Friday, February 22, 2013

Monster Update

Last week, I posted about Sam's sudden terror of monsters in his room.

Yesterday, I posted this update on facebook:

I love my pest control guy, but Sam screams in terror every time Mr. K. appears. (Mr. K. is huge and black. I think Sam considers this "strange" appearance scary.) Sam's reaction makes me wince because I worry Mr. K. will think I'm raising a racist.

Well, this time, I prompted Sam in advance. And reminded him to be polite when I opened the door. Sam rose to the occasion and whispered 'hi'.

I had a Brilliant Idea. For the last week, Sam has been having trouble going to sleep, in part because of the Scary Monsters in his room.

I asked Mr. K. --nicely, so as to set a good example-- if, in addition to bug repellant, he wouldn't mind spraying against monsters as well.

He rose to the occasion beautifully. "Would you like me to get rid of the monsters, Sam?" he asked. Sam nodded solemnly.

Mr. K. marched up the stairs to Sam's room. "Okay, all you monsters," he announced, firmly, "Out. OUT!" From downstairs, we heard a door slam and some quick spraying sounds.

A minute later Mr. K came downstairs dusting his hands. "I got rid of them," he said. "They're all gone."

(On his post-action report, I saw that Mr. K. had written "spiders, wasps, monsters." Tee hee.)

Now Mr. K. is a Hero. Sam followed him around and chattered for the rest of the appointment. Hopefully this will also help Sam sleep tonight. Even if it only succeeds in helping Sam to be very polite to The Bug (and Monster) Guy, it will still have proven a brilliant idea.

Lots of people congratulated me for my idea.

I countered that we should all be impressed with Mr. K.'s fantastic performance.

Last night Jon tucked Sam into bed. He got some protests about monsters.

Afterward, Jon reported, "I reminded him that Mr. K. had sprayed and gotten rid of all the monsters. Sam thought seriously about that for a minute. But in the end, it wasn't quite enough. He kept squawking. And when he realized I wasn't going to be his personal butler, he started screaming in anger. Oh well." 

My policy is that I will make three efforts to help the three-year-old resolve the monster issues. I had envisioned something like handing the kid a protective stuffed animal, spritzing the area with "monster repellant" from a spray bottle, and installing a night light. If, after that, the kid was still determined to scream, I would just let him.

Of course, I haven't been called upon to implement that policy before, since Eric had no imagination and Daniel was so sophisticated that, even as a young three, he would say "I am pretending that..."

I figured I'd need to work something like that out with Sam, and I don't mind. I just think it's funny.

I noticed that Sam's cries were shorter-lived last night. Hopefully this means he is getting over his fears. Right? I mean, if he fails to be eaten by monsters several times in a row, eventually he'll get bored with his angst. At least, so goes the prevailing psychological theory of the day.

By the time the psychologists have a new theory, I'll be blogging cheerfully about Jeff's fevered imagination. I can't wait.

1 comment:

Gregory said...

So, in response to an earlier related post regarding spontaneous monster generation from toys, I would argue that foam swords are not toys but rather tools of monster eradication.

My two favorite examples of the dramatic approach to monster infestations in film/video are first, when Major Payne responds to monster reports from his youngest charge by immediately firing several .45 rounds into the closet in the eponymous movie and second, in the adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather when Susan resignedly battles the monster under the bed and in the basement.