Friday, March 21, 2008

Fear of Furries


My tummy not feel better!

My tummy not feel better!

This is what my daughter says every time she feels vulnerable. It started about a week ago and, like any good neurotic mother, I ran through all of the worst-case scenarios in my head:

  • Stomach cancer

  • Obstructed bowel

  • Constipation due to a diet of chicken nuggets and bread (she's at that stage where she boycotts all nutritionally valuable foods)

  • Anxiety

With the help of some careful observation and sage advice from an experienced YMCA child watch center worker, I have come to the conclusion that none of these scenarios apply. What is happening when my daughter utters these five words is nothing more than pure manipulation. At the ripe old age of two and a half she has figured out how to play me like a fiddle. She senses my hypersensitivity when it comes to her well-being. She knows that her one ace in the hole is her health and I will always err on the side of caution when she cries "sick."

In the past week, my daughter's stomach has hurt during the following scenarios:

  • when I drop her off in the Y nursery

  • when I deny her request for candy

  • when she sees the Easter Bunny (she's terrified of all furries)

  • when she is in the company of someone new and feels shy

  • at bedtime 

Anyone detecting a pattern here?

I'm wise to her games. It took me seven days but I've finally decoded the two-and-a-half-year-old mind. Impressive huh? Now I just use her fear of furries against her. Whenever she feigns illness, I threaten a visit to the Easter Bunny. It works like a charm! Sure, I might be damaging her enjoyment of Easter for life but, oh well, it works. I never liked the Easter Bunny all that much anyway. He gives me the creeps with his giant head and ridiculous outfit.


  1. If memory serves me correctly, President Jimmy Carter was afraid of the Easter Bunny after he was attacked by the Giant Bunny early in his Presidency, this puts you and Lil' Tater in pretty good company, it's good to know you have her all figured out, now, just keep telling yourself that for the next 15 years, time will tell.

  2. Hey J-
    Ben does this, he says "my belly hurts", pulls ups his shirt to show me right where too (usually by his belly button). I did the same as you, finally realized he just wants attention. If I kiss his belly he is fine. :)

  3. lol. Just wait, it gets better and better. They never stop figuring out ways to manipulate.
    5 "I'm going to hold my breath till I die and then you'll be sorry."
    10 "Mikey has one."
    13 "All the other kids in my class get to."
    17 "Wouldn't it be easier if I had my own car. Then I wouldn't have to keep bothering you."
    28 "If you wouldn't mind cooking spaghetti for all my friends we'll get my house finished that much sooner and I can move out of yours." Yep, I cooked. Hey, couldn't have him taking time away from roofing his new little house to cook could I? Let's get those kids independent.

  4. Kids are way too smart. My 6 yo had the stomach flu a few months ago. She rarely gets sick, so this was a big deal. But now, I hear the comment "Mom, I feel like I am going to throw up". All. the. time. I usually tell her that she won't be able to do (insert some upcoming fun activity we have planned). And she usually is amazingly fine a few moments later.

  5. Being adults we should be smarter than our kids. Manipulating a manipulator is challenging.
    It's like disciplining a screamer.
    "Mine. Mine. Miiiiiiiiiiine!"
    "No. No. Nooooooooooo!"
    "Stop. Stop. Stooooooooop!
    "Gimme. Gimme. Giiiiiimmeeeeeeeeeee!
    Why didn't god make them with corks or zippers. Or teach us to get them in a sleeper hold. Maybe they'd feel better after induced sleep.

  6. You've got one smart 2 1/2 year old cookie on your hands.
    PS I always thought the Easter Bunny was overrated.

  7. Aleita had her tonsils out a few weeks ago, and after several days of pampering and being treated with kid gloves, she was spoiled so bad that she stunk! It took some tough love to break out of a pattern that didn't take all that long to develop.