Monday, July 10, 2006

first run-in with death (don't worry)

Iz had his first run-in with death today. Not to worry -- I just mean that he saw his first dead animal, a robin at the playground. It was a rather neat scene -- just a robin lying on the ground with some flies on its head.

He and some other toddlers spied it and gathered around. We parents moved in and whisked them away in one way or another ("The bird is not working/not living", "Don't touch it," etc.). One parent moved it to the trash can using some branches like giant chopsticks. No one yelled, no one paniced. It was all a pretty calm, but clear, group parental reaction.

Iz seemed unaffected. Until he was playing nearby the dead bird site and a branch brushed his shoulder. He cried, terrified, and ran to me. Huh? I thought. Then he went back to play. A leaf on the ground brushed his ankle, and he had the same reaction. Does this have to do with the bird? I thought. An 11-year-old said to me, "Do you think he is scared because of the bird?"

He would not let me go after those two incidents. When we got home, he would not get out of his stroller on the grass. He insisted that I carry him to the cement path to the front door. Once inside, he wouldn't let me go for over an hour. He talkd about "bird" a few times, but I did not understand the words surrounding the one clear word (Iz is not a big conversationalist, though he can and does say a lot and have a decent vocabulary). If I tried to put him down, the fear tears started, and he would stand on his toes as if the ground was what he was trying to avoid.

I wonder why he thought to be that scared of the dead bird?

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