Do you remember being afraid of something as a kid? The Bogeyman in the closet, a monster under your bed, or something hiding in the shadows? For me, it was husky dogs and spiders. I was always afraid that the husky dogs from around the corner were going to come in the night and drag me away. Or that spiders were going to eat me. So instead of being rational and staying in my top bunk, I slept on the floor for a year in my Little Mermaid sleeping bag thinking that it was the safest place for me. My only other option was the bottom bunk but big sister didn't want to share and she was the oldest. So for a year I slept on our uncomfortable floor and clutched my pillow telling myself that I was safe and nothing can get me if I have the solid floor beneath me. My dad finally had to take apart the bunk beds, otherwise who knows how long I would have slept on the floor.
My D is afraid. How or when or why he became afraid is beyond me, but D is afraid of the dark. It breaks my heart to hear him start screaming at night, when I've put him back in his own bed, in his own room, and the lights have been turned off for the night. We've tried talking to him to see what has him so terrified, and the times that he's actually answered he's said it's the robots. Robots? Since when has he seen scary robots? The only robot that I can think that he's seen is Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba...
Does he look so scary to you? He doesn't to me, and D even asks to watch him when the show comes on. So I don't think it was this robot that made him scared. So while I'm trying to figure out what has scared my child, I need to figure out how I can help him overcome it. Or at least learn to push it aside so he can sleep in his own bed.
First D and I set up a routine. After he was ready for bed, we would look in both sides of the closet, under C's crib, and in between his bed and the closet just to make sure that there were no robots for me to "hick in the face". When D was satisfied that there were no robots in the room, we said our good-nights, gave our kisses, and I shut the door just enough so the hall light wouldn't bother C. However, I wouldn't make it to the living room for more than two minutes before the screaming began. Strike One.
Next we tried the Leapster Explorer that he got for Christmas from Gigi. While the bright light from the screen helped him, it also kept him awake because he was playing and therefore threw off our entire bedtime schedule that we had. So this was a no go. Strike Two.
Then we tried to let him fall asleep in our bed, with him knowing that once K and I are ready for bed he will be moved to his own room with C. Excuse my french, but that was a night from Hell. He woke up several times screaming his heart out until we brought him back to our bed. So this just brought us right back to where we started...
with him in our bed and a beating every night since he is NOT a peaceful sleeper. Strike Three.
After the first few nights of trying to get him in his bed after he had fallen asleep in mine, I am not ashamed to admit that K and I just left him in our bed. It's about the only way we... ok D can get a full nights sleep, which is what D absolutely needs in order to make it through the day. It's been our solution for the past two months (I'm not taking in to account the three months prior when D HAD to sleep with us because that was our only option).
So tonight while at Wal-Mart I showed him a night light. I talked to him about how he could have it in bed with him (it was portable) and whenever he got scared he could just press the little circle and his Blue Man would light up so he could see. He understood the concept and actually seemed interested in getting it so that he could sleep in his own bed so I bought it.
Please, please, PLEASE Blue Man be enough light to chase the robots away so my baby can get some sleep in his OWN bed. Crossing my fingers for a peaceful night...