Last Saturday we took a small trip to Phoenix for our wedding anniversary. While we were there we went to the Phoenix Zoo and made an attempt to have a nice dinner at The Rainforest Cafe. An attempt.
For those of you who haven't been there before, it's a restaurant with a rainforest theme. There are life sized animals that move and lots of noises and water falls, etc. Our waiter decided to seat us next to the giant elephants...literally, it was at the end of our table...three feet away. Matt thought it was awesome, but Tim and me were a little freaked out. And Nathan was sleeping. We tried to calm Tim's anxiety by showing him how the elephant moved...his ears flapped or his head turned.
Then, out of nowhere the restaurant goes black and all of the animals start stomping and yelling. Then there was lightening effects. It scared the cookies out of me and Tim and woke up Nathan. The speakers were so loud we couldn't hear our waitress yelling.
Obviously, in those type of surroundings you're not going to think clearly so I grabbed both my kids and headed for the door. Tim was screaming "The elephant moves....Rrrrrr!" and shaking.
We thought Tim would forget about it, but he didn't. He was crying at bedtime and going on and on about how scared he was of "the scary elephant...Rrrrr!". I figured this was a good time to teach him that we can pray for more than people, we can also pray when we're scared.
I taught him a simple prayer he could remember: "Dear Jesus, make the scared feelings go away. Amen." That backfired. The next night I went into the room to see how he was doing and I heard him pray: " Dear Jesus, go away. Amen" ...now I just tell him to tell Jesus about the elephant. And he does. At every meal, at bedtime, and nap time he starts his prayers with: "Dear Jesus, the elephant moves. Bless Daddy, and Mommy, and Baby, etc...."
He's obsessed! So, today I decided to try to rid his fear by making it silly. So, whenever he says, "Mommy, the elephant moves" we start dancing a silly dance and singing " the elephant moves- shake your feet. The elephant moves- rat-a-tat-tat" or something just as silly. So far the elephant has stopped moving!