Tomorrow, after preschool orientation, I'm taking Alice on a very special outing. "Where to?" you ask.
Wait for it........wait.......keep waiting.....
The Butterfly Conservatory! Ah hah haha!!
To the average fairy loving, little girl this would be a treat. As you've come to learn, my Alice is anything but average. She's petrified of butterflies. Terrified. Butterflies, spiders, houseflies, mosquitos, fruitflies, bees, ladybugs, wasps, moths, gnats, ants, cockroaches, beetles...the list is endless, my girl's scared of all of them. Bat-shit crazy scared. This is not an aversion, it's a full blown entomophobia!
I took her to the conservatory last year and it was beautiful. The butterflies were stunning and vibrant and everywhere. I had no idea she was going to freak out. I don't know why I didn't expect it, but I was caught off guard. I spent the entire time trying to convince her the butterflies were harmless, when clearly they were MAN EATING BUTTERFLIES! For the love of all things good why was I torturing her! I was persistent if nothing else. After she cried and sobbed, swatted and screamed for the first 30 minutes, the ENTIRE 30 FREAKING MINUTES, we took as break for lunch. Re-energized with a full tummy, I was convinced butterfly hell round 2 would go much smoother. I was wrong. It was every bit as horrendous. My only goal was to capture one moment where she was not visibly panic stricken. Camera shot after shot of Alice with a pained expression.
A well intentioned lady spoke up, "Are these really the pictures you want to have of your little darling? Is this how you really want to remember it?"
Right lady, as if I had some other choice. I was documenting the experience. If I had settled for only capturing smiles, I would have left with a blank memory card. Those fearful shots tell the best story ever!
So, tomorrow I embark on this butterfly adventure. I'm armed with no new tactics. No brilliant advice to help my baby overcome her fear. I am much wiser, though. I know what to expect. I'm not kidding myself into thinking she's going to love it. She's going to hate every freaking moment of it. In my head I will laugh. A lot. Carrying my dear girl, because walking in a butterfly paradise would be too treacherous, I will giggle inside at her rediculous unexplained fear. I can't say I will take pleasure in torturing my daughter, because that's not socially acceptable to say, but come on, it's butterflies! I'm not redecorating her room with clowns or forcing her to have pet snakes.