Friday, December 19, 2008


Our plasterer is coming tomorrow morning! To fix the holes in the ceiling in the LGBB's new and improved* bedroom. They are gaping holes, some of them look straight up the to the roof past the ceiling and most range from large nail to tennis ball size, the largest is about the size of a side plate. So, it's not surprising and quite understandable that they have been unnerving for the LGBB.

These are the holes through which, she has adamantly been telling me and Steve, she has been seeing little people. "The little people catch the train in there" and "the little man" - what little man, we ask patiently - "the little man who lives in the roof comes out there". It's obvious that the shift in energy created by the changes in her room has manifested itself into sleep time boogey monsters. We've done a lot of work with visualisations for her and for the most part, they've worked.

However, as any typical toddler would be expected to do, it's begun to be seen as a stalling technique and we very swiftly noticed the shift from whites-of-the-eyes terrified cries to the more cheeky "let me look around the room and see what I can say to stall them" tactic. Our hard work has paid off and just in the latter part of this week, we now have a little girl who is loving and wanting to stay and play in her room. But it's taken some time and patience. And lots of draping of walls and her bed and her belongings with "safe colours" and shapes and so forth, all nominated by her.

Some time earlier this week, consulting each other in the kitchen and keeping up to date with our latest Parental Tag Teaming Tactical Maneouvers, I let Steve know I had told her - about as flippantly as mentioning it over my shoulder on the way out - that "if you need pink curtains put across those holes over there, you can do it yourself" (meaning, imaginary curtains, not literal ones). Days earlier, Steve had begun to be skeptical and was growing frustrated with my methods, which had been taken and run with by the LGBB. We agreed then that what we had to start doing was empowering her to protect herself now. That it was no longer a stalling tactic she could continue to use, but that if it did indeed help her feel like she was safe from the little people commuting through her room, apparently, then she needed to learn how to whip out a (I dunno) purple triangle from her bag of tricks in her mind and bang it up across her door herself.

It worked.

We just had to get rid of the scarecrow first. Whah? I hear you ask. Yes, that's right. The scarecrow. It had all started with the scarecrow who apparently had also taken up residence in her bedroom. On the third day in her "new" bedroom, Lolly had screamed out (she hadn't even made it to drifting off) and through the most gutteral cries I've ever heard her do, she managed eventually to tell me there had been a scarecrow coming for her across the floor. Holy fuck, I know that would freak me out, if I was a kid and thought that's what I'd seen. I was faced for the first time, then, during this relatively new gig of mine (that of parent) to confront the sorts of terrors I had had as a kid - awake, mind you - when I saw figures standing either side of my door (I had a door in the centre of my wall, a sliding door, and Lolly's room has the same thing: a central door... I made Steve and my brother take it off its hinges so now she just has a doorway and has full view to the play room). Those were the sorts of things that grew in my mind, my imagination, my whatever, rather than dissipated, because I didn't have anybody authoritative or stable enough to help me rid them.

I was damned if I was going to allow the beginning of these visions to manifest and grow, unabated. They don't stop if you simply tell your kid they're not there. Depending on what they're seeing, that is.

So here we had this scarecrow issewe. Do you think I think there really was one? Hell, no! But do you think I told her there was never one there and she didn't see it? No WAY. So at the time, I was truthful with her whilst never once denying her what she saw (or thought she saw, it's irrelevant which is correct because that's like telling another person their truth is not correct). I thought on my feet and assured her I couldn't see anybody in her room. She sat in her cot, white as her sheets, as I checked every corner. That was the day I decided to try colour protection visualisation with her. What did I have to lose?

Over the days, on and on and on she went about this scarecrow. I grew annoyed. Steve grew annoyed. And then, thank GOD for the Guardian Friend on the phone, who told me it was okay for me to "take mummy charge". Oh yeah.... I'd forgotten I also had that in my toolkit! So when Steve got home that night, I asked him to assure the LGBB he would "take care of" the scarecrow. He came back after the story-reading, bedding down for the night routine and told me that the LGBB had been most pleased with this arrangement. That night was the first time she went down without any tears in about a week and it was a relief.

Of course, then all I heard for the next several days was how "No more scarecrow, scarecrow's gorn, Daddy took him". Mind you, all this naming of the "thing" as "the scarecrow" came from her little mouth and imagination/mind, not mine. She comes out with things like this so often and we look at each other, Steve and I, and say "How in the hell...." for we just don't know where she gets the reference for some of this stuff. She hasn't seen The Wizard of Oz (the scarecrow in which she adores, anyway) since October. She can't remember what she had for lunch yesterday, so I'm dubious about the correlation, but it's the only "scarecrow" I thought she knew.

Anywho, scarecrows and colours and big girl rooms aside..... THE PLASTERER'S COMING, THE PLASTERER'S COMING!!!!!!! Do you know what this means, Internet?! My kitchen is getting finished before Christmas!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas to me.

* Read: made larger with the removal of the two ensuite walls, but now too big and scary for her so we've heard countless terrified wails as she has been trying to get to sleep, so many that we've resorted to putting her furniture back along where the now non-existent wall is... which kinda defeats the purpose of making her a lovely spacious room. Sigh.

‡ I have to say here that, since a baby, Lolly has really truly loved going to bed - even as she grows older and there have been protests, wails, thrashing and kicking, as soon as she gets to her room she gives over and knows she's going to bed... she loves her sleep, thank heavens, and except when unwell does not fuss about bedtime and never cries about it so it had come as a shock to us that suddenly, she was so unsettled..

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