Anyone out there have a phobia? They are terrible!! Vilate has one. A terrible one. One that I don't think I can deal with anymore. She is afraid of animals. At first it was just dogs, then cats. Okay, those I can kind of understand...dogs have never been my favorite, unless they were my own. I just can't predict what they are going to do...I don't like the unknown. Cats I can understand, well not the fear, but I certainly don't care for them. But...the worst has started to show itself. The end of May we went to Yosemite (see previous posts). She sat in the car for the first few house, terrified of...SQUIRRELS! Ugh!! Who is afraid of a squirrel?!?!?! That would be Vilate.
So over the summer I took her to a psychologist at Kaiser. He said that she needs "full immersion therapy." Basically take her to a house where a nice dog resides and make her love the dog. I was not dilligent (is that how that is spelled?). I did not do it. I didn't want to impose on my friends and have to take all SIX of my kids to their houses daily for 2 weeks...it just sounded like a lot to ask. Now this problem has become a monster that I need to kill NOW!!
Vilate is in 1st grade at Mission Avenue Open School. It is an amazing school! I really love it. She is in Miss Rausch's class. We have never had Miss Rausch before, but I am loving her class....the only drawback............she has ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a bunny that hops around the classroom for 1/2 the day everyday! Vilate spent the first day sitting in the teacher's chair screaming and crying because she was so frightened. Everyday, so far we have completed 4, is becoming harder for her. She got up this morning and begged me to let her stay home! Here is the conversation:
"Mom, I don't want to go to school."
"Vilate, you will be fine. Remember that you had a good day yesterday. You even petted the bunny."
"NO" insert tears here "I HATE SCHOOL"
"No, you don't"
"Yes, I do. Well, I like school, but I am just so scared of the bunny."
So, what do I do? Any ideas? While talking to a great friend of mine we determined that it is probably a good idea to do the dog immersion, but we should also do an immediate bunny immersion, one on one. I am going to start on Monday taking the 3 kids at home to school at lunch and taking Vilate in her classroom while the other kids are playing outside. Maybe if it is just me, and the little kids, and her, we can overcome this hurdle. I don't know what to do...but I have to come up with something, today she came home from school and said that one of the girls called her a cry-baby. So sad!!! I am anxiously awaiting your brilliant ideas...anyone?