Sugar here again. We’ve apparently entered a phase where the Bean finds a lot of things scary. A LOT of things. Like dogs. And the moment in the movie just before the toys get to meet the train. (Because of the narrative tension? I have no idea.) This past month I seem to be the idiot who is set on introducing him to the scary things. Go me!
The first case in point: kids night at the Botanic Garden. Kids night was supposed to feature a puppet show about vegetables. This did not seem terrifying to me in any way. Unfortunately, however, it featured not puppet-sized puppets, but tall adults dressed up as gigantic vegetables, screaming into microphones. (Pro tip: the reason to have a microphone is so that you don’t have to scream, but I digress.) I had walked over to the show with the Bean and was cheerfully pointing out a large eggplant wearing glasses when I realized the Bean was shaking. Actually shaking! I immediately walked him away again, but when we got back to our picnic blanket all he wanted to do was leave. “Where is that purple guy? That purple guy wearing sunglasses and a carrot on his head? I don’t like that purple guy. Where is he? Is he coming here?” We’ve been fielding questions like these for weeks now.
Then, a couple of nights ago, I read the Bean Owl at Home. In that book is what I thought was a charming story about Owl getting frightened by his own feet under the covers because they looked like two lumps. I finished reading that story, which ends with Owl deciding to sleep in his chair, and was going on to the next one when I heard a small voice say, “those lumps are scaring me.” Fantastic. I’m scaring the Bean right before bed. Brilliant.
So, I showed the Bean what my feet look like under a sheet and explained that the lumps were just feet. Isn’t that funny? Just feet! He laughed. Then two seconds later he said, “the lumps are scary. I don’t like the lumps.”
So then I tried to demonstrate with the Bean’s own feet. This entailed me running around the room looking for an acceptable blanket. (He hates all blankets.) “I don’t like that blanket.” “Okay, but it’s just for a minute, to demonstrate!” “I don’t like that blanket.” “What about this blanket?” “I don’t like that blanket either.”
I finally found an old muslin baby blanket that he would consent to have draped over his feet. We made two lumps. He laughed. But I’m still not certain that the scary lumps are forgotten.
On the other hand, the Bean is also doing a terrific job of scaring us. The day after the purple guy incident, he woke up in the morning, turned to me and said, “There’s a ghost coming across the street.”
“Really? What does it look like?” I asked.
“It’s gray. It has a large head and two legs. It’s coming to our apartment. To look at us.”
In my head I heard “I see dead people…”
Then, just yesterday, he told Bionic that the gray ghost was coming to our building again. This time, it wasn’t going to come to our apartment, but the reason it was coming to our building was to look for people. To eat.