People dressed as things.

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I have no idea what was the trigger to write this title on my “things I must write about” list, but for some reason something reminded me of this particularly difficult period on our lives that we had to navigate. The years that Jack was terrified of people dressed as things.

Now it all began, as I suspect it might for many, with bloody Santa Claus. Baby Jack took one look at him as we lined up at David Jones (home of superior Santas) and screamed so much that we excused ourselves from the line and Horatio had to be content with waving to him as we made our hasty exit.

It is only when you are the parent of a child who is terrified of people dressed as things, that you realise how many people dressed as things that there are in the world. They are EVERYWHERE.

Things escalated when I enrolled them both, a few years later, into a little something called Humpty Squad. Humpty Squad was a one hour sports program where they did things like walk on a balance beam, throw balls into hoops and other such skills. I was delighted as there was a decent cafe at Humpty Squad and I got an hour of crap magazine reading time in. But the last week of that first term we did, terror returned.

Unannounced, out came a person dressed as Humpty Dumpty to celebrate the end of term with the kids. I heard a really faint, continuous scream which became louder and louder. I located the screamer, my son, and watched as he bolted as fast as his little legs would carry him as he made a b-line for me. I had to take him inside, away from the evil Humpty. From then on, Humpty Squad would call me when Humpty was planning to visit, so we could manage the expectations and control the situation, We even went so far as to show Jack the costume in the office. He was absolutely fine with it. But the moment it was put on a person, it was a different story altogether.

The fucking Easter Bunny jumped out at us once in a supermarket. Melt. Down.

When he was invited to a birthday party, I had to enquire whether there would be a person dressed as a thing in attendance.

Clowns? Forget about it.

And then there was the big kahuna. The Mac-Daddy of all festivals where there would be people dressed as things.

The Royal Easter Show.

I suppose it would be a bit like me being asked to lie down in a bed of angry snakes. The very thought of it is terrifying. Every corner we turned there was a Sponge Bob Square Pants, or a Dora the Explorer. There was, on course, the Easter Bunny and representation of every single Nickelodeon character known to man. And as we shoved gross but addictive food in our gobs, and looked at baby chickens the fear started to fall away. Which only goes to show that if you face your fears, they tend to fade after time.

That, or get totally shitfaced, then face them…..

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Have you ever faced a fear?

What was it, and how did you get over it?