Can’t Never Cash

I’ve added some new decor to my kitchen counter. Resting next to our Days to Go and Days Done Jars is the new addition to our collection. This one is reserved for Can’t Never Cash.

Can't NeverThe Young One’s first grade teacher gave me the idea when my daughter came home from school after the first day.  Mrs. M had banned the word “easy” from her classroom, I learned. Her philosophy is that what is easy for one child is not necessarily easy for another and using that word during a classroom exercise might make a child believe herself to be less intelligent or athletic than her peers.

I like the idea. We should not set up our children, or our friends (in the case of the Young One and her classmates), for failure because of our own concept of what is challenging and what is not. It defeats them before they have even started.

Which is why I have declared a ban on the words, “Can’t” and “Never” in my home and around my child. I cringe every time I hear them coming from the Young One’s mouth. I have tried to instill in her the belief that she can do anything if she just sets her mind to it, and I have been successful. My daughter believes she can do anything…right up to the point where things get difficult, and then “Can’t” and “Never” creep in and steal all her confidence.

I am happy to say my daughter reads above her grade level, but the minute she sees a new word, she struggles with the letter combination, throws the book down and declares, “I’m never gonna be able to read!”

I long for her to practice independence, but when the loops on her shoes aren’t perfect or the zipper catches on her jacket or the picture she’s drawing doesn’t look like what she sees in her mind, she stomps her feet and cries, “I can’t do it,” with a desperation that breaks my heart.

Those words sound particularly grating when uttered by another adult in reference to my child’s ability and are decidedly evil when said directly to her. Recent examples include, “You can’t carry that bag. It’s too heavy.” “Football is for boys. You’ll never play that.”

“Can’t” and “Never” are absolutes.  They leave no room for possibility and are roadblocks to achievement. Once uttered, they make you stop. They make you question your abilities, and they make you doubt.

Their negativity goes against everything I try to teach my daughter. Just because a bag of canned goods is heavy today, doesn’t mean it will be heavy forever. Her arms will grow and her muscles will strengthen, but she won’t know how strong they have become if someone else’s “Can’t” makes her afraid to try.

I want my daughter to believe in herself even when the task gets hard. I want her to push away the obstacles with a mantra of, “I can do this!” I want her to ask for help when she needs it but not give in and have someone else do it for her. In hard situations, I want her to be able to look back on her past experiences and remember times when she overcame the odds. I want that memory of her achievement to power her through the rough patch.

So, today if you come to my house, and you dare to speak the words “Can’t” or “Never”, be prepared to pay the price. Just drop your spare change or your bills into the glass jar marked “Can’t $ Never $”.

There is a price to pay for negativity. I prefer that it be a few pennies in a jar for an accidental slip up instead of the robbing of the confidence from my child.

Link

Let Her Say No

Disney with the Young One last month was a much different experience than any of the three visits to sunny Orlando with the Older One.

carousel

While the Hubs claims to have enjoyed the carousel, I think he would have preferred the new Seven Dwarfs roller coaster!

There was no Splash Mountain, no Rockin’ Roller, and no Tower of Terror. Instead we met princesses, took jungle cruises and laughed when the Monsters Inc. crew made the Hubs dance on the Laugh Floor….all because I read this blog a month or so before we set foot in the Magic Kingdom.

Before you hit the state fair, read this (share it with the daddies too), and Let Her Say No.

Meeting Mrs. B.

I can’t believe it! I am the proud momma of a Kindergarten graduate!

The Young One did not have a formal graduation ceremony like she did when she said good-bye to preschool. Instead, she dressed up like a flower, said she wanted to be a basketball player and accepted a certificate of accomplishment from her very first elementary school teacher.

Mrs. B. holds the microphone as my little flower announces her life's dream of playing basketball.

Mrs. B. holds the microphone as my little flower announces her life’s dream of playing basketball.

I know that sounds like a strange way to advance to the next grade level, but that is essentially how it went down. We started the momentous evening with an entertaining production of “How Does Your Garden Grow”–a choreographed event which included all five Kindergarten classes and a select group of first graders. The boys dressed as vegetables. The girls were flowers, and a few rebels opted to portray weeds in this story of Farmer Herb and his overgrown garden.

My dear child had the misfortune of having an extremely stressed out mother with no clue how to craft a flower costume on less than two weeks notice. However, said momma was quite resourceful and turned to Etsy for emergency assistance. The Young One eagerly dressed all in green, wrapped the purchased (yet still handmade) felt arrangement around her face and called herself a flower. (I hid my head in shame as I saw the more elaborate costumes parade into the gymnasium.)

