Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

things that go bump in the night


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.

eat your veggieeeeeess………

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.

10 thoughts on “things that go bump in the night

  1. Now that I’ve seen your photo illustration, I think I am going to start having nightmares about that purple guy.

  2. Oh dear! That purple guy does look scary. Eggbert went through a phase where she was afraid of her own shadow also, but it passed fairly quickly, and now she is back to fearing nothing, which is also deeply problematic.

  3. Have you read Mooses Come Walking by Arlo Guthrie? It’s well and truly terrifying, but also awesome. Would eating eggplant help? A sort of ‘we got him before he got us’ sort of thing?

    • Eating eggplant? Eating a food not on the official list of (sometimes, provisionally) acceptable 7 foods? HA HA HA. Ha.

      (I did suggest that, by the way, when we were shopping. I was shut down in no uncertain terms. He liked it when he was a baby, dammit! But he hasn’t touched it in, let’s say a year and nine months.)

  4. Eggplant man is terrifying!

    We recently took Monkey to a concert of Peter and the Wolf – live orchestra with an accompanying animated film.

    The animation looked pretty darn scary to me, but the kids in the audience thought it was hilarious! (Monkey didn’t have much of an opinion, since he made me take him to the toilet 4 times in the hour long show).

    So I guess my point is – we grown ups have no way of knowing what a kid will find frightening, but it almost certainly won’t be what you expect!

  5. Kids, man. I used to be terrified of those aliens on Sesame Street (the ones they had 30 years ago).

  6. The Grey Ghost also has two trees on his head and is, “probably not going to eat Mommy.”

  7. HORRIBLE MURDERING EGGPLANT needs to be a new children’s book. The flesh eating ghost in your neighborhood is a problem, though…

    I think Bun Bun told me her first nightmare a couple of weeks ago–She woke up screaming, and told me “There were spiders everywhere. They were crawling all over me.” I was like, COOL! A NIGHTMARE!

  8. Poor child. These things are so real when you’re that age. No ability to rationalise or numb yourself, I suppose. I remember being TERRIFIED by a rose on the chintzy wallpaper in my grandfather’s house. All the others were nice, you see, but that one was evil. Uh. Anyway! I empathise, Bean.

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