Monday, December 29, 2008

Trust me

Mia's doing better today after a long night filled with fevers and nightmares. It never fails that right when she's going through a rough patch with being afraid of shadows or monsters, there's something on an innocent TV show to spark even more trouble.

This morning on PBS, one of her favorite cartoons was on, featuring - you guessed it - a monster. Of course, the moral of the story was that the scary stuff was all in your imagination, and the "monster" was just a silly, nice creature. But a three year old doesn't understand that yet, so all morning she talked about not wanting to take a nap today because she was "a little bit scared."

I try to keep her away from those shows when they get too scary. But then I think, what if this is the time it makes sense to her, and she'll see that it's all just pretend? When night comes around, though, I am reminded that she's not yet old enough to understand the concept of "imagination."

I'll shield her as much as I can, because I definitely remember those terrifying moments between dreams and reality. And more importantly, I remember my mom holding me close while I fell back to sleep. I want my girls to know that I'll be there to help them, even if it's an imaginary worry.

We've fluctuated between telling Mia that there are no monsters and telling her that there are no monsters here. It sounds so similar, but it's the difference between denying their existence and acknowledging it. I think we've finally settled on denying it. We'll continue to insist that there's no such thing as monsters, while letting her feel our protection anyway.

If only she'd just believe us! Her imagination (plus all the TV shows she thinks are real) has her convinced that scary things are out there.

She is so thoughtful and really thinks for herself. Which equals stubborn and unmovable in some situations.

Though, she did believe me earlier today when I was making her lunch. She saw the piece of cheese I was about to put on her grilled cheese sandwich, and immediately protested. She dislikes cheese, and by dislikes, I mean runs kicking and screaming from it. From all but a grilled cheese sandwich, that is.

She said, "NO, Mama, I don't want that yucky cheese, just delicious grilled cheese!" (I promise, word for word.)

"Oh, baby - you won't have this cheese, you'll just have your sandwich. Don't worry." She took that at face value, and walked away happy.

She trusts me not to fool her with cheese. I almost feel bad.

But not quite.

If only she'd trust me where monsters are concerned. We'd all be happy campers. (Happy sleepers?)

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?