You may recall my redhead being completely incapacitated by his fear of zombies and poison frogs.
(This is where I'd insert a reference to the Litany Against Fear from Dune, 'cause yes, I'm that geeky. I just can't figure out a way to do it gracefully.)
Anyway ... I convinced the little guy that neither zombies nor poison dart frogs could drive, and since they live too far away to walk, that took care of the worst of it. But he was still afraid. He slept with his magic, force-field wielding baby blanket every night, and he covered his ears and hollered whenever a sibling said the "z" word or the "f" word (the other "f" word -you know, four letters, ends in "g"). It was bad enough that I banned any discussion of zombies. Period.
This week, that all changed.
That's because this week, the kids and I are on vacation. Amongst our other adventures, we spent a day at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Way cool place, chock full of dolphins and jellyfish and a bunch of other fascinating sea creatures.
Oddly enough, they've also got a whole mess of poison dart frogs. Not so much with the aquatic, really. But, as it happens, very handy to have around. Because - guess what? Those frogs are tiny. Little bitty teeny tiny things. About the size of my little guy's thumb.
And eminently squishable.
I took a risk and introduced my fearful redhead to every single variety of poison dart frog in the place. I showed him their teeny tiny selves. He took one look at those terrifying beasts ... and he giggled. He actually giggled. Then he told me he would punch them all in the face and squish them.
Good-bye poison dart frogs.
Yes, I know they're endangered. I don't care. My kid believes he can squish them at will, and that is a good, good thing. And no, I did not bother to tell him that one of these puppies has enough venom to kill 10 adult humans. There are some things he does not need to know.
On the way home, we had this conversation.
"You know how I said I was afraid of poison frogs?"
"That was a joke. I was joking about the zombies, too," he added. "Because, you know, they're not even real."
Take that, fear. You've been squished.