Last night the older girls were watching the movie Hoot. (The little girls were in the room and were watching as well, basically by default.) It's a movie about kids working to protest development in an area in Florida that has a special kind of owl living in the ground. One of the kids does some vandalism-type stuff that includes putting an alligator in a porta-potty, which then jumps up and tries to snap at a policeman.
I noticed that Abigail was wearing a rather alarmed look and Bethany said something like "the dinosaur try to bite him", so they certainly noticed what was going on with the movie. Abigail then said something about alligators in our toilet and I had a brief moment of "oh shoot, please not again."
What does that mean, you think? Not again? Huh?
Wellll, several years ago, I had a little girl develop a fear of toilets. Well, public toilets. And it was an understandable fear, given the circumstances. Moriah was in the bathroom at Red Robin, minding her own (bathroom) business, when one of the adjacent toilets began to overflow. It freaked her out. Freaked. Her. Out. She had locked the door and I couldn't get in right away to get her off the wet floor. I did finally get in and 'rescue' her, but the damage was done. She didn't use a public toilet for quite a while after that.
That's what flashed through my mind last night as Abigail looked on, wide-eyed, at the alligator in the toilet on tv. "Please, not again"...I immediately went into the bathroom, calling for the little girls to follow me, so that they could see that there was only water in our toilet. No 'dinosaurs', no snapping 'agilators'. Bethany followed me in but Abigail hung back. That gave me another small burst of panic, making me wonder if she'd be unwilling to come into the room. I had momentary visions of using the little trainer potties, in any room but the room with the big toilets.
Thankfully, after a short bit of coaxing, Abigail came in and peered into the toilet. No snapping anything appeared. And that was all it took. Fear all gone.