Since moving to the burbs, we’ve had issues with house flies, mainly because we are super bad at remembering to close the kitchen sliding door that leads to the deck. So naturally, we invested in a fly-swatter bulk pack (family style!) and are constantly running around the kitchen chasing flies, killing them, and then congratulating ourselves with a celebratory dance and a screamy notification to the whole house that “I KILLED THAT FUCKER!”
Nora watches all of this.
We really gotta start remembering that she’s there (for this reason and also, just like, in general.)
Because naturally, seeing this ritual in action then led her to believe that house flies are very scary and dangerous (necessitating the brutal killings and professionally choreographed victory dances). Therefore, whenever she’d see one, she’d scream, run away terrified, and yell “Mama, can you kill it?!!!”
It took some explaining to get her to see that flies are not dangerous and will not hurt her, so she doesn’t have to be afraid. Luckily, Nora is pretty smart for an almost-2-year-old, and before long, with some patience and gentle encouragement from me, she was able to see that house flies are not dangerous, they’re just annoying. Armed with this explanation, she was no longer terrified of them and started to say “Is ok, fly don’t hurt, is just annoying, Mama” whenever she’d spot one. She’d then waddle over to the table, grab the fly-swatter, and hand it over to me like the dutiful little partner-in-crime she is.
Yes, I will gladly accept my bouquet of parenting trophies.
Flash forward a few days. Nora and I are on the deck.
Nora: “Mama, what’s dat sound?”
Me: “That’s Uncle Jeremy blasting music in the kitchen.”
Nora: “Why he so loud, Mama?”
Me: “You’re right, he IS being loud. But that’s ok. It’s no big deal, it’s just a little annoying.”
Nora: (hands me fly-swatter) “Can you kill him?”
So no lesson is perfect.