General concepts can be difficult for wee guys like Cameron to pick up on. I’m no psychologist but it seems to me that the fear and apprehension kids feel about the unknown or unexplained (or inadequately explained) is what they label with the more concrete term monster. If it has a name, they can talk about it.
That scary unknown now has a new name in our household: Wall-E.
Someone please smack me the next time I start talking about taking Cameron to a movie?
He was fine with the movie theater – it was filled with kids, as it was a free showing of Kung-Fu Panda. Maybe he was a little apprehensive, as he just wanted to sit on my lap and watch the screen flash trivia and ads, while Samuel in the seat next to us was near ready to explode with excitement and couldn’t sit still. We talked about how they would turn down, then off, the lights when the movie started.
Down went the lights.
The trailers started. He was okay with the announcer and the cartoon drawing of the planet from afar, until the ‘view’ focused on a quirky-cute designed-to-please-the-audience robot. SHRIEEEEEK! And the announcer named the robot, loudly. I tried to calm Cameron down, I really did. We even left and came back after the trailers were done and Kung-Fu Panda had started. No way. He was howling. So we left.
We wound up having a very pleasant sunny autumn afternoon. The community held a pre-Hallowe’en festival for the little ones, complete with store-to-store trick or treating and pumpkins to decorate. I treated it as a dress rehearsal, got Cameron dressed up, taught him what to say, and played.
We talked later about the movie and why he was frightened; he brought it up a few times. He said that it was loud. Then out of the blue while we were snuggling to read his bedtime stories, “Wall-E scared me.” That was before nine. It’s now ten thirty and he’s finally (I think) really asleep. He would lie still, eyes open and blinking, seemingly relaxed – then, “Wall-E has a sharp knife.” Who knows where that came from, but I firmly denied it. Next was that Wall-E has sharp teeth. I don’t know if this was more or less distressing than my response: Wall-E has no teeth. But generally, it was just around and around, Wall-E scared him, where was Wall-E, Wall-E was scary. I tried all my tricks. I’d break the cycle, and slowly he’d drift off. But of course this is Diwali and Hallowe’en season, which around here means the fireworks start, slowly at first. Maybe three or four tonight. But with each one, the cycle would be re-set with a, “What was that noise?”
I think we’re in for a rough night.