Anytime there is a behavior change in one of our children, I like to get to the bottom of it. I need to know why things have changed because I have to believe that I will then be able to reverse or resolve it with my intellect, wit and persuasive powers. I hold this illusion very close to my heart and, if it is somehow destroyed, I fear that I will be forced to wander the aisles of Barnes and Noble for all eternity reading Parenting for Dummies. So, when Zeca's bedtime hysteria started, I searched for possible causes. At first, I blamed the Mistress of the Flans and her girlfriend*. Zeca had spent the night with them and they had invited her into their bed for the night. I was convinced that this had destroyed Zeca's ability to sleep by herself and was so certain of this that I called them up and accused them of coddling our daughter and sentencing us to a life of sleeplessness and despair...all in good fun, of course. But as one night stretched to two and then to three, I had to accept that the lone night of co-sleeping could not be the cause of the problem. We then agonized over the details of our lives looking for any change, any book, any developmental milestone that could be causing the nocturnal freak outs. We couldn't come up with a single thing and resigned ourselves to our collective suffering. Then, five days in, there occurred a miracle and, lo, there was a revelation. Through snotty sobbing, Zeca clutched at our legs as we tried to leave her room and choked out..."I'm afraid of ants!" Really? Ants? We haven't even seen any ants around these parts yet, so, I figured that she was just making shit up. You shake your head at my cynicism but I am the proud parents of TWO storytellers who have honed their craft at an early age. I said something very reassuring like, "Ants? You've got to be kidding me." She then poured out her heart and explained in detail that she was afraid that ants would get into her room and into her bed and that they would crawl on her. After that, I was a little freaked out myself, so, we got out the Ant Spray which is sold at Target under another name (Suave Detangling Spray). We sprayed around the edges of her room and she smiled and drifted peacefully off to sleep. The next night, she mentioned that she was also afraid of mice. No problem. The Ant Spray conveniently repels mice as well. A few sprays and she smiled again and went to sleep without protest. Last night, she mentioned that she was also afraid of bees. I reassured her that the Ant and Mice Spray would work on them too. I sprayed the room and left the spray on her dresser "just in case". She snuggled into her covers and fell asleep within minutes. That spray is awesome.
Should you be faced with Myrmecophobia, Musophobia or Apiphobia, you now know what to do...pick up a bottle of Suave Detangling Spray. You don't have to spend a fortune on your phobia repellent but Suave makes you look as if you do.
*She has requested a special name and I am working on it. The name has to be extra special because she is extra special. How am I doing Susan?