The thing that I noticed about my kids is they discover emotions in the following sequence:
Babies learn to express happiness first of all. They will coo, smile and later laugh with such glee. After that they learn how to be sad for eg cry when a toy is taken from them. Then they learn to be afraid and angry.
Funny, how as we grow, we discover more and more negative emotions? Hmm.. must learn how to get back to the basics by being happy.
Toddler is discovering fear. Fear of the unknown. Even when she was quite young she learned fear when she heard loud drilling sounds that she could not identify. She would run to me, her face full of fear and hands beating her chest to indicate fear because she hadn't learned how to talk at the time. I would take the time to explain to her that what she heard was the sound of the worker drilling or the (rather loud) water pipe sound and later when she learned to talk she would repeat after me "Motopaip sond" (waterpipe sound). Thereafter we would identify sounds we heard in the night "People upstairs/downstairs", "Car horn" etc. It became a game and she was no longer afraid.
Recently, I saw her running away whenever she saw her bear video which showed a shadow dancing on the wall. I asked her why she did not like the shadow part and she merely ran further away but later that night she asked me:
Toddler: "Mummy, why I don't like the shadow part?"
MG: "Yes. Can you tell mummy why you don't like the shadow part? Are you scared?"
Toddler: (*thinking very hard and stuttering abit*) Ah.. mmm.. ah...umm "Mummy, why got nobody there?"
MG: (*lightbulb lights up*) "Oh don't worry its just a cartoon. Its just a show its not real ok?"
Toddler: "Mummy, where's the body?"
MG: (*hmmm.. how to explain this?*) "Well, its just a cartoon and they did not draw the body so thats why you don't see the body there."
Toddler: "Mummy. Its just a cartoon." (And she mumbled this at least 10X to herself and looked very pleased indeed.)
I don't think my explanation was very fantastic but it will suffice since she is happy with it. I am sooooo proud of my little girl who is smart enough to ask me these questions. And at times like this, I am really happy to be home looking after her. If I were working in addition to trying to be a mum, I think I would lack the focus, energy and time to chat with her about her fears let alone notice them in the first place.