“I never let my extremities hang off the bed…that’s how the under the bed monster gets you.”
That’s exactly what I said to Tim Monday night as we sprawled out on our bed after putting the kids to sleep. I’m almost thirty years old and I’m still worried about the unknown in the dark.
It seems that random statement was prophetic that night. Around 12:30 a.m. that night, we were awoken to the sound of Sophia screaming in her bedroom. This wasn’t the normal “my blankets fell off” scream, this was a terrified scream. This has become a frequent occurrence in the middle of the night for us. About two weeks ago it was nervousness about the dark, inside and outside, which led to us leaving her lamp on the lowest setting all night. Monday night the stakes were raised even higher: now it’s monsters under the bed.
I have no idea where she even got the idea of monsters, let alone them living under her bed. We have never told her scary stories or teased about such things. Her imagination has taken a huge leap in recent weeks and I’m sure that has a lot to do with it.
Tuesday morning when I went to get her out of bed I asked her what happened with the monsters last night. She proceeded to tell me that there were monsters in her bed and they were trying to take her bunny, her bear, and her blankets and then they were going to wake up her “brudder” Jack. I assured her no one was going to take bunny or bear or wake up Jack and if any monsters bothered her again she should tell them to talk with mommy or daddy. She seemed on board with that plan and we went down for breakfast to start our day. Tuesday night when Tim came home I wanted to reassure her again so I started the conversation the same way I had in the morning. She told Tim the same thing she told me and we told her again that no one would take her animals or wake up Jack but then it took a turn. She turned to me and her little face crumbled and she started to cry. She whimpered about the monsters being under her bed and begged to be held which I did without hesitation.
The whole situation is heartbreaking. She is legitimately scared but she’s so young it’s difficult to rationalize the situation with her. We showed her that there was nothing under the bed but that didn’t seem to do much to quiet her fear. We both laid with her longer than we normally do to reassure her we both would keep her safe. Short of that I don’t know what else to do for her because I’m still cowering under the blankets some nights (and days).