When the singing and dancing was over, all the performers, parents, grandparents and siblings crowded into the classroom for a celebration of the Kindergarten Class of 2014. We watched a slideshow, ate cookies and listened as each member of the class told us what they wanted to be when they grew up. The Young One, who blames me for not signing her up to play basketball, naturally proclaimed that to be her greatest desire in life. *sigh*

Next came the “diplomas” and a roundup of class accomplishments from the class’s teacher, Mrs. B., whom I have come to know as the soft-spoken yet fearless leader of the wild, willful and whiny children who have spent the past nine months as the Young One’s closest companions.

I first met Mrs. B. during Kindergarten orientation in August. She stood in front of the group of adults who were forced to teeter on miniature chairs and assured us that our children would survive that ominously looming first day of school.

She spoke softly about sight words and math facts and the manners that she would instill in our children. By June, she said, our over-active children would be able to sit quietly for extended periods of time, count to 100 and read a book from cover to cover.

None of us believed her.

How could this mild-mannered woman possibly manage to corral, let alone educate, 28 five- and six-year-olds? I envisioned a plethora of chaos and anxiety in this poor woman’s future.

Yet, the night before this spectacular end-of-year celebration, the Young One announced that instead of me reading her a bedtime story, she was going to read me one…, and she did. I held the book while she used a little pointer finger as a guide. She paused a few times to sound out a new word, but in the end, she did it! My little girl read me the story of how Biscuit, the little yellow dog, won a prize at the pet show.

It was the best story I’ve ever heard.

I’m glad to have made Mrs. B.’s acquaintance. She has had a profound influence on my daughter’s life, and, I believe, instilled a love of learning in my daughter and her 27 classmates.

Thank you, Mrs. B! We’re off to first grade. We will miss you, but we’ll never forget you!

Who was your most influential teacher?

Advice to a Teenaged Me

The radio is normally my companion in the car. On the way home from work, I usually catch up on the day’s news with 45 minutes of CNN and Wolfe Blitzer in the Situation Room.

If I’m just driving from errand to errand on the weekends, I’ll switch to the iPod and jam to Katy Perry, Pink or Adele. I need a regular dose of girl power anthems.

This morning, like most mornings, I tuned into my favorite local radio station to catch the end of the morning show. It’s usual mindless babble quite frequently evokes a chuckle on the way to work and helps clear the fog that my first cup of coffee didn’t quite get.

Today, the DJ asked listeners to call in and tell the world…okay, maybe just the city and surrounding areas…what advice they would give if they could go back in time to their high school years and have a heart-to-heart with their teenaged selves.

I had just pulled into my parking spot when the first callers starting commenting, so unfortunately I missed most of the sage words of the now-wizened. I couldn’t get the question out of my head, though, and as I walked toward the building, I pondered what I would actually tell the quiet, freckle-faced, curly haired red-headed me.

Buy the Shoes!

I buy shoes of all kinds, even cute little shoe-themed note pads!

Within two steps, I knew without a doubt what I would tell her.

“BUY THE SHOES!”

Does that sound superficial? Yes, I suppose it does, but the fact remains that’s the best thing I could say to my young self–the girl trying to find herself, the one trying to discover who she is and where she fits in.

When I look back over the decades since I graduated from high school, I know exactly when I found my confidence. Odd as it may seem, it was in a hospital room shortly following my IBD diagnosis. This was well before the internet, satellite TV and an endless selection of iPad apps. I had nothing to do to occupy my time until my mom showed up with a stack of magazines.

On the top, in all its glossy glory, was the latest issue of Glamour. I flipped through the pages, turned back to the beginning and read it cover-to-cover again. I’m pretty sure I mailed in the subscription coupon on my way home after being discharged.

The pictures and articles inside made me happy at a time when I desperately needed something to evoke a smile. A life-changing diagnosis tends to make little things like that seem huge.

When I felt up to it, I went in search of some new shoes…a new sweater…a new skirt…and I was happy. Pretty soon I was walking taller in my new shoes, and happy was turning into confident. I spoke up more. I took more chances, and I started to define myself as a strong woman with a vision.

So, yes, if I could travel back in time to my high school years, I would stop that girl in the hall, take her by the shoulders, and tell her, “Buy the shoes.” It’s a version of what I’ve told my son as I’ve tried to counsel him through hard decisions, and I’ll tell my daughter the same thing when life inevitably gets in her way too.

