actually used my kids inherent fear of bugs in my favour. If want to get the kids away from something in the backyard or park or off the front porch and in the house all I have to do is mention there are bugs or bees in the area and the kids go running. I can hear you, tisk-tisk, but I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there who’s used these or similar tactics. At least I hope not or I’m a worse mom than even I thought.
And now my daughter is imaging bumble bees are haunting her. I hope this is a stage that she will move through or else I envision years of therapy and my dirty bad mommy secret being revealed for all to mock and criticise. Oops, I guess if you’re reading this, my secret is already out.