As a grown up, there are plenty of things I am afraid of. Scary drivers on the freeway frighten me. I don't like the idea of terrorists. The nightly news' recounting of home invasions scare me to death. Reports of North Korea's crazy leader make me shiver. Adults have lots of "monsters" to contend with. But when you are very little, it is the unknown that is scary. The unexplored where there are monsters lurking.
I don't remember when or where Gracie and Luke first learned the word "monster." It seems like they have been saying it for months. Lukie's favorite thing to do is growl like a monster and holdup his hands like claws. Gracie will scream (playfully) and run away. They've both watched Monster's Inc. about 150 times as of today and they love it completely. They talk about Mike, Sully and Boo all the time. When we talk about Randall, the villain, I always describe him as mean. Randall is a mean monster. Mike and Sully are nice monsters. (Wait, can you be a nice monster?) Gracie and Luke have been fine with monsters so far, but recently, nighttime and monsters seem to have taken on a whole new meaning.
I first realized things were changing when Luke started balking at bath time. Lukie loves water and he loves splashing. He started crying and running from us to keep from getting into the bath. At first, I thought it was just his attempt to avoid bedtime. But when it escalated into being afraid of book time too, I realized it had to be something bigger.
The other night, after we got them jammied up and we were cuddling in Mommy and Daddy's bed, Lukie said to us, "Momma, make the monsters go away. Go away, monsters!"
I stared at my son as if he had grown another head. Monsters? Where had that come from? I asked Lukie where the monsters were and he pointed at my half opened, dark closet. Then, everything started to click. We put their jammies on in our bedroom every night. Every night, my closet is hanging open. Every night, he has been balking at bath time and jammies.
My jog? Rid the closet of any monsters. So, I borrowed Lukies "flylight" (flashlight) and went monster hunting in the closet. I made a big show of calling for them to come out and saying, "Go away Monsters! Go play somewhere else!" It took about 5 minutes before Lukie started to look relaxed.
When I was done, I slid the huge closet door shut. "They're all gone, Lukie. No more monsters." As I reached the bed, Lukie launched himself at me.
"Thank you, Momma!" he said and gave me a very wet, slurpy kiss.
Hey, kid, anytime! And keep those kisses coming.