I do not like scary movies. I don't like scary halloween decor. I don't really enjoy horror anything. But parenting is not all about me is it? It's about my kid. And Little Man has always had a passion for all things grisly especially the Spirit of Halloween store. He counts down the days until it opens every year. So no matter how uncomfortable personally or concerned parentally - I take him and we browse the macabre together. He always wants to buy something and I have always resisted anything but the most tame. It creeps me out enough to be in the store - I don't want to stumble across the stuff at home.
He has recently nagged me into letting him buy this ghoulish baby doll from the store however. It is ugly as sin and says all kinds of creepy things to boot. Believe me when I tell you that this is the last thing I wanted to plunk good money down for.
The thing is I had no idea what was really going on. Spending time with him there and talking with him about an item that is WAY out of my comfort zone was amazingly revealing. You see, it just doesn't register for him that "My favorite color is red, blood red" or "I left you a surprise – it’s in your bed" are threatening. He thinks she is being nice. And as for her ghastly looks, he told me he wanted her because she looks like she needs him because people have been mean to her. So really, I ask you, what could I say at that point?
I bought the thing. And I felt like I was doing the right thing
Moving forward a few days. He just adores his "Rosie" and sings to her, rocks her, wants to take her everywhere. And he wants everyone who sees her to love her just as much as he does. He cannot understand why people would find her scary - especially after he has reassured them she is friendly. It hurts his feeling deeply when people say she is ugly or he is creepy for loving on her and not only can I not figure out how to make him understand. I'm not sure I should even want to - shouldn't we all love those that are lost and broken? How can he believe me when I tell him different isn't bad its just different, that his way of seeing the world is just as real and valid as anyone's if I don't model it - even when it makes me uncomfortable.
So if you see some awkward mom out reassuring everyone weirded out by her little boy loving on a grotesque nightmare babydoll - keep in mind she may not be in denial about her budding deviant. She may be me - encouraging the kindest Little Man in the world to just be his wonderful self.