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Don't feel bad, Brian Williams: Kids also fear stickers, 'Happy Birthday' and Rosie O'Donnell

March 4, 2014 at 2:02 PM ET

Baby Jude
Jordan M via YouTube
Baby Jude is terrified of Brian Williams, but that's only the tip of the fearsome iceberg when it comes to things tiny children are scared of.

On Monday we wrote about the viral video of sad little Jude, a 10-month-old who cries every time he sees NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on the television. Jude’s mom explained that her child is normally happy and doesn’t seem affected by other men on TV, but suspects William’s serious tone is what frightens her son. (Williams weighed in on the matter, too.)

But anyone with little kids knows that sometimes fear can be triggered by the most seemingly innocuous thing. TODAY Moms readers shared with us on Facebook some of their kids’ strange phobias.

TV personalities

Apparently Williams is not the only TV face who inspires tears in little ones. Former NBC TODAY correspondent Gene Shalit use to scare Kathy Hickman’s son. “He would go hide behind a chair when [Shalit] came on,” Hickman says.

Uma Goparaju says her son would watch David Letterman’s show quite happily. But the sight of The Tonight Show’s Jay Leno would make the 10-month-old weep every time. Meanwhile, Mary Sokol Cotleur said her 3-year-old daughter Lucy would chant, “No Lester Holt!” when the weekend TODAY anchor was on. Cotleur’s response: “Sorry, Lucy. We love Lester.”

Both of Debbie Kilian’s kids had TV personality phobias. Her son would scream and cry when Rosie O’Donnell would appear on her former talk show. Her daughter’s form of torture? The unlikely Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. “She would yell, ‘I hate that neighbor! Turn him off!’,” Kilian said.

Toys and other inanimate objects

Kids usually love stickers, but the daughter of Ami Burkhalter is NOT a fan. “She will scream if you try to put one on her or give her one,” says Burkhalter. “If you actually get it on her, she will flip out and keep screaming ‘Get it off!’ until you remove it. Something about the fact that it "sticks" I guess.”

Katie Matassa’s 2-year-old twins are terrified of balloons and will scream and hide whenever they see one. For Alison Wyatt’s daughter, Mr. Potato Head is the source of fear. (We can only imagine what a deconstructed Mr. Potato Head might do to the child!)

Sarette McMurry says her 4-year-old was terrified of the vacuum, while Deanna Hernandez-Arza’s kid hates the blender.

Elena Davis Pohl’s daughter was petrified of “an adorable little hedgehog puppet toy I got for her.”

Songs ... and other random sounds

For some kids, birthdays are the source of fears and tears. That’s because they have to listen to that terrifying "Happy Birthday" song. Jennifer Bannister says that her son could not hear it in any form until he was 6 years old. Before that, “if we were a restaurant and we heard the waiters start coming out and clapping, we would literally have to run him out the front door,” she said.

Sarah VanRyn Buttry’s son was scared by the song too. “He just turned 5 a month ago and it was the first time he hasn't cried and screamed over it.”

You know the old tune “On Top of Spaghetti?” Diana Bacho-Pribish could never get to the second verse because her 10-month-old son would cry when she got to the part, “I lost my poor meatball.”

For most babies, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” is a soothing lullaby. But for Amy Hale’s son, it’s agony. “Every time my 3 year old hears it, he cries! He's done it since he's been a baby,” Hale says.

For Amie Wolff Logan’s son, music is not the problem. However, he is terrified of the music teacher at his school.

‘Fraid of Feet? Okayyyy……

Crystal Gruebel says her daughter used to be terrified if she could not see her own feet. “Middle of winter in Michigan and she had to have no socks or shoes and the blanket could not reach her feet.”

Meanwhile, Candace Noreen’s baby daughter loves her daddy. But when daddy wears socks on his feet ... wahhhhh! “She’s not afraid of his feet unless there’s socks. And she’s only scared of his feet,” Noreen says.

Sounds like socks will be a popular gift for dad for years to come. 

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