This seemed an appropriate story to share with Halloween near at hand… email originally written May 16, 2002
I did a very foolish thing several weeks ago. I showed a scary email to K.J. and Skye. You may have seen it. You are told to look for something in a picture. Suddenly, a ghoulish face appears and makes a hideous scream. My children responded by screaming themselves, crying, shaking, and clinging to my legs.
K.J. got over it after a couple of days, with reassurances that I had taken the dreadful thing off of my computer. Skye, on the other hand, has been unable to go to bed alone since then. Some nights she manages to con her older brother or sister into letting her sleep with them. But they have grown tired of that. Most of the time, I have taken a pillow and blanket into her room and rested on the floor beside her bed until she falls asleep. This has created other problems — while Skye won’t stay in her bed without me beside her, Journey goes crazy because I AM in the room. I start to leave and Skye screams and wails. I stay and Journey screams and wails. Over the weeks, Journey’s upset about my being in the room has increased. She has learned to scream as loud as Skye does. It’s an impossible situation.
Last night, I dragged Skye from K.J.’s top bunk, kicking and crying. K.J. didn’t want her there and I was insisting that she sleep in her own bed. As I carried her into the room, she wailed about “monsters.” I asked, “Where are they?” “Under the bed,” she replied. “Let’s look,” I said. There were no monsters. “They come later,” she protested. “Well, then. We must make monster poison.” And off we trouped to the kitchen. I got out a pan, put a little water in it, and opened the spice drawer. To the water we added everything we could think of to make a distasteful, “poison” that would kill the monsters and send them away FOREVER. We added a little Tabasco sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, etc. Then we took the pan and placed it under her bed.
Skye still wanted me to stay in her room, though she was markedly less stressed. Just then, Emily called out for me. I told Skye I had to see what Emily wanted, but I’d be back. She let me go without following. When my brief conversation with Emily ended, I listened. No cries. I decided to try NOT going back into the room. Guess what? She went to sleep.
There is no guarantee that the monster poison will have a lasting effect. We’ll see tonight. Just thought you might want to add monster poison to your own “bag of tricks” – if it’s not already there.