Oh boy! We have entered the terrible threes. Forget about the terrible twos. That is a myth. Three years old comes with so many more unforeseen challenges. I’m not talking about temper tantrums. That is to be expected. At three Ale is now aware of the world around him and is trying to find his place and make sense of it. This is where fear sets in. Now the unfamiliar is SCARY.

After “no” the most common word that Ale says is “scary”. I know now that the word has come to have many nuances as Ale’s vocabulary is still limited but fear is fear. This holiday season I was told numerous times that Santa is scary. It’s true Santa is scary. I mean he was everywhere in various forms. Live Santas at the grocery store ringing bells. Others wanting to pat him on the head. Santa cut outs, statues, and inflatable Santas. Thank goodness we were not around the SantaCon events . Now that would have really freaked him out. Hundreds of Santas drunk with elves on the streets of New York. So on Christmas morning there was no way I could tell Ale that his gifts came from Santa. He would not have opened them. The gifts came from Mama, Papa, and grandma no where near the North Pole. Maybe next year we can reintroduce the idea of Santa. Maybe.

The other huge fear he has is of cats and dogs. He just screams bloody murder whenever he sees one. I’ve had to leave stores where small dogs shopping with their owners became frightened by his screaming. I’ve crossed streets to avoid a large dog walking in our direction. I have even had to change play date venues because the family has a cat. The poor boy even has nightmares about cats.

It’s the nightmares that bother me the most. It pains me to see him working through an abstract event that frightens him. There I have no control. I can’t jump into his dream and make it better somehow. I just can hold him when he wakes up. Ale has even told me that sleeping is scary. What can I do? I want to protect him from everything. It’s already apparent that I’m limited. Soon kisses and sips of water won’t cover all the woes of life. Now that scares me.

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