babies, childhood, conditioning, fears, psychology, sleep, weird
Okay, here’s where I explain the loss of the seahorse.
Remember the seahorse?
We really came to depend on that seahorse. During the whole Go The F*** To Sleep incident, Owl would often drift off to sleep staring dreamily at the seahorse’s glowing tummy.
When he started daycare, the seahorse went with him every day to help him go down at nap time.
Then, one Saturday a couple of months ago, Perfect Husband picked me up from work and told me that Owl was afraid of his seahorse.
“Don’t be silly,” I told him, “he fell asleep to it just last night – he just lay there and watched it until he drifted off, while I hummed in the rocking chair.”
“Well, he found it today and he brought it to me, so I turned it on for him, and he started to scream.”
“He must have just gotten a teething pain at that exact time. It must be a coincidence.”
To prove PH wrong, I turned on the seahorse and showed it to Owl when we got home that night.
…He took one look at his musical bedtime pal and burst into horrified, heartbroken tears, and ran off to find his Dada.
Monday afternoon, when I picked him up, Daycare Lady told me that Owl hadn’t slept. He kept standing up in his playpen an screaming in a heartbreaking manner which was entirely unlike him.
I couldn’t understand how he could have developed a fear of his seahorse literally over night, but it was looking more and more like this was, in fact, the case.
I asked Daycare Lady if anything bad had happened to Owl with the seahorse – maybe another child had thrown it at him?
No, she didn’t think so. She checked with her helper lady, and helper lady hadn’t seen anything like that either.
In any case, the next day he went to daycare without the seahorse and slept fine.
So I put the seahorse aside for a while.
I miss the darn thing because now if I want Owl to go to sleep without being on the booba, I have to sing “Mama’s Going To Buy You A Mockingbird” over and over and over and over again. I have had a sore throat lately and this ISN’T HELPING.
Besides, the music is soothing and I missed that, too.
In our organizing stint last week I dug up good ole’ Glowy again, and I offered it to Owl. It had been months. Surely… whatever it was that upset him about it… was forgotten by now.
It started well.
He seemed happy to see it and reached for it. He even pressed the belly to turn it on.
Words cannot express the look of betrayal that crossed his face when the music began to play.
The crazy thing is, every time I turned it off, he’d go over to the thing and turn it back on.
(click the pictures for close-ups of the agony)
Suffice to say we’re baffled.
That is both hilarious and sad.
I feel like if he were a teenage girl, he’d be locking himself in his room with Tori Amos blasting while he cut himself.
Jessica (@jessicaesquire) said:
So weird when they pull that kind of stuff, isn’t it? All the inexplicable strangeness of babies.
FWIW, the Bug grew out of his seahorse around the same time. When we moved to a louder area, we switched to plain old white noise. He still uses that, though he can sleep without it.
I’d like to get a white noise machine for him. I think he’d like it.
Tara Dong (@TaraDong) said:
and by white noise machine, please say you mean a $10 fan from crappy tire…anything else is a friggen rip off! LOL
The fan is what we always use! (But there is a travel-size white noise machine for $19.99 at well.ca, if that’s your preference: http://well.ca/products/homedics-soundspa-mini-portable_40833.html?ref=newprod)
That’s just the sort of thing I was thinking of, Kerry!
We have a fan now – PH is a furnace so our fan/dehumidified/air conditioner runs all year long – but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
However, PH’s blackberry has a white noise app and the running water noise seems quite effective at helping him STAY asleep, if not fall asleep. Unfortunately, running it overnight totally runs down the battery, and if he gets a Facebook notification in the middle of the night… DING!
Maybe he had a nightmare about it. When I was young I had a bad fever and my parents put a humidifier in my room. I had a terrible nightmare about a fire and associated the two. I wouldn’t sleep with a humidifier for a long time after that.
I’ve wondered the same thing – but it seems odd that he keeps TURNING IT ON. It seems to be expressly the music that makes him cry. The soothing, soothing music…
Oh man, “How can I bear the pain?” is hilarious. I was taking birthday pictures of etc today, and the one where she’s crying because she’s sick of lying next to the damn bunny is actually one of my favorites.
It’s hard to take his rage seriously when he’s wearing fuzzy footie pyjamas.
They are strange little creatures we bring into our lives.
People are odd anyway, and babies seem to be made of concentrated oddity.
Tara Dong (@TaraDong) said:
This is so sad and so amusing. I’m a terrible, terrible auntie! I shall buy him a tiger to fill his life with all kinds of joy!
He’d love that. Raaaar!
Poor little guy! Funny, but sad at the same time.
Chris’s mom tells a story that when he was about two or three, he had this big teddy bear (appropriately named Big Teddy) that he absolutely loved but was also terrified of at the same time. He says he remembers the bear and his rocking horse trying to attack and kill him in the night. This MAY mean that Owl will turn out as weird as Chris…
I’m so sorry.
We value weirdness in the If By Yes household, so you can’t scare me!
