Fraidy Cat

Jakey is all bones and elbows and knees these days, but Nate… Nate is incredibly edible.  I don’t know if it’s his pudgy hands, his over-the-waistband tummy… those curls?  And I’m not the only one who’s noticed.  Everybody just wants to eat him up.

So, clearly he is afraid of being eaten up.  As he should be.

I’ve noticed that the last year has been quite frightening for Nathaniel.  He’s overcome his fear of dogs, and he’s making progress on his fear of swimming, but he’s now afraid of the dark, afraid of his bed, afraid of “mossters,” afraid of the sound of the washing machine, and generally afraid of being alone.  A couple of nights ago at the dinner table he randomly states, “this chair’s too ‘cary for me.”  Huh?  You’re sitting in the high chair you’ve sat in since you were a little wobbly baby blob, in a brightly lit kitchen, at the dinner table with your entire family.  If you ask him why, his usual reply is, “I doeknow.”

I asked him yesterday why he’s “‘cared in my bed” and he told me, “The lions eat me.”

He’s routinely scared of lions eating him.  Though one time I asked if he was scared of sharks eating him and he looked at me and shook his head like I was deranged, “Sharks no eat me.”  Crazy Mama.  He’s completely confident that he’ll never go near any shark-infested waters.  Miss Christine, our swimming coach, would totally back him up on that.  Without hesitation.

So on Sunday afternoon, after nap time, he wakes up and asks me for warm “leche.”  I know he’s feeling pretty uneasy if he just wants to sit with his baybit and drink sippy cups of milk.

He’s sitting in the living room chair and his dad is laying on the couch.  All of a sudden Nathaniel starts crying and shouting in a panicky voice, “Mama!  I too ‘scared.  I too ‘cared!”

I come rushing in from the kitchen and he’s completely beside himself.  I have to sit with him under his green blanket while he finishes his leche.

A little bit later, his dad wakes up from his impromptu afternoon siesta and asks Nate,  “What happened?  Why were you so scared?”

“I doeknow.”

“Did I make a sound that scared you?”


“What was it?  What was the sound?”

“Sounded like a lion.”

Daddy was snoring…


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