So one of the side effects of being in a house full of boys is the fascination with all things violent. And deadly. And scary. My boys are totally enthralled with things that would probably make most mothers gasp and feign disgust. Or, they may legitimately be disgusted. Because watching a snake eating a alligator is pretty gross. And creepy. Don't believe me? YouTube it. I assure you I'm on some sort of watch list at Google because of the things that have been viewed over and over and over at our house.
When my boys wake up, whether it be from a nap or nighttime, they are immediately requesting something inherently violent from YouTube. It is never something tame or sweet. "I want alligators eating monkeys!" "I want alligators eating a watermelon!" "I want dinosaurs!!!!" Seriously. I'm surrounded by boys. All boys. And sometimes I cave, because laundry needs to be done. Or that room that has been collecting dust for two years FINALLY needs to be painted. So, sweet innocent children, here's the iPad, with all your favorite Jurassic Park scenes.
Earlier this spring, the Dallas Zoo announced that they had partnered with Dinosaurs Live!, which meant dinosaurs were coming to the Dallas Zoo for 6 months. Yay!! Put up the YouTube and let's go see these things in real life! Paul and I had that same feeling you have on Christmas morning as a parent, or possibly the same feeling you have as a parents when you take your kid to Disney for the first time (for those brave enough to make that trek) - we couldn't wait to see the boys' expressions. Shockingly, however, when it came to our oldest child, there was no excitement or fascination. It was simply fear. Complete and utter fear. We have very few photos to commemorate those first dinosaur encounters because we were too busy chasing him. I had no idea that kid was so fast. Because when Henry laid eyes on those things, that boy R-U-N-N-O-F-T. We did manage to snag one video (just ignore that mean mama baiting the husband into getting a reaction from Henry for the camera).
So instead of jumping to the extreme conclusion that our eldest was a total
wimp scaredy-cat, we chalked it up to the possibility that the dinosaurs were huge and actually kinda creepy. I mean, he did watch a T-Rex eat a guy huddled in a hut...
But that theory was quickly quashed, since it appears he's also scared of small creatures as well.
Clearly, my kids are very confused about the definition of the word brave. Henry regularly tells us he's brave, but any child who's choking on his sobs over a baby snake is likely not brave. And poor Walter... my sister is convinced that he has very good deductive reasoning skills. If Henry is brave, as he so declares, then Walter must not be brave. I mean, clearly.
So, because of incidents like these, this has become the summer of bravery lectures and discussions. We've had many discussions about animatronic dinosaurs (or statues, as Henry calls them), costumes, and things that are not real, like monsters in your closet (thanks a lot, Monsters, Inc.). We've made some progress, although I believe Henry's bravery is going to be years in the making. Unfortunately, we've found that he will eventually cave under peer pressure. Something to look forward to in his teens...
He also finally decided that the dinosaurs hadn't really moved since they arrived months ago. So we got a few tentative photos.
And on our last visit, he decided to follow in his little brother's footsteps and fully ham it up. Like I said, peer pressure.
In the meantime, we've also got a wee bit more brave when it comes to snakes. Although it may have something to do with his Leonardo helmet and him being fully enclosed. I bet he'd bolt if Paul took him out of the bike trailer.
But, as with everything in toddlerhood, for every step forward, you must take two steps back. We discovered, after a few minutes on this fire truck, that Henry is now scared of fire trucks. We have no idea why, and there is, of course, no rational explanation.
He is also scared of fireworks. And people dressed in gorilla suits walking in a parade. And dinosaur parade floats. My mom was also recently showing him photos of me when I was his age at Disney World. He is now terrified of the thought of Disney World, and has announced that when we go to Disney World next year, he will go to Grandma and Grandpa's in Pennsylvania. Sigh. But until then, we will continue encouraging our eldest to be brave. Even if that means dragging him through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, kicking and screaming.