And you can tell Chris that I believe him – I distinctly remember my own teddy bear trying to communicate with me when I was still in my crib. Oh, sure, it’s easy to say that the spark of light I saw on his tongue was just static, but I knew the truth…
I’m sure glad this never happened to me! I was just terrified of the elves my mom put in our Christmas tree each year. Have you seen those new Elf on the Shelf elves around this year? They looked exactly like those, with the creepy plastic, vintage doll face and long, thin stuffed limbs. *shudder, shudder* I used to imagine I’d see them watching me all the time, even in the shower. Freaked me the hell out, but she never even knew! Thankfully, that was only for a short time each year.
Weird? Who’s weird? 😉
For a little while, RuRu’s aquarium would help him drift off to sleep….until he figured out he could turn it on/off. Now it’s a puzzle that he has to solve and he doesn’t sleep so much as he hits the button again and again and tries to figure out how the fish moves.
Sometimes I wonder if I should get a gadget like that for Owl, now that the Seahorse is persona non grata. On the one hand, he’d be sure to do the same as Ruru. On the other hand, the biggest obstacle between Owl and sleep is his own determination to stay awake. Things that distract him, like music, tend to help sleep to catch him off guard…
Grace Goldragon said:
First of all, this post is hilarious.
Second of all, it’s not so strange that he would continue pressing the button, even though it’s the music that scares him. I remember the Girl playing with the spring door stoppers, screaming in fright every time the “sproing” noise would go of, and then immediately making it go off again. They’re frightened, but they have zero impulse control.
Lastly, you’re lucky it’s just the seahorse he’s frightened of. When I was his age, I was scared of the crib itself. I had nightmares that black hands would come out from under my mattress at night, and hold my head and arms down.
Grace Goldragon said:
Isn’t that terrifying? I remember being very frustrated trying to get adults to believe me, and I was a full grown adult before I could admit that it probably was just a dream, and not real. My Mom was half convinced that the crib was haunted or possessed, but my brother used the same crib with no problems.
Have you ever read The Philosophical Baby? The author has a really creepy crib story in that.
Is it mean that I laughed at the photo story? Owl is just too cute, even while screaming in terror. And yes, kids are weird. Big Bro was scared of three things as a toddler. One was a truck that had popping beads in the back, another was a Manhattan Toy Skwish (this: http://www.amazon.com/Manhattan-Toy-200980-Skwish-Classic/dp/B000GI0S4E) and also, plastic teething beads. I mean, you just had to show these toys to him, and he would start screaming (of course, we tested on multiple occasions because it was just so odd). Big Sis was scared of a Schleich shark, which is more understandable because sharks ARE scary, except she had no way of knowing what exactly a shark was at that age, It’s not like we sat her down in front of Jaws. As for Lil Sis, at 10 mths she seemed to suddenly be scared of her cloth bumpers. We had them in her crib so she wouldn’t notice Big Sis passing by on her way out of the room. Then last summer, she would have these random crying spells in bed. This went on for 10 nights until I thought about how she kept pulling down the bumper and staring at the door. I went out and bought mesh bumpers (I needed something to keep the pacifiers in her crib) and she has slept fine ever since. Coincidence? Maybe, but I think she didn’t like feeling trapped or being unable to see around the room. Yep, babies are weird.
I’m glad I’m not the only one whose child has developed irrational fears.
My kid won’t take baths because he’s terrified of the shower suddenly spraying down on him. So, instead, he takes… showers?
Yeah, irrational is one word. CRAZY is another. 😉
XD That’s awesome
Is there a removable battery in the seahorse? Just curious to see how Owl would react if there was no music. Of course he’d have to try to get the music to play about 5 billion times before he’d believe there was no more music…cause he’s such a smart kid.
Erin Dark said:
I was just about to say the same thing, or maybe a switch to make light but no sound? I hope you find another comfort object soon 🙂
I could switch it off, but the light wouldn’t come on either.
Are the batteries getting low? When they do get low in toys like these they start to make evil demonic sounds… Violette is terrified of her nighttime music thing sometimes… when she is, we know it’s time to change the batteries and then all is well.
There is also a doll that she used to love sleeping with, but now if it’s in her bed she freaks out! I keep fining it in there, it’s daddy that keeps bringing it back there… he now knows that that doll has been banished.
Yes, the seahorse does the same thing. It sounds fine right now, though, and the weird wind-down sounds didn’t used to bother him…
Harry used to have a completely insane and over-the-top reaction to one of the toys on his exersaucer. It was a smiling plastic bee on a springy plastic spring. Look! It’s smiling! And bouncing! AWESOME! Except no. He would whack it. It would smile and bounce. He would scream in rage and hit it again. Which caused more bouncing. And the more rage and more hitting and…
We had to remove it completely because while he loved the exersaucer that freakin’ bee sent him totally over the edge, and yet he couldn’t leave it alone.
We have that same bee! Owl likes it.
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