Last weekend, in anticipation of Halloween, we took the kids to the mall (such as it is here) to see the Haunted House. Porter had been asking to go, and we really didn't think about it all that much. I figured it would be a small town, low budget sort of operation that wasn't all that scary. Or long. The kids would love it! Right.
We lined up, and I could tell Porter was a little nervous. He kept dancing around and asking questions. Molly was oblivious though, really having to idea what we were about to do. When our turn came, we walked into the dark (really, pitch black) hallway, where there proceeded to be fake, bloody severed heads and spiders and creepy monsters. It was indeed small town and low budget, but that didn't matter because Molly totally lost it. By the time Bryce picked her up and was trying to talk her down, there was a group of screaming preteen girls behind us, and there was no way to turn around. Molly was truly terrified, and kept screaming things like Papa pleeeeeaaaase I don't want to go in there, noooooooooo. It was awful. He was trying to get her to close her eyes, and she just kept crying and screaming. I felt terrible. We figured the only thing to do was to hurry through it as fast as we could, but the dang thing was like an endless maze of dark corners that felt way longer than the small space it occupied. It took us forever to make it through, with the girls behind us screaming bloody murder at every little thing, which was not helping Molly at all. When we finally made it out into the light of the mall, Molly was red faced and sobbing on Bryce's shoulder. PARENTING FAIL. Have fun everyone waiting in line!
Afterwards, I felt bad for not thinking of Molly and the fact that she is still only two years old. She is so brave and confident physically and socially that I often forget that she has a big imagination and that those kinds of bravery are very different from being scared of the dark. Molly will go down the giant slide and walk up to a group of strangers and start talking. But she is also scared of the monsters under her bed and strange toilets and bugs. She actually peed her pants the other day when Bryce acted like he was going to hand her a moth. I generally think of Porter as my cautious one and Molly as the brave child, but it isn't always true. And it is good to remember.
By the way, Porter loved the haunted house. He did hold my hand, but he loved it.