Formative To Phobia – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 19

#NaPoWriMo23, Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry Add comments

Hi 🙂

It’s Day 19 of NaPoWriMo and I didn’t have to think too deeply for the answer to this prompt:

“For this challenge, start by reading Marlanda Dekine’s poem “My Grandma Told Stories or Cautionary Tales.” One common feature of childhood is the monsters. The ones under the bed or in the closet; the odd local monsters that other kids swear roam the creek at night, or that parents say wait to steal away naughty children that don’t go to bed on time. Now, cast your mind back to your own childhood and write a poem about something that scared you – or was used to scare you – and which still haunts you (if only a little bit) today.” [from here]

I spent my first few years in a multi-generational household 😉


When I was young

I sucked my thumb.

Not seen


as sensory input,

or self-soothing,

my Great Grandmother would

shout “MUSH!!”:

to remind me that said thumb

was saliva-soluble

past a certain

(undefined, but always close)



Cobwebs congregated in my nostrils too,


Luckily, I didn’t


on that image too much

until later in life.

(They were probably left

by the arachnids accused

of messing up my tresses

every time I’d woken

from deep sleep.)


Below are three pictures of my Great Grandmother (my maternal grandmother’s mum…).  The first is from circa the early 1920s with her family (two sisters, two brothers and her parents) she’s second from the left. The next picture would have been taken in late 1933/ early 1934 (if we assume the baby in her lap is my maternal Grandmother) and the third picture is as I knew her; it must have been taken in the early 1980s as we moved from that house in the summer of 1986, when I was 8 and a half, but she lived into her (and the early 19-)90s so I visited her into my teens.



I am glad there has been much more research into how we can build our children up so they are less ruled by fears, doubts about their appearance, and shame around honoring their own needs and interests that mean they may take longer than their peers to achieve milestones; or just may have diverse functional abilities in certain areas that they will need to work with for the rest of their lives. 

Child development and how our perceptions of ‘normal’ have evolved through the centuries is an area I never really tire of reading/hearing about.  It’s fascinating…but can also be very overwhelming, especially as a parent currently at the teen/tween stages (feeling like she is the receptacle for many generations’ first-hand accounts and child rearing examples) who ‘should’ know the best way to deal with any given situation by now, but inevitably fails a lot 😉 The more I parent, the more it becomes infinitely clear that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, because each child is an individual – even in the womb! – and I am still growing and evolving, as is the society in which we live.

Annnyyyywaaay – catch you for Day 20!


Monty X


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2 Responses to “Formative To Phobia – #NaPoWriMo23 – Day 19”

  1. Jane Wright Says:

    Very interesting peep into the past and observations on modern parenting

  2. Montaffera Says:

    Thanks 🙂

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