Reagan is one of those children who is just too easy to love. She has perfectly round cheeks and literally squeals with joy every time she sees me. However, for two months, Reagan had a tendency to get frightened during her Kindermusik class. Our beloved Cow Book scared her.
In Reagan's class, I avoided The Cow Book (which became known as "The Scary Book") for many months. Everyone else in class wanted to read The Scary Book, but I just couldn't bear the thought of making Reagan whimper or cry. Soon Reagan felt so pressured that she would pretend she wasn't afraid of the book. "I not scared," she would say, trying to be cool in front of her friends.
One day, I had had enough. The Cow Book is a classic in our studio. There are multiple videos on YouTube and Facebook of children younger than Reagan absolutely cracking up over the pig who tricks us at the end of the book by shouting, "Whee, whee, whee!" instead of oinking. The other children deserved to experience the Cow Book again. Surely we could find a way to help Reagan get over her fear.
I brought out The Cow Book. "Reagan," I asked. "Are you afraid of this book?" She looked at me uncertainly. "It's okay if you are," I reassured her. She nodded.
"Reagan, do you think this book could actually hurt you?" She wasn't sure.
"It won't," I promised. "The animals aren't real. See? It's just me, pretending to be the animals. See this page? See how the flap has a hole in it? That's where I put my mouth in to pretend to be the pig. See? So can this book hurt you?"
"No," she said.
"If you feel scared while I read the book, that's okay. It's okay to be scared. But even though you feel scared, this book isn't dangerous. It's just Miss Lindsay. Would Miss Lindsay ever hurt you?"
"No." Now she was giggling.
"Would Miss Lindsay ever bring a book into class that could hurt you?"
"No!" she laughed.
"Okay!" I said. "So now we know, it's okay to feel scared, but this book absolutely cannot hurt you, and you are going to be okay. Now can we read it?"
"It's okay if you're scared."
"I not scared!"
That was two weeks ago. Last week, everyone wanted to read not only The Cow Book but The Zoo Book (same concept) as well. We read both books. Reagan wasn't scared. Today, she and the other kids demanded that we read The Cow Book and The Zoo Book yet again!
Instead, we read Hurry Home, Little Kittens. I can only handle so much Cow Book before I start to go a little batty.
But I think Reagan's cured.
"Miss" Lindsay is the Director of Kindermusik with Miss Lindsay & Friends. For more information on our holistic approach to teaching music to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, please visit www.eastbaykindermusik.com.