“Well, of course he did!”
– Like there was ever any question, or anything else to do but!
Those of you who have some idea of what my family and I are going through right now will understand the title.
Furthermore, you will understand what I mean when I tell you that Papa eats the really big ones, Little Bug eats the little baby ones, and Mama sends the rest back to their planet.
The monsters get on their spaceship and go back to their planet. That’s what we do with the ones we don’t eat. Cuz people belong on this planet and monsters belong on the monster’s planet.
Then, for special reinforcement needs, we have the magical light bracelet. It keeps those pesky monsters away. And the few that slip through, well, Papa takes care of those. (You know how many light bracelets I have had to buy in the last week!! – Yeah you can freeze and reuse, but that only works about twice.)
What I find most fascinating is that after weeks and weeks of me trying to “deal” with the monster crisis, and failing, Papa figured it out in about 2 minutes of actually being made aware that I needed help. Papa came to the rescue.
I tried nurturing, comforting, empathy, acknowledgement, comforting, gentle logic, rationalizing at 2 year old level, acknowledging, nursing, and did I mention comforting, nurturing, and mommy love. Guess what? Papa stepped in one afternoon and told his little bug that he was going to take care of her, keep her safe, and EAT THE MONSTERS. I freaked – ARHGHGHG!! Don’t tell her that the monsters are inside you now! That hit my logic and sense of being all wrong. Hell, she was inside me, there surely shouldn’t be any monsters in there!!
I held my tongue however, as we were all together, and I swallowed my stomach. I watched… I waited… She pondered his solution for about 10 seconds (while I would have been more comfortable sinking to the bottom of the pool – we were swimming at the moment he decided to explain his special appetite for monsters to her).
About 15 seconds later, she asked him if he was sure he’d eaten all of them.
“Yep! And I put ketchup and mustard on them.”
To which she replied, “And peanut butter, and chocolate, and, and, coffee cream??”
And so went the conversation, with Papa patting his “full” belly and her fear subsiding, second by second.
Now, daily, Papa eats the monsters. And if Papa isn’t around and she finds some, Mama either sends them back to their planet, Lils eats’em if they’re baby ones, or we find a light bracelet (her favorite is the blue, when Papa isn’t with us – she has long since assigned blue to Papa as his color).
He also taught her to grab a flashlight and face her concerns of there being monsters “in there – wherever” with it on as bright as she can make it shine. She clears rooms regularly, with her little LED light and her glow bracelet. You should see… and when she gets worried, Papa steps up right behind her and helps her find em, eat’em, and send them back to their own planet.
Now I can’t decide whether this experience is a twisted, positive one,
or something I regret for allowing the insecurity to develop
and cause the monsters to appear in the first place
(we could have refused the relocation, I suppose).
However, it has given Papa an opportunity to valiantly
protect and impart strength to his little girl.
I still wish she thought monsters were funny –
you know, like Grover or Cooking Monster.
Our choices thrust her into a world of uncertainty, unfamiliar surroundings, and a resulting encompassing insecurity. We expected something like this, but hoped keeping her close to us would be enough (like when she was tiny). Wrong. She is all too aware of everything at this point, and it is making a huge impact on her.
Her mind has resolved to manage her fears and insecurity through the manifestation of monsters. This does not make me happy, but I am leaning toward the feeling that I have to find good in this development somehow. And what better good could there possibly be than for her relationship and reliance on her Papa to have blossomed
as a result of him coming to her rescue
by developing a ravenous appetite for grumpy monsters.