Since he was a baby Charles has been afraid of snails. I'm not really sure why. He had a noisy musical pull along snail which he liked at first and then all of a sudden hated.
He's been scared of snail toys, snail ornaments for the garden, even pictures of snails and of course the real thing.
I've tried to calm down his fear quite regularly. I'll tell him why they're not scary, I'll touch them, pick them up and so on and once or twice he has been brave and will softy, and briefly, touch the shell and will then hold his hands as close to his chest as he can.
We went in the garden last week and he freaked out a little bit at the sight of a worm and then a woodlouse.
So on Friday I made a deal with him.
I told him the only things to be really be scared of in the garden are wasps and bees because they can sting and that snails etc won't hurt him.
If he could face his fear of snails: touch one, hold one, and not scream when he see's one, and also not scream when he see's a worm, slug and other insects, then I would take him to the cinema as soon as we can get someone to look after Harry.
I thought it would take him months to do this. But after preschool we went into the garden and...he ended up holding two snails at one point!
We went outside with a spade so we could collect and bugs we found. We only found the snails in the end but still it was a very successful afternoon.
Yesterday we went out and we found an empty snails shell. He carried it for a while to show his daddy but at one point did feel the fear and threw it on the floor. I was still proud of him for carrying it as far as he did.
The photo below of him looking scared isn't a result of the snail, at that moment he thought he saw a bee.