Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sentinels

Tiny spiders are the things of a 4-year-old's nightmares, it seems.

Benjamin woke up screaming after a nightmare about a spider the other morning around 4:30 am, just when Frédéric was leaving for work. He said he didn’t want to be alone in his room, so Frédéric unceremoniously dumped him in our bed and left for work, leaving me to handle it. Benjamin kept tossing and turning and talking and thinking up things that bothered him (he wanted the fan on, he wanted the door closed so the spiders couldn’t get in, he had to go to the bathroom). I finally told him he had to either quit it and go to sleep or go back to his own bed. He chose his own bed and we both managed to get a little bit more sleep before we had to get up for the day.

The next night, Benjamin was crying at bedtime because he was afraid of the spider. (We had asked him how big the spider was in his dream and he showed us, with his finger and thumb about a quarter of an inch apart.) I told him there were no spiders in his room, I offered to have Frédéric check his room for them just to be sure, and finally I told him that spiders were really scared of one of his stuffed bears. There were no spiders in the house, but even if they DID get in, if they saw this bear, they would run away screaming. So we put the bear on the landing outside his door and closed the door (so that even if they spiders DID make it past the bears, they wouldn't go into his room; we were ready for every eventuality). (I'm realizing too late that child psychology would have been a more useful major for me than French.)

Now every time he goes to bed he goes through the whole rigmarole of telling me how the spiders are so scared of the bear, and they scream when they see it, and run away down the stairs and back outside.

Last night I came upstairs to find this.

I guess he figured if the spiders were scared of one bear, they were even more scared of two of them.


Jordan said...

Noted for future reference.

"What if I told you this rock keeps tigers away?" "Does it?" "Well, you don't see any tigers around here, do you?" "Lisa, I'd like to buy your rock."

Sandi said...

HA! Too cute. Chase was sitting on the potty last week and started screaming, "Spiders! Spiders! They are all around me! They're everywhere!!!" I went in to find two tiny spindly spiders in a corner very far from him.

Ryan said...

Alex is going through this same phase lately, though with him it's bees, not spiders. We have real-life bees that hang around under the deck behind the house. I told Alex they'd rather sting a big juicy person like me than a little kid like him. That seems to have helped.

He doesn't put out any stuffed guards for the bees. On the other hand, we did tell him long ago that the Spöka in his room scares away monsters.

He's also scared of tornadoes, but we decided not to tell him that the Spöka scares away tornadoes, because we'd prefer that he run to the basement when he hears the sirens.

...Though after a couple of real tornado warnings, I had a tough time convincing him that the sirens he was hearing the other day at 11 am sharp on the first Monday of the month were just a test.

Dana said...

btw, what happened to Snuffles' nose? And did I tell you my mother-in-law gave Alex his very own Snuffles? Did you know Snuffles is supposed to be white?!?!