I dread the evening routine at our house. Typically it involves brushing teeth and story time, and then lying in bed arguing with Taviri for hours. He is scared to be alone at night, so we usually stay with him until he falls asleep. This has been an easy enough thing in the past- there were days when he was asleep in ten or fifteen minutes, and we get up and go on with our day.
Lately, however, it's been a problem. He does not want to sleep. He is scared of the closet, of the imaginary monsters. Tonight he told Jaime that he "feels like something is there, and I'm just barely getting away!" Of course he has to freak me out thoroughly in the process of keeping me up. The weird thing is that I'm not sure what to do. He isn't arguing to stay up, or get something. Even if I were inclined to just "give in" and do what he wants, there isn't anything to do! I can tell him his room is safe, but he stopped trusting anything he couldn't verify with experiment at age 3. And honestly in a world where Michelle Bachmann is considered a viable political candidate it feels disingenuous to tell him there are no monsters.
This is a way in which having a sensible, matter of fact daughter cheers me up. Arkaedi is just as creative as he is-- her games are full of voices and characters and strange events. But she just deals with everything. There are, as she describes them, "monsters with no eyes" in her room. Cause for concern, sure. But nothing to miss a nap over. She is going to get to bed and cuddle her lemur, or pink Godzilla, and go to sleep. The monster will just have to accept that. Taviri is all histrionics. Arkaedi is business.
I never thought that one thing I would really wish for would be for the kids to go to bed on time. I've become my mother. Except... I kind of believe him when he talks about the monsters. But like Arkaedi, I want a good eight hours of sleep before I have to deal with them.