Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grasshoppers: Birth of a Phobia

I have a ridiculous fear of frogs.  It is insane how mortified I get.  As a child I loved them.  I even grew tadpoles and caught babies by the canal.  I was fine, until one day I saw a toad that completely filled the dog food bowl.  We had a German Shepard, and he had a very big bowl.  After that, I stopped with the frogs.  It went unnoticed for years.  Until one day, my kid brother saw me stop short while walking along the path to our front door.  There was a tree frog on the leaf I had to walk by.  I had only stopped for a second and then continued on into the house.

Well, little did I know that kid brothers are EVIL.  Yeah, I said it.  He took a bucket and played outside while I was relaxing in front of the T.V.  As usual, my mother turned the television off and demanded that we either go outside to play or clean our rooms.  Is that even a real choice?  I mean, c'mon who cleans when it's only one of the available options, but I digress.  So, of course, my sister and I went outside.  I barely got past the drive when I got bombarded with tree frogs of all sizes.  Big ones and babies both green and white varieties.  I don't know where my brother got so many frogs, I can't imagine they were only from our yard, we barely had any plants.  yet, there they were being pegged at me one at a time.  From that day forward, I have had some weird frog phobia.

Perhaps it's that when I see a frog, I am transported back in time to that very day, to that very moment.  The moment where one highly unlucky frog landed with its leg in my mouth and I tasted frog foot.  Perhaps it's that I could not trust my own family to not take advantage of a little fear.  I can't say for sure, maybe it is all that and more.  All I know is that the very sight of a frog makes my blood run cold and turns me into a screaming, blithering idiot who is lucky to not wet herself in her hysteria over a two inch flippin' froggy.

I tell you this story, because years from now I will look back on today, as I see my 5 year old develop his own phobias from scratch with a little help from all those who love him, and know just where it began.   Where we live there is some mutant grasshopper thing that grows to be roughly about 4" from tip to tail.  That is a low estimate.  I've seen them bigger.  Anyway there was one about 3" long on our stack of bags of mulch.  I told my oldest to pick it up and feed it to the chickens.  He flipped out and said, "no".  Then my 6year old looked at it and tried to get it to move by poking it.  It didn't budge.  Then out comes our 5 yr old.  Of course, he wanted to see it too.  So he takes a look at it and turns to walk away.  Hubby, their dad, picks it up to show the boys that it doesn't bite and is not scary.  Then he pretended to throw it ad my 5 year old.  Unfortunately, the grasshopper didn't realize he was supposed to stay put on hubbies hand.  He pretend to fling his hand in the direction of the child.  The grasshopper took off and jumped right on the edge of his shirtsleeve.  As soon as the boy noticed it was on him, he went spastic.  he screamed bloody murder.  He couldn't have been any louder if he were being stabbed in the gut.  He flails shamelessly, and jumps and wriggles wildly.  He almost runs headfirst into the van.

Now, he is scared to go outside for fear that the giant grasshoppers will eat him alive.  it's ridiculous.  His big brothers just perpetuate the fear, and hubby can't stop laughing long enough to tell him anything, much less how dinner was.  Today, was the birth of a phobia.  I feel so bad for the kid.

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