“If it makes you happy,” I’d say, “buy the shoes…change your path…take a risk. Life is too short and will have too many rough patches to be stuck doing the things that meet someone else’s goals. Do the things that make you happy. Do the things that make you glow and smile and sparkle like the brilliant jewel you are. Do the things that make you YOU!”

Buy the shoes!

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2**Today’s post is the first in a series of assignments for WordPress Daily Post’s Blogging University June course, Writing 101:Building a Blogging Habit.

Highly Recommended Reads

Adoption

That’s me and the Young One just a few days into this Parenting-A-Girl thing.

On the anniversary of the day I met my daughter, I thought I would celebrate with a trip down memory lane (which I did earlier today with my Five Minute Friday/Flashback Friday combo post) and a roundup of things I want her to know…written by people who have said it better than I could hope.

For My Daughter on Her 4th Birthday – I could have written most of this post to my own daughter. I need to remember she is not just a short person, she is a kid. But at the same time, I need to remember she is a kid who is trying to be her own person.

The Bully Too Close to Home – This one has really been on my mind since I read it a few days ago. If you have ever snapped at or said harsh words to your children, you must read this. I think your kids will thank you for it.

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated – The Young One swears she is never getting married. I suspect that is a phase she will eventually grow out of especially when she finally learns boys don’t really have cooties (at least the good ones don’t). I’ll save this post for her and pull it out when she starts dating.

I hope you enjoy these Highly Recommended Reads and learn as much from them as I have. Now, it’s your turn. Leave me a comment with your own recommended lists.

A Fight for One Last

We have less than two days left.

Actually, it’s more like 42 hours.

Christmas morning quality time.

Christmas morning quality time.

But if you subtract out the girlfriend time, sleeping time and time for personal hygiene , it’s really only about 12 hours.

Twelve short hours left to spend with the Older One before he boards an airplane bound for the snowy north and the granite walls of the US Military Academy at West Point.

His clothes are clean and ready to be packed neatly in his plain black duffel bag. He’s visited with friends, exchanged gifts with family and enjoyed New Year’s Eve with his girl.

Now all that’s left for this momma is 12 hours…give or take.

And so, I start the fight. It won’t be a screaming, yelling, fist-throwing kind of fight, but more of a fight for more, more, more and a handful of one lasts.

The fight for one more game of hide and seek with his sister and one last meal cooked with love. Just one more conversation and another memory to hold on to for the next three months. One more workout with his dad. Another joke and a laugh. Even one last request for motherly advise.

I’ll fight for another stolen hug and an unaware smile.  I’ll fight for that last perfect ending to an all too short 15-day visit…even though it is the longest we’ve had for a while.

Last night, the Young One, whose big brother hero let her claim victory in a Nerf blaster war earlier that day, lost her fight against the tears. She cried herself to sleep wishing he didn’t have to go away again, and as I held her close for comfort, I lost my fight too.

Save travels, Sweet Boy. Come home again soon!

Five Minute Friday***This post is brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “Fight”.

Calling All Superheroes

As the Hubs and I were standing at the base of Adoption Paperwork Mountain, we were posed a fairly simple question.

“What is the gender of the child who is meant to be yours?”

My princess two Halloweens ago.

My princess two Halloweens ago.

Unlike biological parents, we were granted the choice of son or daughter. The Hubs, ever the football coach, dreamed of another boy who would call him out of youth football coaching retirement.

I, on the other hand, dreamed of bows and ribbons and sparkly things such as I could only pine for as I waded through endless department store racks of baby girl dresses in search of the lonely shelves in the back of the store reserved for the corduroy and tweed of boy’s wear. I wanted someone to play dress up with and little pink polished fingers into which I could pass my beloved dollhouse.

After a relatively brief discussion, we settled on forever being parents to only one of each. We already had our boy, so I eagerly checked the box next to “Female,” and eighteen months later I embraced my daughter for the very first time.

Since then, she has had flashes of extreme girliness–the summer she refused to wear anything but sundresses to pre-school, the Halloween she chose Belle as her princess of choice, and that first glorious post-adoption year when she protested loudly if I dared to dress her without her beloved shoes. Yes! Shoes!

Recently, however, we are both beginning to see what her future holds, and much to the sorrow of my stiletto-loving heart, it does not include beauty pageants and dance classes. For as much as she enjoys and excels at her gymnastics lessons, the desire she most frequently expresses is, “When will Daddy sign me up for football?”

