A couple of months ago, when the days had grown darker, I picked up the little one from nursery and once we had arrived back at the stables, I told him to say hello to the owls outside. Exiting the car we hooted together, he was only too excited until they hooted back. His grip tightened around my neck as a smile grew across his face and he whispered in my ear: ‘Inside?

I tried to let him know that it was fine, fun even. Still he asked to go inside. I fumble to get the front door open with him clinging to the side of my head, and when we get through the door, there in front of us standing impossibly upright is a coloring book adorned with pictures of owls. For the first time now he confessed in a bigger voice ‘Owls! Scared!’

I hadn’t thought much else of this incident until this morning. The second morning in a row in which he has woken earlier than normal and refused to go back to sleep. Sent to collect him in a hazy slumber I saw him standing in his crib in the darkness, and heard the loud hooting of the owls outside. ‘In Daddy’s bed?‘ It all makes sense now.

So I guess this is the beginning of a phobia, one that I have to stamp out. He reads books with owls in and he is fine but the mere mention of them when it’s dark turns him clingy and paranoid. To be fair it is a little unsettling. In his room this morning I was shocked by the volume, and how it surrounded his room on all sides. Maybe Lynch was right: The Owls Are Not What They Seem

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