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July 13, 2007 / allyo

It’s just a shadow

We’ve been talking a lot about scary things these days. Jamie’s imagination has taken on a life of its own, to the point that we can’t watch Little Einsteins at bedtime any more because the wee little moments of suspense are just too scary. That’s easily fixed, we’ve just switched to Wonder Pets. There’s one episode that has a baby kangaroo that’s lost it’s mama, but since each epi is divided into two vingnettes, by the time the Pets actualy embark upon their mission you’ve got about 7 minutes left for the actual “saving.” And the one we watched last night had a baby swan that needed to learn how to dance his “own way,” and a puppy who had to go “pee pee.” Easily resolved, low stress.

Most of Jamie’s other fears are passing or easily addressed. The first time he saw a worm he squealed and jumped about a foot backwards – hilarious considering a six-foot snake lives in our basement – but now will hold one in his hand and has to be constantly cautioned to not get too affectionate and squish the poor bastard.

Recently we had a conversation about the thing that really scares him – the shadows on his wall. Most of the times he’s woken up scared, I’ve gone into his room to find him facing the wall, screaming his head off. I always wondered if it was the shadows that scared him, especially his own, but I’ve never been able to get it out of him. Finally earlier this week he was drifting off to sleep, rolled toward the wall, and squeaked. He rolled back toward me and said, “Hold me mommy! The wall scared me.” So we talked about shadows and how the wall wasn’t going to hurt him and ever since we’ve been doing bunny ears and birds on the wall after we turn the lights out. As he’s falling asleep, he’ll say over and over, “It’s just a shadow,” and “It’s not TOO scary.”

I was googling for shadow puppet projects this morning, when I found this. I had this book as a child and was trying to remember the somewhat complicated configurations. We’ll definitely try some of these out tonight. This weekend I think we’ll put some of these very simple shadow puppets together. And maybe, just maybe, we can start working towards him falling asleep on his own again…


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  1. Gloria / Jul 18 2007 4:51 pm

    Hi! I found your blog through Dawn’s blog. I’ve been going through this same thing with my 3-year-old. I thought we had the sleep thing handled. Then casual fears about monsters (in the backyard) came up; I developed “monster spray”, and all was good. Now, though, his imagination is through the roof, and the fears are way more than simple monster spray can take care of. Every shadow, every dark lump (say, yesterday’s balled-up pajamas) is a monster. We’ve resorted to letting him sleep with the light on – my husband’s choice, not mine. Last night I snuck into his room after he fell asleep and turned the light off. Big mistake! I was woken up about 30 minutes after I feel asleep by a little boy screaming like something was chewing his head off. At that point the only way to talk him down was to let him sleep in our bed. Needless to say, I am chugging the caffeinated beverages today! Between him and my nursing baby, I don’t think I got more than 20 minutes of continuous sleep last night!

    Good luck getting Jamie to fall asleep on his own again – I’ll be reading your blog to see if you have any good tips to share! 🙂

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