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Today Matt witnessed Simon’s first demonstration of true fear. I was at the grocery and Matt was playing with Simon in the living room. It’s fall now, and despite it still being 80 degrees outside, certain fall-like things are beginning to happen, including various creepy crawlers trying to make a home inside our house.

One such creepy crawler was a spider that scurried across the carpet in front of them as they played. Matt is no fan of spiders and was no doubt uneasy around this very fast moving specimen.  According to Matt, Simon was downright hysterical. He took one look at that spider and then shrieked, cried, and raised his arms for Matt to pick him up and get him away from it.

This reaction is really interesting, because normally Simon looks at any new creature as either amusing or a potential new friend. He’s been in love with our cats from day one. The first time a (big) dog ran up to his stroller in the park and licked his face, he giggled. He’s either oblivious or enthralled with animals at the zoo.  In fact, I’ve hardly ever seen him look scared at anything or anyone.

As Simon is not quite one and has never encountered a spider before, this reaction could not have had anything to do with a prior bad experience with spiders. So not a learned response. And Matt swears that Simon got hysterical before he had a chance to get that way himself. So not an example of Simon modeling a parent’s behavior.

That leaves us with the explanation that Simon has an innate fear of spiders. One that, for the record, he inherited from his father, as they don’t bother me much at all.

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