Children are the most fascinating of all of the human species. Their imaginations are boundless, and we all love watching them learn each and every new thing that comes their way. However, these imaginations can run wild in a not so great direction. This is seen most evidently at bedtime…
For me it was the ferocious tiger that lived under the bed and the moose that lived in the closet, just waiting for my parents to leave me alone to be attacked. I was sure as sure could be that these animals would maul me in my sleep or swipe from under the bed when I needed to take a restroom break in the middle of the night. Once my parents became privy of my antics, such as leaping from the hallway to the bed and the bed to the hallway in order to relieve myself, they came up with a few things that really made my life and my imagination easier.
First they installed a flypaper trap underneath the bed. It sounds silly. How in the world would fly paper keep a ferocious tiger hell bent on ripping me to shreds at bay?! Simple… It’s all in the marketing. My parents explained to me that this was no ordinary fly paper. It was industrial strength TIGER PAPER! It was explained to me that there was no way any ferocious tiger could come unglued from this awesome new invention! I no longer feared being swiped and ripped to shreds by that horrible tiger during a late night restroom run.
Unfortunately, that still left the moose in the closet… Why a moose? Probably because my step-father was obsessed with moose and had photos, stuffed animals, and anything moose related around the apartment. To him they were lovable arctic creatures. To me they were gigantic mauling killing machines out for blood! Oh how the five year old mind works in such ways. This is where “Moose-Away” spray came in!
Moose-Away spray was a not so cleverly disguised can of air freshener. They took a simple can of Lysol and covered the outside with construction paper. I believe the magic marker of stars and a melting moose is what did the trick. A quick spray of Moose-Away in the closet every evening after storytime and I was safe. Safe from all of the horrors that haunted me in the darkness of bedtime.
When it comes to dealing with your own childs night time fears, don’t just dismiss them. Find unique and inventive ways to ease their imaginations. Never forget that at young ages, a childs imagination is a childs reality, and sometimes that reality can be heart-stoppingly scary. Combat imagination with imagination, and beat the childhood imagination game with your own!