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Please, help me kill Winnie.

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:03 pm
I've been periodically trying to kill Winnie for at least a year and the witch just won't die.

Some history: Little Mo (3.75 years old) has lived here since just before his second birthday. His paternal grandparents haven't seen him for at least a year. Winnie is at their house.

Winnie is this life sized spooky apple doll type thing that sits in a rocking chair in their hallway.

Every once in a while Winnie rears her ugly head and starts freaking Mo out. He'll be afraid to go to sleep, or outside, or something because Winnie is around.

I've tried anti-Winnie spray.
I have preformed the anti-Winnie dance spell.
I have taught Mo how to scare Winnie away if she shows up.
I have stood in the front yard and screamed at Winnie (much to my neighbors dismay).
I have physically ejected handfulls of air from the house in the name of Winnie.

We absolutely do not ever joke about Winnie, or play like we're Winnie, or even so much as breathe the word "Winnie".

After a long absence Winnie is back and I want to kill her once and for all. How Mo even remembers Winnie is beyond me.

Please, help me kill her.

Thank you!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 6,048 • Replies: 77
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SCoates
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:14 pm
You must have performed the anti-winnie dance spell incorrectly.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:17 pm
Hmmm. Do they teach the correct steps at Arthur Murray?
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:27 pm
Can Little Mo hold the spray bottle?

What about a brand new, spanking clean fly swatter? Of course on a hook by his bed.

Winnie traps? Inside out masking tape might work.

A Winnie Bon Voyage party with ice cream and sprinkles?

A funeral? "Poor Winnie's dead, a candle lights her head,
She's looking oh-so-peaceful and serene...."

I know a black lab names Winnie who lives in MA.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:31 pm
Ohhhhh! Those are wonderful ways to try to kill Winnie!

I will start trying them as the occasions arise!
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roger
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:34 pm
This is absolutely horrible. How did this get started?

Well, no matter. Keep him away from grandparents, strangle the bitch. If it doesn't work, threaten to strangle the grandparents. Make sure there are no witness to the threat.
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Sofia
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:38 pm
Is there a shop or store that has life-sized dolls in stock, where you can show Mo they are not alive?

Some of your well-meaning Winnie productions may have convinced Mo that Winnie does have powers to be reckoned with.

Could you share a story of an inanimate object you were frightened of--a clown, a marionette? Explain why they are so scary, but insist they are like a chair or piece of furniture?

I know this isn't clever--but I honestly think 'giving Winnie powers' may prolong this fear.

Good luck!
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:45 pm
I don't know enough psychology to give you a good opinion, boom. It might not be that she should be killed, instead, perhaps altered into some useful persona.

How old is he, about four?

My own take is to surplant it with new info... as four serves to me as some sort of memory breakoff point.

Again, mine in an amateur opinon here.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:48 pm
You might also mention that Regovitch Rat is looking for this Winnie character. This is not good news for Winnie.
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Sofia
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 10:55 pm
OMG! Rog has a winner.

Go shopping to find a beautiful 'angel doll' or a rough and ready bulldog stuffed animal--a protector.

Mo can choose her 'protecter doll', and sleep soundly with it.
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 11:01 pm
psst Sofia, Mo's a he.

I like the idea (not that I know anything about raising kids) of showing him that it's an inanimate object. Chairs aren't scary. Nerf balls aren't scary. Lamps don't have minds of their own. That sorta thing.
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roger
 
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Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 01:52 am
Yeah, well, we know nightmares aren't real, either, but it doesn't help when you have one, and I think this is what Mo is living with. I really wonder why grand parents haven't picked up on this, and burned the thing right before his eyes.

Hey, it's pretty late for Jespah to be out and about.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 07:04 am
Thank you Winnie slayers!

Roger, I don't think the grandparents are going to show back up, they haven't called or tried to see him in over a year. He doesn't talk about them at all - but Winnie lingers.

And it is awful. He really is scared of Winnie. Mo loves the movie "The Princess Bride" with their Rats Of Unusual Size, I'm sure Regovich is a ROUS' - perhaps he would be a good guard!

Hi Sofia! I really try not to make too big of a production in Winnie expulsions. When she shows up, I do something to get rid of her and then just keep saying Winnie is gone, she can't come in our house, etc. until the current Winnie thing is over.

Your post did remind me that Mo has kind of a weird thing about manniquins too. The current batch in stores are all headless, which is a point of fascination with Mo. Perhaps I could use store manniquins to show that things shaped like a person and as big as a person aren't always a person.

I don't know if Mo is quite old enough to get the point of "when I was little..." stories, but it is surely worth a try!

Hi osso! I'm not quite sure how I would go about supplanting new information but I am willing to listen to ideas. When he first moved in and started in on Winnie stuff, I thought he meant Winnie the Pooh, it wasn't till I picked him up at his granparents after a visit and saw him shy away from this scarecrow thing, and learned her name was Winnie, that it all clicked. To me, it is unbelivable that he even remembers Winnie!
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 07:09 am
Hi jespah!

Mo does seem to understand that objects aren't in themselves scary. We sometimes do play "scary" games -- (You (me) be the dogcatcher, I'll (Mo) be the puppy -- and he'll run from me and hide and be all trembly when I find him but then I pet him and so the dogcatcher is really nice.