My hero!

My hero!

When awarded for good behavior with a selection from the classroom prize chest, she passes over the shiny purple rings in favor of plastic green Army men. Halloween saw the demise of the princess and the rise of the Pink Power Ranger complete with boots and laser gun.

She now confidently answers that age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with, “I want to be a police cop! I want a taser and suction cups!” (Through a series of entertaining charades, I soon realized what she wants more than suction cups to restrain her villains is a shiny set of hand cuffs.)

Now, on a nightly basis, I hear chorus after chorus of, “I wanna be a boy!”

I tell myself this is just another phase of childhood when I gently ask, “Why do you want to be a boy?”

“Because,” she declares with a stamp of her foot, “boys can run and play football and chase bad buys, and girls can’t!”

What?

WHAT!

Who told my baby she couldn’t run just as fast as a boy? Who said she can’t play football if she wants? Who dared  tell my child she can’t be a bad ass if that is who she wants to be?

Certainly not me.

Kid-inspired homemade spy gadgets.

Kid-inspired homemade spy gadgets.

While I diligently apply my gel nails bi-weekly and stock my closet with the latest pointy-toed fashion, I know she may not grow up to have the same interests. But I walk tall in my stilettos and stand confident in my surroundings, and that is most definitely how I want my daughter to see herself. If her idea of strong and confident is a gun on her hip and cleats on her feet, I’ll do anything in my power to help her achieve those dreams.

Society (ie. Nickelodeon, Disney, Toys R Us and Amazon.com) does not seem to be quite as encouraging. My daughter needs a hero–a girl hero with brains, brawn and probably a weapon or a super secret special power. Somebody give me a female icon for my child to emulate.

I’ve walked toy store miles in my quest for positive female role models who don’t wear party dresses and drive pink convertibles. I have flashbacks to my previous department store disappointments with my son as I scan the action figure row hoping to spy Wonder Woman or GI Jane.

The Pink Power Ranger as body guard to the Disney Princesses!

The Pink Power Ranger as body guard to the Disney Princesses!

My successes have been few–a pink Power Ranger action figure to complement her Halloween costume and the Spy Kids movies featuring a girl and her vast array of cool spy gadgets. Meager though they are, these gifts have brought a sparkle to her eye and a spark of fantasy to her game-play. I have also been impressed to see the new line of girl-themed Nerf blasters on the shelves this holiday season, and I can’t wait to see the Young One’s face when she unwraps her very own plastic cross bow in a few weeks.

This search for the perfect hero for my daughter recently led me to ask her if she could watch a movie or a TV show or read a book about a girl, what would it be about.

“She’ll be a superhero,” she tells me with a gleam in her eye and a smile on her lips. “She’ll wear a cape and fly and make fire, and she’ll beat the bad guys!”

“Oh, yeah,” I say, smiling along and taking notes. “And what will her name be?”

“That’s easy, ” she says. “It’s the same as mine.”

She’s right. She will be the superhero–one to whom I will gladly have defend my dollhouse, my real house and the future of the free world.  Now all I have to do is make sure she believes it as much as I do.

Help me find a super hero for my daughter. What are your favorite girl-power books, movies and toys?

Kindergarten Here We Come

I can hear her little sing-song voice all through the house…

“Kindergarten here we come,
and we will have lots of fun.
Reading, writing, numbers too.
Kindergarten, we love you!”

graduation

Last year’s dress rehearsal for this year’s graduate.

I stop listening at “Kindergarten here we come.” The rest of the song is lost as my internal Momma voice screams “Noooo! Not my baby!”

The Young One is rehearsing for pre-school graduation. Actually, she has been practicing for over a year because technically she graduated last year when she was five. The Hubs and I, however, made the decision to wait…to *gasp* “hold her back”. We put off the inevitable, and now as a six-year-old, she will walk the commencement exercises of the Kids Academy Pre-K Class of 2013.

We thought one more year would better prepare her…another year to mature…another year to grow…another year for Momma to keep her baby close.

Some well-meaning friends warn us she’ll be bored in Kindergarten, and kids who are bored in school find ways to get into trouble. Others praise us for offering her a better chance to succeed as the oldest child in the class, and still other more sports-minded acquaintances pat the Hubs on the back and congratulate him on red-shirting his daughter in preparation for a bright athletic future.

The Older One's first day of Kindergarten. He's the little one on the far left. What was I thinking?

