The day Gabby learned fear

I took Gabby to the museum by myself last weekend and she wanted to see the planetarium show. We only tried it once before a long time ago and she couldn’t sit still long enough for the show to even start, so we left before it started. It was so long ago so I decided it was about time to give it another try. I got tickets (free with our membership) to the show specifically designed for little little kids. She was all hyped about it.

The planetarium was decorated with pictures of the planets, so I tried to quiz her while we were waiting for the show to start. I pointed to Saturn and said “look, that planet has rings! Do you know which planets have rings?” The real answer is that all the gas giants do, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, although I would have accepted Saturn and Uranus because they’re the only ones pictured with rings on the solar system stickers on her bedroom wall. Gabby pointed to the same image and said “yeah I know. That one.” Thanks, Captain Obvious.

The show started by showing Mercury (look, it’s so big on the dome!), then they compared it to Venus (it’s even bigger!) and Earth (even bigger!). Then they showed how Jupiter is so big that all the other planets could fit inside it. Then Jupiter looked like an ant next to our sun, and our sun also an ant when compared to these other stars that are even bigger!

I could tell Gabby was shaking in her seat and at first I thought she was laughing. No, she was actually FREAKING OUT!! Each time the guy showed something yet bigger on the screen, she’d whisper “no! not bigger! not bigger!” I feel bad for my reaction but I couldn’t help it, I laughed. Seriously, our fearless Gabby is finally afraid of something and THIS is what she’s afraid of?

I guess all things considered, the sky is full of things that could easily kill all of us in one shot. This seems like a legitimate fear, too legitimate for a 3-year-old. Aren’t they supposed to be afraid of silly things like toilet flushes or vacuum cleaners or something?!

She’s been falling asleep to with her light on since then. She’s never been afraid of the dark, so I asked her what she was afraid of and she pointed at the wall. There was no scary shadows or anything, just a wall. It didn’t occur to me until now, but she was pointing to the wall with the solar system stickers. Yesterday she moved all of them to the back side of her door… Coincidence? I wonder if her astronaut-loving days are over!

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