You may recall that Avey has long been fascinated with ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. This year has been no exception. For her birthday just a few weeks ago, she had requested a model haunted house, and now wants little monster figures with which to fill it. She even bought a plastic skeleton with her own money to decorate her room!
As all good parents do, we try to encourage her interests by allowing her opportunities to explore. After all, maybe she’s destined to make scary films someday, or write a best-seller about zombies, or fall in love with a swamp creature.
So when we learned of a kid-friendly haunted house at a nearby business, we thought Avey would jump at the opportunity. And jump she did. We planned out our day to end with the haunted house as our finale, and worked to make it happen. With everyone bathed, house clean, and errands run, we ventured to the fun.
We spent some time playing the arcade games until the haunted house opened at 6pm. When the time finally came we waited our turn in front of the tent wherein the haunting took place. Avey stood with anticipation and excitement – that is, until she caught a glimpse of what was inside. She had the tiniest peek of a scary head on a table inside and that is where her interest ended. She changed her mind and did not want to go in. We had already forked over quite a bit of money, were certain that she would enjoy other parts of it, and the party could not enter with her playing anchor, so I offered to carry her through the whole thing to help her feel brave. She finally agreed to that.
From the moment we stepped in, she had her hand pressed firmly over her eyes and asked if it was over with every breath. We encouraged her to take a look at some of the more mundane things, but she refused.
I suppose it’s a good thing that she knows her limits. At least she didn’t wake in the middle of the night with images of plastic spiders in her head. And at least for our lost money’s sake, one of the workers is my student and pleased enough with my course that he gave us a free pile of tokens to use in the arcade.