Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I must admit, when it comes to parenting I've been lucky enough to be relatively worry-free. Of course, that will probably change as Camille grows up and becomes more independent. But so far I've been really good about not worrying about her too much.

But I can't lie. I was beginning to be a little concerned about her fear of all things sticky. Even just yesterday I was considering seeking out a support group, or forming my own and calling it My Child is Afraid of Stickers. That's right folks, ask Camille if she wants a sticker to put on her shirt and you can be prepared for a meltdown.

But it's not just stickers. It's bandaids too. And not just bandaids on herself (luckily she's only ever needed them after she gets her vaccinations). If she notices a bandaid on someone she loves you can expect a look of complete and utter agony on her face. She instantly melts into a silent heap of empathy, times a thousand.

To us it can be kind of funny. To her it is no laughing matter.

This phobia extends to a few non-sticky things as well. That freckle on her knee? It used to make her so upset that it wouldn't wash off. Permenant marker on her arm? It irritated her beyond words for an entire day. She still becomes quite concerned when that mishap is mentioned. Compression lines around her ankles from her socks? Disrupted her usually-loved bathtime for a few days.

But today after lunch Camille noticed the sheet of stickers in the craft box. And she smiled. And she pointed. And I said, "Should we put stickers on some paper after lunch?" And nodded said yes.

Now, I'm not one to get my hopes up about things a lot of things. I don't like to be disappointed. But I have been thinking a lot lately about how to try to break her of these phobias. Stickers on paper? I thought. I was cautiously optimistic. So I got out the colored construction paper and the fat toddler crayons and set her and Isabel up at the table. I let them color for a few minutes, and then I asked about the stickers. They both wanted stickers. Ok. I showed the sheet of stickers to Isabel first and had her pick out two. Camille watched. Then I went over to Camille and told her to pick out two. She did.

So I peeled the first sticker off the sheet and offered it to her. She took it.

Camille has never willingly taken a sticker in her hand. Ever.

And she put it on her paper. Then I peeled the other off. She took it from me, but flinched a little bit about the stickiness of it. But she didn't freak out. She put it on her paper next to the first sticker.

She then proceeded to take the stickers off her paper, stick them to the kitchen table, put them back on her paper, and so on and so forth.


I'd say we've made some progress.

I offered to put one on her shirt. She nervously declined. Still, though. Progress.

I'm glad to have a little less to worry about tonight.

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