Friday, June 10, 2005

Under Your Bed, In Your Closet, In Your Head

Most adults know that there is no such thing as a monster under your bed or in your closet. Most adults.

Not me. The other night while I was holding my son as he went to sleep I started thinking (yes, Fran and I still hold him to put him down to sleep - I'm sure experts would tell us that we're doing this wrong, and should put him in his crib and let him scream at the top of his lungs for hours so he can learn to sleep on his own - but the bottom line is: too freakin' bad. He's my son - I'll put him to sleep whatever way I feel is best for him. I mean, he's a generally happy kid - always smiling and laughing - but when he's tired and cranky, look out! The kid can let the world know, in no uncertain terms, that he's not content). Anyways, while watching him fall asleep the other night I started wondering at what point he might be afraid to go to sleep because of typical childhood fears, such as the dark, or perhaps the monster under his bed or waiting to jump out of his closet.

I started to wonder what I would tell him. I know that adults are supposed to tell children that there's no such thing as monsters and that the dark is nothing to be afraid of.

But let's be honest. I'm still afraid of the dark, and I know that monsters are often hiding just out of sight in the shadows. And sometimes, when getting into bed, I sometimes find myself taking a quick leap so the monster that lives under my bed (or perhaps that clown from Poltergeist - I'm often convinced it's hiding in the shadows) can't grab my ankels and pull me under the bed. I'm okay with the closet monster in our room, but the one that lives in my mom's house where I grew up still gives me the heebie jeebies. (Fortunately, I was able to move away without that monster noticing and following me) The monster that lived inside the humidifier that my parents used to put in my room when I was sick also seems to have lost my trail over the years.

They're here . . . (those scary monsters)

So what am I going to do the first day that Alexander comes up to me in the middle of the night and says there's a monster in his room? I imagine I might react like Homer Simpson in this one episode where Lisa dreams about the bogeyman and Homer reacts by telling her to nail the windows shut while he gets the gun. I can see myself over-reacting in the very same way: "Francine, Mister Bunny. I don't want to alarm you, but there might be a bogeyman or bogeymen in the house."

So I wonder -- what will I tell my son when the inevitable happens and he's afraid of the monsters he thinks is hiding under his bed or watching him from the crack in the closet door?

What can I say, other than: "Go ask your mother!"


Peter Mitchell said...


MetalicaFan said...

Nice Enter Sandman lyrics :P