Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monster monster

After 3 years of putting him to sleep in a black-dark room, fretting over the blackout blinds and not letting him watch anything scary, it turns out that our son is, despite it all, afraid of the dark.

A few months ago he started asking for his bedroom door to be left open at night, followed scant days later by requests for the lights to be left on 'just a little bit'. Now, the lights in his room need to be blazing and pretty much all the doors in the house have to be ajar before he'll fall asleep.

It's all been a mystery until a few days ago when the Frog ran himself a bath while I was saying goodnight to the Spud. His bed is against the wall next to the tub and as the water started to pour, he clung onto me and said 'What's that, Mummy? What's that noise?!'. 'What noise?' I said, 'the taps?'. 'No!' he said 'THAT noise!'. 'What does it sound like?' I asked him and in reply, he opened his mouth and breathed a big monstery breath - a deep sighing sort of inhalation followed by a low moany exhalation.

'It's the taps' I said 'No it's NOT the taps, it's a monster!!!' he cried. I called the Frog and there began a great song and dance involving the taps being turned on and off and water running and him being shown the whole process and listening and all of us laughing. I laid him back down. 'See? There's no monster in the wall. It's just the taps, silly!'.

'There's a monster in the taps' he replied. The frog, having just seen our water bill, solemnly concurred.

Today on the way home from nursery he stopped on our salted front steps. 'What's that noise, Mummy?' he said. 'What does it sound like?' I said. 'Like "crunch crunch"' he said. 'It's my boots' I said. 'No' he said 'it's a monster!' and he high-tailed it through the front door.

I shouldn't laugh, it's not funny to him and when I hear him making little 'aaahh' sounds as he slams his door behind him and races through the flat into our bed at 3am I know that he's just shut a terrifying beastie in his room; in fact I think I can even remember the rush of adrenaline as I did the same thing myself at his age; and just imagine lying in your bed at night truly believing there is something breathing in the wall next to you.

It's not funny. It's not.

GRRaaawwrr. Ahem.

23 comments:

Sphinx said...

Shame! Poor little spud! Mind you, this exquisite hearing will not last forever... in a few years he will not hear a word you say.

接觸 said...

生活總是起起伏伏,心情要保持快樂才好哦!!..................................................

Pippa said...

There is a really cute book that you can get about Monsters and how they are more frightened of us than we are of them. It worked with a child I use to babysit for... I shall hunt it out to give you the title!

Suki said...

Oooh, I used to be scared of the bleddy Midnight Monsters till I was 8 or so!

But... Chaelie's gonna have his day of laughing at kids' monsters too, right?
:ROFL:

Sparx said...

Sphinx - in a few years?!! Right this minute he is sitting beside his DAd refusing to acknowledge that he is asking him what he wants for breakfast

Anonymous - I think you're trying to say that I shouldn't really laugh and that he'll grow out of it?

Pippa - sure, if you can remember, I'll try it! We have a French book about a little bear who is scared of the dark but I swear that that book is the most terrifying of all...

Suki!! To be honest, I was scared of monsters until I was about 40... hopefully he'll be braver!

Carol said...

It wasn't monsters I was scared of...(please don't laugh)...I was convinced that there was a dead cow living under my bed!! (I saw one in a field and was convinced it was going to come and get me because I was alive and it was dead). Who knows what goes on in kids minds eh!!

I'm sure he'll grow out of it

C x

the b in subtle said...

I used to push the lever to flush the toilet and the noise it would make would scare me such that I HAD to run down the hall back to my bedroom and LEAP on my bed so my feet weren't touching the floor before the sound of the toilet water going down the hole ended. If I didn't make it in time, I couldn't sleep looking for the toilet monsters...hugs to Spud.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Yeah, Jonathan has started this whole "It scary..." thing, but he especially does it when he doesn't want to do something. Suddenly the bath is scary, the potty is scary, the kitchen is scary and when it came down to even the floor being scary last night ... give me a break!

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Oh the poor wee thing - hope that you manage to deal with the monsters

A friend of mine told her little boy that mummies have special monster slaying powers (and with a torch managed to slay them too) - worth a try ?

aliasse said...

Esther says 'garwy' (scary) about lots of things. Matthew's mild fear of the dark came on at about Charlie's age.

I too had a fear of the toilet flushing. I thought a sort of malignant human-type thing was going to come out and get me. I hate to think what I Freudian would make of that. Only Jungians understand these things...

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

That whole parental deaftitude gets more profound trust me.

