I try to not react scared to scary things that need not be scary. At least, I try really hard to not act scared in front of Georgia. Blame my college psych class, but I don't want her to be scared of spiders on account of me screaming and jumping away from them. So, when we come across a bug, she points it out and proclaims "BUG!" and when I seen her get a little nervous, I usually say "What a funny bug!" and then she laughs and her phobias are put off for another day.
Well, last week we were eating lunch in the car. A fly had somehow found its way to the back seat. It was sitting very still on the passenger seat in front of Georgia so she happily pointed it out to me.
"Oh! Bug! Funny bug!"
Apparently, this bug decided that was an invitation to fly directly into Georgia's face and then land on her knee. She flipped. FLIPPED! She threw all of her food and cried and hit her knee and was so sad. I couldn't help but laugh and told her the bug just wanted to say hi! She was not amused by this excuse. I got out of the car, shooed out the bug, comforted Georgia and then started driving home.
We got on the freeway but I was in an unfamiliar area and realized I was going the wrong direction. While I was trying to find an exit to off on, ANOTHER fly decided that he and Georgia were going to be best friends. He flew in her face, landed on her hand, landed on her knee, and then did the whole dance over again. Georgia was freaking out.
"No! NO FUNNY BUG! NO FUNNY BUG!"
If I had a fly relentlessly landing on me while I was strapped in a car seat I would freak out too. I'm driving down the freeway and there's only so much I can do, so I roll down the window and hope the fly leaves. I pull off of the freeway and am waiting at a light before I can pull into a random parking lot. While at the light, the fly goes out the window. I'm VERY excited about this so I cheer to Georgia:
"The funny bug is all gone! YAY!"
Through her tears, she chokes back and sob and gives me a weak smile of relief.
"Funny bug GONE!" she says.
And then, as the light turns green, ANOTHER FLY pops up out of the depths of the backseat and attacks. It must have flown in while the window was down. Georgia becomes clearly distraught and screeeeeches as this fly does the exact same song and dance that the two previous flies have done. I am trying to comfort her, but I'm also driving and she has lost all trust in me anyway since I had told her the fly was gone TWICE.
I'm trying to pull into an industrial parking lot and there is randomly traffic for miles making it so I can't. I'm holding Georgia's foot in a lame attempt to give her comfort and all I can see is her little hands over her little eyes and huge tears streaming down her bright red face. I have never seen her so scared.
Once we finally get to where I can get out (this has been about a half hour ordeal), I rush to her aid and hold her outside of the car. It doesn't take her long to calm down once she is in my arms, but she is staring at the car with great suspicion.
I could only stand and hold her for so long in the heat so I convince her to let me get out ALL of the bugs from the car (there weren't any more) and she somehow allows me to put her back in her car seat.
As we're driving home, she can't stop talking about her experience.
"Funny bug fly! Bug tickle nose! Bug tickle knee... no! NO funny bug! Bug tickle knee. Bug fly."
I told this story to Scott who found it both pathetic and hilarious. That is, until the middle of that night, when we heard Georgia SCREAMING from her bedroom. I knew that scream, but Scott didn't. She had apparently had a nightmare about bugs because she was sobbing and screaming and kept swatting at her face and at her knees as if there was a bug on her.
"No no no no! No bug! NO BUG!"
Since this experience, she has not ran and hid from any bug she sees. In fact, she points it out, laughs a nervous little laugh and then says: "Oh! Funny bug!" But if the bug starts to fly, she cringes and a look of terror comes over her face.
I'm sad that Georgia went through such a traumatic ordeal (especially for a two year old) but I'm kind of happy to know that her fear didn't develop randomly or because of me. She went through a legitimate 30 minute experience with flies and discovered that she has reason to be afraid of them flying in her face and landing on her body when she doesn't want them to.
To help the situation though, I think I'm going to see if they have A Bug's Life at our library.