I have done my first real "bad mom" thing. I have introduced fear to my son.
I guess it's not surprising when I think about it, that I would be the one to open this emotion to him. I mean, I've introduced every other emotion to him...starting with comfort in the womb. I've introduced security, happiness, anger, silliness, frustration, discomfort...and now fear.
Fear is, by far, the worst of the bad feelings. After all, it is the one that is most remembered. It's imprinted in the primal brain. It's hard to overcome (psychiatrists make TONS of money trying to have people unlearn their fears...fears of flying, phobias of all sorts).
So are you wondering what I've done?
It's not as bad as I make it sound. No permanent damage has been done. Parker will not grow up to be a sociopath.
I was doing that game where you toss the baby in the air. I help him down low, and then quickly brought him up above my head and tossed him up.
At first, he would get this frightened look on his face, but he always laughed right away. I *thought* he was having fun.
Until I tried to do it again today, and when I caught him he was shaking he was so scared.
OMG I am the world's worst mother. He even starts to shake if I just hold him up above my head. 8 months old, and he needs to see a therapist.
I can picture him 20 years from now, laying on some psychiatrist's couch. "I have this irrational fear of heights and flying. I'm terrified I'm just going to plunge to the ground, out of no where. Where do you think this fear is stemming from?"
Then the psychiatrist will hypnotize him, and somehow it will come out that I maliciously threw him 4 feet in the air, over and over, with him crying while I laughed at his horror.
Of course, this is absolutely not the case. Once I realized he was, in fact, terrified of the game I cuddled him and stopped doing it. I also feel very guilty for him learning fear from me. I'm the person who is supposed to protect him from it!
Ironically, we have a plane to catch tomorrow. Let the psychological damage begin!