"See, Chickie? She's going to poke that needle into my skin. There we go! It barely even hurt, just a pinch. Now see? The blood is going into this little thing. Now they can test it like the doctor wants them to do! Isn't that cool?" The wonderful lady taking my blood explained what the bright red bandage was for, and even cut off a piece for Chickie, making it into a bracelet for her.
Now, I think Chickie was somewhat weirded out, understandably, as she watched my blood go into a plastic vial. She had a lot of questions, during and after the blood draw. But she seemed fairly comfortable and unafraid as she observed it.
I compare that to how she reacts to spiders. I see a spider near her and say, "Oh, no, Chickie! Get away! Don't touch the spider! I don't want it to bite you!" It's been my goal to instill a healthy fear in her, but I think I've gone overboard. Now she's definitely afraid of spiders, and of some other bugs (like houseflies.) While I'd prefer that she not play with spiders, I regret that I've given her more fear than she really needs to have.
These situations show me just how much my daughter takes cues from me, as she decides what is or isn't scary. I hope that I can encourage her to be cautious when necessary (crossing the street, deciding which bugs to play with, touching hot things, etc.) But I also hope that I can more often handle potentially scary situations in the way I handled my blood draw yesterday. Little eyes are watching closely!