The Older One’s first day of Kindergarten. He’s the little one on the far left. What was I thinking?

With the Older One, we never considered not starting him in Kindergarten at five-years-old, even though with his early August birthday, we would have been more than justified. We were younger then, less financially secure, and weekly daycare expenses were a strain to the budget. We were ready to move to the next phase of child-rearing, and away he went. Just a week after that milestone birthday, I packed his lunch, helped him load his backpack, and put him on a bus to spend the day with strangers.

Flash forward 14 years, and I’m dreading August when I will send my daughter into that fanciful Kindergarten she sings about. What if she’s not smart enough? What if she can’t make friends? What if the teacher doesn’t like her…or me! What if I fail in my fashion sense and send her to school in last year’s early elementary school trends? What if her hair isn’t right? What if her shoes aren’t tied? What if she comes to the conclusion that the words in that song are all lies?

I’m either smarter or more paranoid than I was the last time, or maybe times have changed. Stranger danger is more ominous. Violence in schools is making headlines that have me wanting to hold onto both of my kids forever. Plus the Young One is a girl, and everyone knows they are just plain mean to each other in a way boys aren’t. Even though I’ve been here before, this is brand new territory.

Then again, maybe 19 years of parenting have altered the way I remember the prior Kindergarten experience. I love the Older One just as much as the Young One, and my fear for their well-being is equally strong. So I imagine I was most likely just as anxious last time as I am this time. I’m sending my beloved child into the big, bad world.

I suppose she’ll survive the trauma. The last kid did, and now he’s at the US Military Academy at West Point making friends and scoring A’s in physics and statistics and foreign languages I didn’t know existed back when he marched from pre-K to K. He is a Division I athlete and will one day soon be a leader in the greatest Army on the planet. I guess Kindergarten at five didn’t hurt him too much.

I think I’m going to start singing another song…

“Kindergarten here we come.
I hope you think it’s so much fun.
Momma’s crying, worrying too
Because she loves and cherishes you!”

If you’ve done the Kindergarten thing already, what are your best/worst memories? If you haven’t, what are you worried about? What are your thoughts on holding kids out of Kindergarten?

five-minute-friday***I started this post in response to today’s Five Minute Friday prompt, “song”, but after I got started, I found I had more to say than could be written in five minutes flat. So, I broke the first rule and wrote for more than my allotted five minutes, but it was worth it. If you think you can get it all out in a measly five minutes, join us at Lisa-Jo Baker’s site every Friday where a great group of bloggers say a lot in just a few minutes.

Splendid Saturday Solitude

Most mornings, the blaring of the alarm is met with resignation. I drag myself from dreamland, glare at the numbers showing the time and remind myself that ignoring the insistent noise from the clock is not an option. I have to wake up. I have to get out of my warm, cozy bed. I have to get ready for work, and I have to do things for other people.

Even though that alarm fills me with despair during the work-week, I still find myself re-setting it Friday night. I usually stay up a little later on that eve before the weekend, catching the end of “Bride Day” on TLC, chatting with the Hubs or Facebooking with my favorite group of West Point moms. But before I turn out the light and call it a day, I reach over, adjust the time on the clock and set the alarm for 7:00 a.m.

This time, when the alarm sounds, I jump up, quickly turn off the sound so as not to wake the sleeping hubby, and smile with anticipation.

It’s Saturday!

Once upon a time, I met the dawning of Saturday with a similar delight. Back then I was about five, and upon leaving my bed, I would excitedly race to the television and eagerly tune into Saturday morning cartoons–The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show, Scooby Doo and Schoolhouse Rock were my favorites.

Today when I rise early to start my weekend, I head straight to the Keurig for my coffee-on-demand–Butter Toffee, Caramel Vanilla Creme  and Cinnamon Pastry somehow give me a bigger rush than 1970s animation. Instead of heading to the television, I take my steaming caffeine and stroll to the back deck where I heave a contented sigh and gaze across the backyard.

Backyard

My view. On the really good days, the neighborhood deer come out to say, “Good morning.”

A fine layer of mist fills the air, dew coats the ground, and it is silent. I am alone–a state I find myself in only once a week. The Young One is still asleep. The Hubs, if he was disturbed by my early alarm, has returned to his Saturday slumber, and the MIL has yet to venture out for her own cup of coffee.

Experience has taught me that I have an hour before I must relinquish my wants to see to the needs of others. By 8:00 a.m., the Young One will seek me out for a bowl of cereal, the Hubs will demand my attention to plan out the weekend errands and activities, and the MIL will call for the canine to accompany her to the curb in the daily quest for the newspaper.

