How To Train Your Ginger: Phobias

My Luke has been described as crazy neurotic eccentric quirky.

I certainly won’t argue given his recent phobias- pocket change (not kidding) and escalators.

As if taking him with me to purchase a bathing suit wasn’t bad enough, I completely forgot about his irrational fear of escalators. When I stepped onto the escalator in Macy’s he was right behind me, but I was halfway down when I realized he had never actually stepped onto it.

Despite the slow creep of the escalator, I was already to the bottom when a man walked up behind Luke in what was clearly an attempt to use the handy, automatic staircase. Luke shouted, “I’m scared of exa-lators! I can’t do it!”

I pleaded with the man to please help my son onto the escalator, so we could all move on and go about our completely abnormal lives. However, Luke was a little hesitant. It took a gentle shove from the nice, black man to get both of Luke’s feet onto the escalator. The man steadied Luke with a hand on each shoulder. I was relieved that Luke was on his way down to me, but Luke was beside himself and unable to take comfort in anything.

“Don’t let me go!! Please! Do NOT let me go,” Luke wailed during what felt like an hour-long descent. I felt badly for the nice man who was helping my son, because a small group of people had gathered around me and I had a feeling they were wondering what this man could be doing to illicit screams from a young child. They probably also wondered why I was laughing hysterically. Who knows. I’m not a mind reader.

When they reached the bottom Luke jumped off proudly. “I did it, Mom!”

“Yeah, you really did it.”

I thanked the man several times for helping me as Luke engaged in some celebratory hip-hop dancing, making doubly sure that everyone saw his ground work.

Of course, the fun didn’t stop there because I was off to purchase a swim suit. For the most part, Luke sat quietly outside my dressing room and only occasionally peaked under the door to offer unsolicited advice like, “Disgusting!” and “How did you get wrinkles on the back of your legs?”

I tried to fashion a noose out of several swimsuits tied together, but it was a fruitless effort. It’s impossible to kill yourself with lycra. It’s stretchier than a bungie cord. Luke will turn six mid-June and start Kindergarten in the fall. I hope they have a lot of escalators there.

I believe the best way to train your ginger is baptism by fire. I bet if I put a big pile of pocket change at the top of an escalator he’d hop right on.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

A video- Luke’s Dream

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