Something is haunting my dear little Asher. I am trying to figure out what the root of the problem is. He has been so reluctant to go to bed the past three nights, claiming that he is "sared" and that there is some kind of monkey or "funtey" (as he likes to call them), galavanting in his room. Now, Asher is somewhat of a drama queen. He likes to really get emotions across and sometimes he just likes to "play" with his acting skills. I have a pretty keen sense of when he is REALLY scared and when he just wants to liven up life a little bit. When the nocturnal monkeys who have set up camp in his bedroom start swinging from his fan, ( I am assuming that is what they would do), he is prompted to open the door, close it tightly behind him, tiptoe silently to the side of the sofa with his half-open eyes and arms held close across his chest, and quietly say (convincing body shake included) "mama...em saaaaaareeeed" with the corners of his mouth pinned down to his chin.
"What are you scared of bud?"
"Da funtey....ooooh ooooh aaaah aaaah (just in case I wasn't aware of the terribly frightening noise they make)
"There are monkeys in your room?"
"Well let's go see if we can make them dissapear."
So, since this scenario has occured over the course of three nights, we have had to try a few different things to scare those awful monkeys away. The first night I brought out my eucalyptus pillow spray and told Asher that it was magic and would make all of the monkeys go night night so that they wouldn't keep him awake anymore. We sprayed it on his pillow, in the air, and at the foot of the bed. I let Asher squirt some where the monkeys were and he was absolutely delighted to help solve his monkey problem. This seemed to help with the monkeys but it didn't quite solve the "asher isn't going to sleep and keeps going in and out of his room" dillemma we were facing. He wanted more water. Instead of just asking for water, he has to go through a routine that he has invented to buy some time out in the world of the people without a bedtime. It goes a little something like this.
"Mama...da ju?" (mama, may I have some juice?)
"No buddy, no juice, it is time to go night-night"
"uuuuhhhhh....da fok? (yes it sounds a little R rated when you say it out loud...what he is asking for is milk)
"No buddy, no milk, it is night night time."
"Yes! Of course you can have some water"
"Oh, aaawwwight!" With an instant smile appearing on his face.
So, after a few rounds of this and another one of him asking me to sing him the "shishie son" (fishie song)...he was off to dreamland on night #1. The second night brought more monkeys. After informing me of the problem just seconds after I had tucked him in, I couldn't resist the temptation of letting Josh handle the situation this time around.
"Buddy why don't you tell daddy about the monkeys....maybe he can help you out."
"Daddy...da funtey....ooh ooohh aaaah aaaah"
Asher at this point gets distracted by some kind of tantalizing treasure that he had pulled out of the junk drawer earlier in the day. Josh tries to get him to focus on the monkeys.
"Asher....show me the monkeys"
No reply...not even a glance to show that his audible senses are functioning correctly.
"Asher...show me the MONKEYS. Show me the MONKEYS"
At this point a picture of Tom Cruise shouting into a telephone flashes across my head and I let some tired giggles slip from my lips.
Josh has to physically remove Asher from the gadget... takes Asher into his bedroom where I soon can hear the two of them shouting "get out of here monkeys....get out of here monkeys!" It seems to have worked. Asher stays in his bedroom for one minute...two minutes...we're up to three...oh wait! His little hands so determined to twist the doorknob and set him free. His little footsteps on the carpet....
Here we go again. This time....the monkeys reappear and I end up having to sing songs to Asher until he falls asleep. I sing the sunshine song, the fishie song and then start taking request from the little guy. He wants an "eeew son" (an eel song)...I don't know any songs about eels so I just make it up as I go along. Ok...that was satisfactory...how about a "saur son"...ummmmm. How about I make up a song about Asher! That sounds like fun. So off I go on a song about the boy with the wild spirit who loves animals and fishies and strawberries and his baby sister and who is so lucky to be surrounded by so much love. So much love in fact that it makes all of the bad monkeys go bye bye and protects him while he sleeps....and....his hand that was playing with my right ear falls down to the safety of his mattress. He is asleep. Good work.
#3...last night as we prepared for bed I was anticipating more monkeys. There weren't any...but there was great dread in being left behind in his bedroom with nothing but the glow of the night light and the 10 plus stuffed animals, ranging from sharks to a life size elmo, that take up the majority of the space on his bed. Josh had recently watched Nanny 911 and was on a kick about how we shouldn't talk to him when he seeks us out. We should just take him back to his bed and leave promptly. You can imagine just how hard that is when dealing with Asher. The kid has a spirit similar to Abe Lincoln. He never gives up. Here he was...getting in and out of his bed, asking for anything he could think of (and at this point he was stuttering just to come up with something to ask about). I take him back to his bedroom while Josh folds the laundry. He is pulling on my arm "mama...em sarrrrreeeeed". Now really. We all know the scared bit is probably an antic to stay up later and to have some mama and daddy company....especially given the great JOY Asher was displaying when we would indulge in his story. But...if I would have just ignored this, I would have felt like I just turned off my "human switch" and became a hunk of metal. Frankly, I like the fact that I have a heart.
"Oh buddy there isn't anything to be scared of"
And I just start talking. I take Nanny 911's advice and shove it.* I talk and talk. I talk to him about his day and all of the things we did. I talk to him about how much I love him and start listing things that are so special about him. I talk to him about God and how we are all connected and that there is no reason to worry about anything. I talk and talk and talk.....until once again...he is asleep. * there have been several times I have listened to her advice and have been pleasantly pleased with the results...I'm not a nanny hater.
Tonight rolls around and I am resisting the inevitable bedtime hour. What kind of rigamaroll will we have to go through tonight? Not much really. Asher didn't want to be left behind. He cried pretty hard...I went in to check on him....I sang him the Angel song...the fishie song....he asked for an eel song...I told him it was time to go night night...I kissed him goodnight and he was fine. He drifted off to sleep within 5 minutes after that.
So what is going on? Why the sudden sleep saga? This is the same kid that was laying down to sleep with a hug, a kiss, a snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug tuck in, a wave at the door, an exchange of "bye-bye's, see you laters" and that was that. Could it be that new "Elmo in Grouchland" movie I picked up for him last week that was only $5 but after seeing his reaction to it, could end up costing thousands of dollars in therapy later down the line? Is it that he is copping out on his naptime and just using his room as an obstacle course during his quiet times? Is it that he is reaching new milestones and can't seem to switch gears when it is time to go to bed? I really don't know the answer. But I think he is talking to Journey and somewhat successfully trying to get her on his side. I have reason to believe that he has talked with his people and they have granted her a membership to the club. Yep...I think she is an official Warrior of Wakefulness. The two of them may just help eliminate the already endangered word "sleep" from my vocabulary. At least it wouldn't be lonely...I'm afraid "nap" is already extinct.