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Fears on Ice

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani, Whisman Station, on Feb 27, 2012

My daughter is afraid of mascots. It all started during her first trip to Gilroy Gardens for their Holiday Lights Show. Right when we walked through the entrance. we ran into Snoopy dressed as Santa. A double whammy. He tried to hug her. Josie's been terrified ever since.

So you can imagine my shock when a commercial for Toy Story on Ice appeared on the TV, and Josie begged me to take her. At first, I resisted. But then I thought it might be a good gateway into other events and experiences. It might help her overcome her fear of dressed up characters.

When we got to the entrance of the HP Pavilion, Josie started to regret her decision. "Um, I think we can go another time," she said.

"Keep walking," I said, tugging her gently by the hand. By the time we got to the concession stand, she was shaking.

"Is she cold?" My husband, Norm, asked.

"She's terrified," I responded calmly. I had seen Josie like this on several occasions - on the first day of gymnastics - on the first day of preschool - on the first day of any new thing she has ever tried. "She'll be fine in a minute," I said.

Sure enough, a minute later, she was shaking in her seat. Only now it was to the rhythm of "We got the beat" - the theme song for Barbie's big dance solo. A minute later, she was dancing in the aisles with other toddler sized Toy Story fanatics.

During intermission, Josie asked, "Mom, can we go to other shows like this?"

I quickly did a simple internet search on my cell phone and discovered several kid focused theater performances in the Bay Area. This March, the Peninsula Youth Theater is performing Cinderella at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts and Pinkalicious The Musical is coming to the East Bay.

Suddenly, the lights dimmed and the Toy Story characters started skating by. "Barbie just waved to me!" Josie said with the biggest smile I had ever seen on her pretty, little face. She was thrilled. And it was thrilling for me to see the performance through her eyes. Hopefully, this is the end of Josie's fears of dressed up characters and the beginning of a whole new list of fun things for us to do together.

Comments (4)

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Posted by Rosi
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

How smart of you to gently introduce Josie to experiences with mascot characters! When you think about it, mascots aren't quite human, they are larger than life, and somewhat odd. No wonder Josie was scared- she sounds like a very intelligent child with a healthy sense of self preservation. Anytime we humans experience something new, that is also frightening. A new mascot experience could very well be a "double whammy", seen through the eyes of a child. Even Santa can be frightening for kiddies!

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Posted by Detective
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

This lady Rosi is always one of the first to comment on your articles, im suspecting she is family. I found a Rose Fogliani in San Francisco and when Rosi posts she always puts "resident of another community".

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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

@ detective

I am surprised your super sleuthing did not uncover that I am not related to a Rose Fogliani nor have I ever met her. Perhaps I should email you my social security number to make it easier for you.

While there are many people who have made it very clear that they do not like my writing, there are in fact people that arent related to me that like my writing. Amazing I know.

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm

@ detective

Look! Someone else with too much time on their hands, 'detective' really? Some of the hundreds of people who read this actually relate to what is being said, perhaps if Jennifer was left alone she could get on with what she is good at without feeling persecuted by those who could just stop reading something they are clearly not interested in!

Very insightful blog Jennifer, you appear to be a calm mother who is well trusted by her daughter- if you can get a child who is shaking with fear to watch more closely, that speaks volumes about the relationship you have developed with her.

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