I know, because my daughter told me so. And she is the authority of all things monster. Apparently. Although I am pretty sure the only monsters of which she has been informed are Cookie Monster and his buddies on Sesame Street.
Regardless, we were awakened at 2:00 am Friday morning by terrified screaming in the kids' room. Sobbing , my daughter said, "Don't let the monsters eat my hand, Mommy!" I calmed her as best I could and tried to get her to tell me where the monsters were. It seemed the jackets and bags hanging on the rack above the crib were the culprit. We removed the offending items and gently encouraged her (and David, who was now crying for a glass of milk) to go back to sleep.
Obviously we did not have the "clever monster eradication parenting techniques" down, for she screamed and cried for most of the remainder of that night.
So, we being good conscientious parents, put into play the following "clever monster eradication parenting techniques":
Clever Monster-Be-Gone Trick #1:
I reassured her that Jesus was with her and that Mommy and Daddy were right in the next room. We prayed and asked Jesus to take the monsters and scary feelings away.
It didn't work . . . apparently we still need work in the spiritual department.
Clever Monster-Be-Gone Trick #2:
I trudged downstairs to make a bottle for Michael, who was wide awake by this time. I also filled two sippy cups with warm milk and brought them up for Gabi and David along with some teddy bear graham crackers.
It didn't work . . . although David seemed to be getting his second wind and began running around the room.
Clever Monster-Be-Gone Trick #3:
I got out a few toys that she hadn't seen in a while to distract her. I told her to hold them tight if she got scared.
It didn't work . . . and David wanted to know where some "new" toys were for him.
Clever Monster-Be-Gone Trick #4:
Daddy gave her a glowing seahorse that is actually Michael's toy. It plays soft lullabies and he thought it might comfort her. She liked it, but. . .
It didn't work . . . and Michael no longer had his seahorse to cuddle with.
Clever Monster-Be-Gone Trick #5:
Daddy used everything he could think of to "kill" the monsters - the vacuum cleaner, the broom, etc. While these methods induced giggles and teary smiles, they did not achieve a permanent result.
Clever Monster-Be-Gone Trick #6:
His heart broken by his baby girl's cries, Daddy decided to sleep in the kids' room for the rest of the night as protector. I thought he was doing a great job and went to her own much more comfortable bed to get some sleep.
By the third night, I was beginning to have suspicions that we were being played. I noticed that all of the monster hullabaloo was giving Gabi extra attention and extra time to stay up before bedtime. I thought that perhaps it was time to put an end to the nonsense. Daddy was not so sure. He felt that maybe because he had been working so many nights lately that Gabi did want more time with him and was scared of the dark.
On Sunday night, I convinced him to let her cry herself to sleep. This was hard on both of us, but I was pretty sure that she was not afraid of monsters. After all, the past few nights, the monsters had apparently switched locations from the coat rack to the hamper to the drawers under her bed to David's bed to the toy box and so on. She (and David, since he is a very sympathetic brother!) cried for about thirty minutes and then they were out.
So, yes, there are monsters in our house. They are very real, and I just finished cleaning up their breakfast dishes. . .
(don't forget to enter the giveaway at my craft blog, The Scrappy Frog! All you have to do is leave a comment here!)