I was putting both the wee ones to bed last night because my husband wasn’t home from work quite yet. They’d both had showers, pjs were on, and teeth were brushed. I’d finished the book, and it was just about time to turn out the lights. Little Miss was snug in my arms, but she wanted down to give Mister Man a hug and kiss goodnight.
After the hugging and kissing finished, Mister Man told me to look in his closet. I turned around and put my hand on the small brass knob, throwing a fake frightened look over my shoulder. He giggled with delight. I creaked open the closet a smidgen of an inch, then gasped and shut it. Mister Man was rocking back and forth on his Thomas sheets roaring with laughter.
I repeated myself, opening the door just a tiny pinch further before shutting it quickly and turning my back to it. It was about then that I noticed the hysterical screaming.
I gathered Little Miss back into my arms, shushing and rocking to try to calm her. I asked her why she was crying, only to discover that my pretending there were monsters in the closet had truly frightened her out of her wits. I calmly explained that I was merely pretending and that there was nothing in the closet. I took a step towards the closet to demonstrate.
A wildcat erupted in my arms as she flailed and clawed and tried to climb onto my head and down my back to get away, screaming in panic all the while. I reassured her that it was fine and that I was going to show her that there was nothing in the closet. Mister Man piped up that yes, there was too something in the closet. I shot him a look intended to get him to pipe down, and he looked crushed.
As I reached the closet, I realized that I had no way of holding onto the she-demon in my arms and opening the closet at the same time. However, were I to set her on the ground, she quite possibly might break the sound barrier exiting the room. This is where creativity really pays off. I managed to slide my toe under the closet door and exert enough pressure to open the door.
As the creature howled before darting out of the closet, my eardrum was pierced from the screams of panic from Little Miss.
See, I told you there was something in there! crowed Mister Man.
I quickly began pointing out to Little Miss that the creature was just Roar (one of our cats) who’d somehow gotten trapped inside Mister Man’s closet and that it wasn’t a monster and monsters don’t exist and see Mommy always takes care of you and really it’s ok, while mentally cataloguing how soon I needed to go to bed to make up for the lack of sleep I’d soon get due to Little Miss’s nightmares.
Luckily, my soothing bedside manner is more effective than I thought, and she awoke this morning with no nightmares and no apparent ill-effects.
This morning, my mom was watching the wee ones who are off school, lucky devils, while I worked and conducted conference calls.
At the end of one conference call, I heard the oh-too-familiar hysterical screaming and then the whining, panting cries for Moommmmyyyyy. I hurried downstairs only to hear my mom whispering to her, it’s ok; it was just pretend. You don’t need Mommy. It’s ok; we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen.
Yep, my mom also managed to scare the patootie out of Little Miss by turning off all the lights, handing the wee ones mini-flashlights, putting them in the toy house we have down there and then making our toy ride-on lion poke his head into said house and roar. Loudly.
Way to go, Mom. errr moms?