Deck chair

My chair. Perfect for relaxing with coffee and a book.

But for now, I have 60 minutes of solitude. I will relax in a padded rocker damp with the mist of morning fog, sip my Butter Toffee java laced with just the right amount of Italian Sweet Creme Coffee-Mate, and immerse myself in a book I’ve been struggling to find time to read all week. If I’m lucky, I will raise my eyes at just the right time to watch a family of deer emerge from the woods and take their breakfast at the tree line near the far end of the yard.

I won’t think about work. I won’t menu plan or write a grocery list. I won’t check email or log onto Facebook. I won’t cook or clean. If my relaxation and enjoyment are not the first things accomplished by a task, I don’t intend to do it for at least 3,600 seconds.

I set my alarm for an early rising on Saturday not because I have so many things to do in my day, but because I need to do nothing. I need a few minutes when I am not a mom or a wife or a friend. I am just me, doing things that make me happy. And because of this hour for me, I can return to being caregiver, spouse and adviser and do those jobs with increased enthusiasm and purpose. I love those roles and wouldn’t trade them for all the sunny summer mornings for the rest of time…as long as I have one hour once a week.

This is my time. My Saturday Morning. Silent. Solitary. Splendid.

How do you find your solitude?

Stiletto Momma

Who’s Afraid of the Dark?

When I heard the first whisper, my eyelids fluttered open to reveal nothing but darkness. They quickly fell closed only to pop open seconds later when I heard the second more highly pitched whisper. The words were garbled, but the desperation was distinct. Again, seeing nothing but darkness I dared a glance at my bedside clock–3:52 a.m.

I was wide wake now, and at the third eery whisper from the shadows, my thoughts went immediately to the trailer for the movie The Devil Inside that played during every commercial break for Teen Mom 2 last night. A chill raced straight up my spine.

I was just about to kick The Hubs awake for replaying those exorcism commercials over and over instead of letting me watch the mindless pleasure of teenage pregnancy, when I heard it clearly.  The tiny, ghostly whisper, “Mommy?”

It took me only seconds to discard the theory that my youngest child was possessed by a demon and remember the events that preceded last night’s viewing of Teen Mom. The Young One, it appears, is afraid of the dark. Only after repeated promises to leave the hall light on was I allowed to leave her room following the gruelingly long bedtime ritual. As I departed, I uttered the fateful words, “If you get scared in the night, you come find me.” Apparently, she had. I just couldn’t see her.

The Young One

The Young One pretending her doggy is a dragon.

After groping in the darkness for several more seconds, I finally made contact with the fleece of her blanket sleeper, and we made our way back to her room. A re-start of her Baby Einstein lullaby CD, and all was right with the world again.

With a clearer head this afternoon, I Googled “overcoming children’s fear of the dark”, and found several useful parenting articles, all with the same words of wisdom. For instance, you should not let your youngsters watch scary depictions on television before bed.

I learned this one years ago. When the Older One was four and came running into our room screaming about blood dripping on his walls, I knew immediately it was because his father let him watch The Shining the afternoon before!

I did, however, learn something new in my cyber research.  Apparently, children who are prone to a fear of darkness also happen to have over-active imaginations. In the toddler and pre-school years, these children, do not have to ability to separate fact from fiction. When the lights go off, they have no more distractions, and their imaginations take full reign. Makes sense.

Except, my child doesn’t have an “over-active” imagination. She plays pretend like I did at her age. She plays house, Barbies, school…nothing extreme.  That could not be the source of her fear.

Then I actually listened to her as we went about our evening activities. We went to the basement to bring up boxes for Christmas decorations, and as I opened the door and started down the steps, I heard, “This is a deep, dark, cave where the witch lives.  Shhhhhh!”

Coming back up the stairs…”We’re astronaughts blasting off to the moon!”

When I probed for what she might be afraid of in her room…”He’s round and green and has ears on his legs and he’s gonna steal my Christmas presents!”

Whoa!! Girlfriend’s got an overdose of the imagination gene! No wonder she can’t sleep at night!

Now, armed with a newfound knowledge of how to turn on her bedside lamp and a neon pink glow stick bracelet, she is fast asleep. I also put away that copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that I found lying beside her bed.

I’m hoping for a peaceful night’s sleep too…as long as I can get the twisty exorcism lady out of my head.

Sweet Dreams,

Stiletto Momma