jetsetgreen

Saturday, November 18, 2006

F.O.P.

I think my kid might have FOP (Festive Ornamentation Phobia.) You probably remember the irrational fear of jack-o-lanterns, and consequently pumpkins, from Halloween. Last night in a quest to have a whole-family activity, we discovered another yet another aspect of this debilitating phobia.

We decided to take El Guille bowling (naturally, we shaved his head first.) I have to say, we might have a prodigy on our hands. The kid bowled a 71! He helped me out on a couple frames and I had a 105. At first the almost three-year-old used the little down ramp to aim the ball. He was unhappy with the direction of the ball, so he adjusted the aim of the ramp. After a couple frames he refused to use the ramp and, most surprisingly, actually bowled. He’d pick up his orange six-pounder, take an accelerated run to the line, and throw the ball. He did fault once or twice, but this was a friendly game, so I didn’t say anything.

Despite discovering a totally useless talent for bowling in my kid, I was amazed to encounter another manifestation of FOP (‘course, I’m a Dapper Dan man myself.) BYU has a couple of Christmas trees up including near the bowling alley. El Guille walked into the bottom floor of the Wilk and stopped dead in his tracks. “I need help,” he whimpered as he gazed upon the menacing tree. I was a little scared of the tree too, but for entirely different and completely conquerable reasons (country-type decorations.) He refused to leave the doorway. He refused to approach the tree even when I did. We had to maintain an 8 foot radius from the tree as we rounded the lobby keeping a watchful eye on the plastic conifer. FOP is nothing to be sniffed at my friends; it strikes literally tens of people every year. I just hope we can make it to March 18th when the dormant season arrives until the crazy days of July.

After our successful bowling adventure, it was time to face the Lobby of Doom. Once again, El Guille stopped in his tracks, immovable. Both J and I went up to the tree, touched it, jiggled the plaid bows, and flicked the lights. “I need help,” was El Guille’s stricken response. I informed him that this was going to be a really long holiday season for him.

Maybe I’ll make some handprint turkeys and throw them around the house, hoping for desensitization as part of an immersion therapy. I think I need to hear some courageous stories of people who have overcome FOP. Did I miss a Dateline on this? Have you conquered this decorative phobia? If so, how?

15 comments:

Kiki said...

country-style ornaments?! Egads!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you've got a bowler on yer hands. Good luck with the F.O.P.

Bek said...

That is so sad and funny at the same time. :-)

One of my friends has a child that HATES to sing in a group. We took him to the Wiggles. Hell on Earth. Primary is a treat. It isn't that he just doesn't like it, it really, really upsets him. Kids are funny.

That gives the holiday's a whole new meaning in your house.

P.S. We have TWO Zara's.

BowlerGirl said...

Hubby and I have discussed the FOP problem in depth. We strongly feel that a support group or at the very least an entry on Wikipedia will help others deal with this disorder. We are also looking into submitting this to the helpful doctors over there at WebMD. Perhaps they will be of service.

(P.S. your passwords are becoming longer and more complex...what gives? bzwbcvsq)

sue-donym said...

Glad to know you are a dapper dan man. "How's my hair?"

Have him help make some christmas ornaments to put on the tree. If he see's them up, maybe his FOP will take a back seat to the lure of his own handcrafted art lovingly displayed.

Good luck.

Bowling?

compulsive writer said...

Guess I won't be inviting you folks to the Festival of Trees. Can you imagine?

Good luck with that, I'm suddenly having flashbacks of one of my kids who once had an aversion to Santa Claus...

Emmie said...

Poor little Guille! Perhaps you could try feeding him his favorite foods while showing him selected scenes involving Christmas trees (from movies such as How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf).

I've always had FOP when it comes to Kountry Kraft Kristmas decorations.

Geo said...

This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

This is me said...

My daughter never suffered from FOP, but instead had a horrible fear of stuffed animals. I once forgot about it and walked into the Teddy Bear aisle at a local toy store. I'm pretty sure she had an aneurysm because of that. What worked for us was to let her choose one animal she really loved and accepted and, eventually, she embraced them all. Maybe something similar will work for your boy? Good luck.

Bowling with toddlers is awesome.

Julie said...

Maybe get him his own miniature Christmas tree complete with non-country decor? No ideas here. But I really liked Geo's comment.

Tiffany said...

Start with a tiny tiny miniature Christmas tree in the corner of your living room. After Guille gets used to that, replace it with a not so tiny, but still very, very small Christmas tree, replacing that one with just a plain small one. Maybe the gradual increase it what Guille needs.

Start this in September next year so that by November 1st you can add a wee ornament to the big tree,that he is now used to, and then continue on to a not so wee one, but still very very small, then continue on until Christmas. Be careful with the lights though. I suggest that you maybe just put a strand on - but don't plug it in just yet.

And what a jolly Christmas it will be.

Tiffany

PS - This can also double as a very good object lesson on how Satan works

~j. said...

To me, FOP means "Friend Of the Program", but that's a post for a different day.

I think the boy will be fine. He used to, if memory serves, have an aversion to entering my home. And that is, as we have seen, no more.

"Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity?! Two weeks from everywhere!"

noelle feather said...

Did you post before about Thomas the Tank Engine and your son?

I think I have opened the CRAZINESS that is Thomas the Tank onto the Nephew. I can't count how many times IN A ROW he said "TRAIN" when I turned it on......

noelle feather said...

It was easily 10+ times.

reva said...

aaahahhhh!! I swear I've been reading, but it's so darn hard to post with one finger while sticking your kids head to your boob (she's asleep now). Loooove the Dapper Dan comment, and I think your son's issue with FOP is actually his budding man-ness. I know many men who are terrified by decorations and those things craft because it means they may have to help, and all they want to do is watch rugby and scream and high-five other dudes. Just a thought. Have a nice day!