Bryce peeking around the corner at Shrek
Never mind I've chosen to rock the woodgrain panels and original 1986 brown shag to the world: check out that face. It's one of sheer terror and one that makes my heart aflutter. I love seeing my kids scared, the face that accompanies is just the cutest thing ever. It can be a fine line though, understanding the science of scaring. Alas, I know from personal experience.
Right before we moved to Jacksonville, we stayed with Travis' parents for six-ish months. Travis' dad runs dogs, or used to run dogs, and I guess he was pretty good at it because he has among his trophies, one in the form of a stuffed bird. A stuffed bird that used to be ALIVE. Triston, being the 15-month-old animal lover that he was, was naturally drawn to the bird and would point and say "Gunh", which was his word for "Bird" (for, like, ever.) . I would get the bird down and set it on the table at his eye-level and let him look at it, all the while knowing there was a hint of caution in his eye. (I so wish I could find a picture of that bird...it was intense.)
You get bored when you don't have your own home....ahem, something I know all too much about and it wasn't long before I started making the bird move ever so slightly across the table and making soft "coos" that made Triston's head snap up. He would look at me and make the face and I would hug him and tell him it was alright. So cute. But, somehow that morphed into me actually scaring the crap out of him with the bird. I would make the bird "caw" and he would run to me and make the cute face. It sort of became a game...only one he didn't really like. Oh, come on, it was only a few times....and his Nana and aunt helped, so there.
But then, we were at my mom's house one night. Triston had just watched Monsters Inc. and I could tell his "monster awareness" was off the charts. It was getting close to bedtime and he was coming down the hall--the darkened hall. Like a bona fide idiot, I stood in the shadows and jumped out at him and growled. What a mom.
He was never the same. To this day, he still cautiously walks down the hallway at my mom's house. He wants every light on in his vicinity if it's dark outside. We have had many a argument over why I'm not going to stay in his room until he falls asleep, and we've stumbled over him in the morning upon waking because he has made a bed for himself right beside us in the middle of the night. Worst of all, I lost his trust that night. Even now, if he is really scared about something, I can tell my presence does little to calm him. I really have to talk him out of it and every once in awhile he ends up scaring me. (Like when Travis is gone over night...those are the worst.)
I, of course, hadn't realized all the ramifications quite yet at that point and continued to try to scare my kids. All in the name of seeing that face, pretty pathetic, huh? It's just so cute. But, fortunately, Jackson didn't have the same issues and he was unfazed by my eager attempts. Jackson's only terror comes from getting caught doing things he is not supposed to, a trait I will be bracing myself for as adolescence draws nearer. Oh, and bugs. He hates flying bugs.
So along comes Bryce and since we already had 3 years under our belts of whining about being scared, the prize of seeing the cutest face ever just wasn't a prize anymore. You'll be glad to know I've recovered from trying to scare the crap out of my children on purpose and I do what I can to shield them from sensitive material.
Nevertheless, that face ranks among my favorites and when I do get the chance to see it, instead of running to console, I'm usually running for my camera.