My Bag of TricksJanuary 26, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 20 Comments
Tags: Anxiety, Children, Creativity, Fear, Growing Up, Imagination, Kids, Magic, Motherhood, Parenting
We’re running scared over here. All of a sudden, things are scary. Everything.
The wall. The washing machine. The toilet that inexplicably whistles. The curtains. The closet. The sandbox where we’ve logged hours and hours building and demolishing. Scary. All of it.
I’m not sure what to make of it. So far, neither Lollipop nor Giggles has been able to articulate exactly what is scary, save some vague mention of noises and spiders, along with some hand-waving and brow-furrowing.
But every day. And every night. And in the middle of the night. “I’m scaaaaaaaarrrrrred!” Or “Come wiiiiiiiiiiith meeeeeee!” Or “Don’t leeeeeeeaaaaaave meeeeeee!”
I know the key is acknowledging, not dismissing, their fears. I know they want to hear that how they feel is okay. But surely they can put your own pajamas on in a room where three lights are glowing brightly and they can see Daddy just a few feet away in the bathroom. Surely?
“I’m scaaaaaaarrrrred!” Apparently not.
So for sanity and sleep, I’ve had to resort to smoke and mirrors. Sleight of hand. Trickery.
First, there’s the Scary Fairy. She senses a child’s fear and swoops in at any time of the night to shoo away the scaries. Shhhhhhhh! Did you hear that? That was her. The Scary Fairy. She was just here. And the thing that was scaring you? Gone. You heard her, right? I thought so.
Then, there’s Liquid Magic. A bottle of
water mysterious clear stuff that is specially formulated for the one who possesses it. Lollipop Magic works only for Lollipop. Giggles Magic works only for Giggles. Shake that bottle of Liquid Magic and noises, shadows, spiders, monsters, giant attacking butterflies, or whatever else has a tiny person’s big imagination in a tizzy will disappear. Poof!
And when all else fails, there’s Daddy Magic and Mommy Magic. The trump card, if you will. Nothing scary can prevail over this kind of magic. Nothing. Spiders? Nope. Monsters? Nope. Attacking butterflies? Nope. Even in the middle of the night? Especially in the middle of the night.
I can’t say that Lollipop and Giggles are 100 percent convinced of this magic. There’s still a lot of gesturing and pleading and earnest discussion of nonspecific impending doom. But they’re sort of buying it. They’re almost persuaded. At the very least, they’re convinced enough to let Mommy sleep at 2:37 a.m. and 4:16 a.m. and 5:23 a.m.
And to me? That’s magical.
Do you deceive your children for their own good? How do you handle fears your children can’t articulate? And does the Scary Fairy come to your house?