For years Hair One had night terrors. He'd come dancing out of his room on his tiptoes speaking in tongues and scared spitless. Also fast asleep. I'd guide him back to bed and rub his feet with copper ointment until his breathing normalized.

And all that without anything 'breathing in his walls'. Yikes that'd would've really been scary!

Still miss the W.V's. May have to start making them up myself

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Actually.....

Deaftitude = the studied poise er pose of the teen whilst studiously ignoring parental input.

Sparx said...

Carol - How completely gruesome, I love it! I apparently once woke up in hysterics shouting that there was a badger in my bed...

Nancy - the toilet monsters! Fantastic... loos are strange and mysterious objects indeed...

Lisa - ah yes, some things are scary simply because they are not wanted, it's true...

Muddling Along - now I like the torch innovation there. I have told the spud that monsters are scared of Mummies and that I can make them go away. I think he believes me too.

Aliasse - seriously, an homunculous was going to rise up out of the sewer to drag you in? What were your parents letting you watch at that age?

Hoto said...

Dear Charlie: All that is evil and foul in the world has finally found you. The monsters have been looking for you your whole life. And now they've finally found you. They're very happy. You see, they like the taste of little children. But they can't see or smell very well. They have to get very close to you before they can sense you. But after three years of searching. They are close enough that you can feel their warm fetid breath upon you wherever you go. That little noise in the night, that little squeak on the cellar stairs. Whenever your mummy and daddy are not near, they will move in. They can change shape and hide in a can in the cupboard, or they can fill the tank behind the toilet. They can hide inside the electrical outlets, or even in a pillow on your bed. When you drive in the car they stand on street corners looking like normal men and women. And when they see you they will stare at you. They hide in dark bushes, in the litter basket, in the sleeves of your shirts folded in the drawer, and in the toes of your shoes. Sometimes they become your cat, sleeping on the sofa waiting to pounce. But most of all ... they look like Mummy and Daddy. Sometimes you can't even tell the monsters from your own parents...

Anonymous said...

nasty uncle.....has he forgotten the long upstairs corridor at castle barn?

Sparx said...

Ahhhh Hoto. He can't read you know. And by the way, that Medusa poster imprinted itself onto all your soft furnishings. She is there. In your sofa. Oh yes.

Anonymous parental unit - Somehow I rather doubt that's been forgotten. Or possibly forgiven. Through the medium of my brother instructing my son, I sense I will be paying for the sins of my childhood for a rather a long time.

Shell said...

Bad, Uncle Hoto!!

Sis, we'll see if you still find it funny 3 years from now.... ;)

lady macleod said...

All I can say is that they all go through it. I can't tell you for how long, but he will get over it given that he has such a loving home and a wonderful Mum and Dad. I have no doubt that this too will pass. It is terrible for them and confusing for us, but seems to do no permanent harm - a bit like the eating dirt or stuff off the what I am sure was a pristine floor - he didn't die. This will not kill either of you as well. And I think it is fine for you to think it's funny (you horrid mean unfeeling person).

cactus petunia said...

Wow. The Spud is luck to have such a crazy uncle...but it is a good thing he can't read yet!

P.S. I've heard a line of fairy dust sprinkled across the threshold keeps the monsters away...

Sparx said...

Shell - can you hide in the closet and frighten Uncle Hoto for me... just once? Please?

Lady M - sometimes I think I might be horrid mean and unfeeling... it's not really funny - I think it makes me laugh because I was just the same, it's a sort of laugh at myself... poor little bear.

Cactus - I like that one. I'm going to make some out of glitter with him - his first bit of magic! Great Idea, thanks!

Princess Mummy said...

i had night terrors growing up-right til i was 14 believe it or not. It's narcolepsy now and i sleepwalk off and on. Little Prince is quite accepting of creaks and groans as I often sleepwalk into his room and wake sitting in the chair next to his bed.
Little Prince also sleepwalks too-last week he came into our room and grabbed my hand to "go to tesco". still fast asleep, i agreed and only Prince Daddy waking up stoppped us going. Good job he's rigged up stairgates so we couldn't have got onto the stairs landing asleep anyway!

In Monkey's Shadow said...

Sounds like our house!

Sparx said...

Princess Mummy - I think Daddy should install locks on your doors somewhere that you can't reach without a chair... I worry about the idea of you and little prince strolling out for a shopping trip late at night!

Monkey - yes, I think there are monsters in every house, sadly.