I'm just afraid to try a similar thing with Winnie because, as Roger points out, Winnie is very real to Mo and she is the stuff of nightmares.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 07:22 am
I've been thinking a bit more about Noddy's suggestions and I think I need to give more anti-Winnie power to Mo. Not just letting him join me in the anti-Winnie actions but to initate them on his own.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 08:50 am
I like the winnie trap. Poor little Mo.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 09:43 am
Sozlet's Winnie is dinosaurs. T-rexes, especially. This has been ongoing, but has become more of a thing since we moved.

I've read a lot about it being very, very common at this age, actually a little bit older but both sozlet and Mo are precocious, so... ;-) It's a developmental phase, a way of dealing with fears. Reason doesn't do a whole lot. (I will say, "you know there aren't really any dinosaurs?" during the day and sozlet will say with an enormous eye roll "I KNOW!", yet that doesn't keep her from being freaked out at night.)

A few things:

1.) Nighttime dinos have usually been a symptom. I make sure I talk to her about underlying stuff, how she feels about moving, etc. The fact that Winnie is at Mo's grandparent's and he hasn't seen them in a year may be the real secret to Winnie's power.

2.) During the day, I tell her silly stories about dinos. (She'll ask for a story about "anything BUT a scary dino...") So I'll tell a story, for example, about a scary dino who was purple and everyone thought he was Barney and would come up and hug him and it really ticked him off. So he dyed himself yellow, and then everyone thought he was B.J. One last try, green, oh no they thought he was Baby Bop. So he gave up and became a nice dino after all.

These seem to help defuse the scary dino mojo.

3.) She has a teddy bear with protective abilities. He keeps any illogical scary nighttime dinos at bay.

4.) What totally counterintuively helped the most, don't know what the Winnie equivalent would be, was to see Sue (t-rex dino bones) at the Field Museum in Chicago. Between when we saw Sue and when we moved, she'd talk about how she "used to be scared of dinos until I saw Sue, then I wasn't scared anymore." Dinos came back when we moved, are fading now.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 09:49 am
By the way, definitely agree with giving Mo some of his own anti-Winnie powers. Anti-dino teddy came about because I said things like "don't worry, Papa and I will make sure you're safe" and she wasn't buying it, so I said, "Oh and Beary [her teddy] has special powers, he'll protect you if you hold him" and she grabbed him tight and looked relieved.

I think part of this whole thing might be the dawning of the realization that parents AREN'T the be-all and end-all when it comes to protection.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 12:34 pm
I agree with Sozobe. Winnie and T. Rex are each a personal personification of chaos; of a world that is confusing and dangerous for the helpless child.

Children--expecially bright children-- assume a balance in the universe. If Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy all exist, so does Evil Incarnate--aka Winnie and T. Rex.

Teaching your child to fight demons isn't a Standard Childhood Goal--but it should be.

Winnie and T. Rex are powerful and frightening creatures--but Little Mo and Sozolet are very brave and clever children who can learn to conquer and banish powerful and frightening creatures--first with help and then All By Themselves.

If Winnie and T. Rex show up after dark, flashlights are powerful weapons.

Flashlights are also headaches. Make a clear distinction between Monster Fighting Flashlights and toy flashlights. Personally, I'd buy one of each. The Monster flashlight should have a permanent place--and should stay in that place.

Mothers get gray hairs because children give them grey hairs.

Good luck.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 02:18 pm
Thank you, soz, for sharing your "been there" story. I'm glad to know that this is not uncommon.

Your Field Museum idea was genius! I've thought about trying to go by the grandparent's house to confront Winnie but.... well.... its complicated and I'm not willing to open that can of worms. Suffice it to say that they chose to do drugs instead of have a relationship with Mo. Mo will not be going over there for any reason whatsoever.

I tried your #2 in a fasion today - Mo often wants me to pretend to be Winnie - and I won't, I don't want to be associated with Winnie in any way. So I dug out an old stuffed toy that I knew we could throw away, or bury, or shred, if we needed to and I let that be Winnie. (This is the first time I've ever played a Winnie "game".) Mo would yell "BOO!" and she'd go flinging across the room.

Of course, this turned out to be just too much fun. When I pointed out that Winnie wasn't scary Mo made the distinction between the two Winnies so I don't know if it will work or not.

Also, this morning, the new cat (Biscuit) was sitting in Mo's lap and we were petting her, when Winnie came up (Winnie has been around constantly for the last two days). I said "Oh I don't think we have to worry about her, she hates cats so I don't think she'll bother to come around anymore".

I don't know if any of this is progress. But I am so ready for Winnie to go.

Your final comment about kids beginning to realize that parents aren't the "be all" of protection, and Noddy's first comment, about chaos, really made me stop to think. During the first two years of Mo's life he spent quite a bit of time at his grandparents and this was a time when his parents were not doing a good job protecting him. Maybe Winnie is somehow tied up with that insecure part of his life. Maybe he uses Winnie as a way to test his security here.

Does that make any sense at all?

My hair may be graying but I'm clinging to my dominion!
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