People.com Blog #9: Luna Marie Scared of a Shadow? Seriously!

OMG! Thank you all for your responses to the vaccine blog! I knew it was going to be a touchy one! Just know that I truly appreciate each and every one of your responses (and please read my update if you haven’t already). That’s what I wanted to accomplish by writing it — the chance to have an open dialogue.

Now on with the new bloggity blog blog!

This week: Luna Marie scared of a shadow? Seriously? SERIOUSLY! Yes, this was my life this week. Like out of nowhere! I kid you not … I don’t even have to make stuff up for the blog — it just happens!

Kent was playing with Luna Marie out front and BAM! As if hit by lightning, she noticed she made a shadow on the concrete and she let Kent know she did NOT LIKE IT ONE LITTLE BIT! It was time to come in and have dinner anyway so no biggie, he brought her in and she forgot all about it.

That is, until the next day. Oy.

On our evening family walk to the grocery store, there was her shadow again! It was like she thought it ambushed her and was going to attack! She was extremely terrified and tried to back away. Then her next tactic was standing completely still, like any movement she made or step she took would just piss the shadow off even more.

We were in shock! Was she serious? At 17 months, she was just now noticing shadows? Where has she been?

Now if you know anything about Luna Marie, she’s like “Gandhi baby” I say. For example, she doesn’t get scared or upset much — she will walk around with her pinkie toe sticking out of her sandal for two hours before I look down and see it all red, swollen and looking really uncomfortable and she won’t make a peep! She just rolls with it usually, so this shadow thing really surprised us.

We tried to explain that everyone has a shadow. Duh? We made movements and laughed and tried to get her to understand but she WASN’T BUYING IT!

So her new rule was, “Up, up, UP!” She did not want to be on the ground because you see, that’s where the shadow was apparently trying to touch her. Of course everywhere she went, THERE IT WAS!

I was just amazed at the terror on her face, the sobbing — I was dumbfounded. I didn’t want her to suffer, so up she went… We had to carry her the whole walk, then in the store and of course on the walk home! Did I mention we are “older” parents? With “older” backs? Ugh.

Anywho, it was again dinner time so she got distracted and the evening wrapped up just fine.

Then the next morning … OMG she noticed the shadows in the HOUSE! Like everywhere … WTF?! I mean come on, this was starting to get ridiculous to me. To her — not so much! Other than consoling her, explaining and trying to make light of it, what were we gonna do?

Of course, I had to go to work so her poor nanny had to deal with it for a few hours. Luna Marie was so upset. As I pulled out of the garage, I started to think, “Wait a minute, maybe a shadow did get her one time when I wasn’t looking?!” Seriously, her performance was truly convincing and riveting! Maybe she could be an actress?! Once again, I digress!

My poor baby was in terror. This was NOT blowing over! So I got on my Blackberry and as fast as I could type “Mommy 911 — HELP!” my mommy group was there for me. A little while later I had an answer!

I had to give her a turbo-charged alternative way of looking at shadows. My mission was to let her know HOW FRICKIN’ MUCH MOMMY LOVED, I MEAN LOVED, SHADOWS!

I came home from my meetings and there was the poor little thing, sleeping on her nanny (in the living room, because of course now she discovered the shadows in her room! GEEZ!). I thought to myself, “Enough!” I had my plan and I was gonna go for it.

First, I came home and acted like I had no idea there was a problem. The nanny left and I was prepping dinner. After I changed her diaper, I said, “Let’s go make dinner!” as happily and cheerily as I could and started to walk toward the kitchen.

I looked back and she’s standing by the changing table, silent and not moving. Sweetly and sadly she points to the ground as if to say, “Momma, did you forget about the big scary shadows?”

That’s when I sprang into action! “Oh look! Is that a SHADOW? OMG! It is SO pretty. I LOVE shadows!”

She looked at me like I was crazy and started to cry a bit!

I said, “Oh! Can I give it a kiss?” And I got down on all fours and literally kissed the ground. “Pretty shadow!” And so on and so on. I did this all evening! I was like a shadow cheerleader! I danced with the shadows, pointed them out to her everywhere, did puppet shows, laughed my head off…

My acting was SO over the top, the acting police would have arrested me! Really, it was borderline psychotic.

All the while her little face was trying to figure out how a shadow could be a good thing!

After the whole evening — including a couple of errands with me pretending to kiss the shadow on the dressing room floor in one store, then dancing in the aisles of the grocery store with ears of corn and people looking at me like I was nuts (I’m an actress, I’m used to it) — I actually made some headway.

Three hours later, as we sat on the floor reading her book, she paused. Luna Marie looked at me, thought for a minute and ever so slowly bent down — and kissed her shadow!

I swear, I was so happy I almost cried.

So to wrap up, I know she is going to be a-okay. Every day I brainwash her a little bit more. Shadows are not terrorists, they are our friends!

I’ve got to say, I am FRICKIN’ EXHAUSTED! Being a shadow cheerleader is tough work … but in the end if my baby is happy and fear free, it was all worth it!

I’m just glad nobody filmed my performance.

Here’s hoping you never have to deal with “the shadow incident.”

;)

– Constance Marie

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