Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pink Panther and the Fly Hunter

I wanted to extend a thank you to Pink Panther. You may remember me telling you about how my boys love to watch the show and I love that they don’t dialog the words (since there really aren’t any to memorize and endlessly script). Well, I just discovered that Pink Panther also helped Prince Charming to stop being afraid of flies.
He used to have a humongous fear of them. If a gnat flew into the room, the blood-curling screaming that ensued made you envision an axe-murder dismembering him bit by bit. I would come running into the room and find him petrified by a fruit fly. God forbid it was an actual house fly. Those creatures made the screaming intensify by at least ten-fold, if that was even humanly possible. I swear I have permanent hearing loss from this kid.
I used to encourage him to pick up a toy and use it as a swatter and take a swing at the flies in order to scare them away. I would tell him repeatedly that the flies were teeny tiny and that he was a big boy and that if anyone was scared, it was the flies who were scared of him. He always felt better when he had a toy in his hand (like a plastic bat) that he could swing around and scare the fly or try to “smash” it with. Invariably, the feeling of superiority to the fly would diminish and he would once again be scared and I would ultimately have to become the fly huntress and kill it.    
Recently I noticed that his fear had been lessening to some degree and I could not attribute it to anything other than maybe he was just getting older and it wasn’t quite so scary for him anymore. I was happy for the change and didn’t really think all that much about it.
It got pretty comical recently when we were out at Starbucks getting me a caffeinated afternoon delight (with my treat receipt, of course!). I watched him start jumping around while we were waiting in line to order my drink. I had no idea why he was doing that. I saw him do some moves that looked oddly similar to karate and I asked him what was going on. He told me he was trying to smash the fly. Since I didn’t see a fly, I assumed it was a little fruit fly. He started moving around in a jerky, fighting-with-the-air fashion, advancing more into the dining area where patrons were sitting and enjoying their coffee. I had him come back and stand with me, but the look on his face was that of a diligent hunter tracking its prey. It was pretty funny and I gave him a loving squeeze to tell him that I was proud that he wasn’t scared of the fly.
The fly hunter thing happened again a few days later (in a Starbucks…no comments about my coffee problem!). And, it happened again the next day (yes, it was in a Starbucks again…what is it with flies inside Starbucks anyway?). Each time it happened it was funny to me yet oddly distracting and I’m sure it garnered a few strange looks here and there. Oh well. My boy is not screaming in the Starbucks because he saw a fly. It’s all good, right?   
Cue Pink Panther. We were watching another episode of the show one evening and I noticed that Pink Panther was having an epic struggle with a fly. As the episode progressed, Pink decided to find a way to rid himself of the fly and began teaching himself karate. All of a sudden it clicked. Was Prince Charming’s newly-found bravery due to Pink Panther demonstrating that you could retaliate against a nuisance insect? It made total sense!
I asked him, “Honey, did you learn how to smack flies from Pink Panther?” He replied, “Yes.”
Well, there you have it. Go, Pink Panther! Not only do I like you for not having dialog in your funny cartoons, you have also turned my 6-year old into a brave fly hunter. I do not miss the screaming one bit. And for that, I thank you.    
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