Do you remember that first moment when it occurred to you that something under the bed might grab your ankles if you got off? So you'd gear up, and LEAP as far off and away from the bed as you could and RUN!
Well. I watched this moment happen to my sweet innocent little baby Grace last week. I actually watched as this tiny piece of innocence fell away, and terror took it's place. Here's what happened.
I was watching CNN on my bed and she came into the room right at the exact moment they flashed THIS picture on the screen. She looked. And it was over. I hurried and changed the channel, but the damage was done. She jumped up on the bed, looked at me in horror, happened to hear them say "Montauk Monster." I tried to explain that it wasn't real, talked quickly about seals and manatees...the ocean is REALLY far away from us etc...
Well, who could've predicted that the word "manatee" would sound similar to "montauk monster" to her? It all happened so fast. So now she's crying and shaking and saying "don't say that word! don't say that word!"
Of course, here is when the boys come in the room. I'm beginning to get the giggles, which isn't good. They quickly size up the situation. Ryan tries to get her to go into the bathroom to finish getting ready for bed (she was supposed to be brushing her teeth when the incident happened.) She's folding into herself, REFUSING to step foot off of the bed. Her arms are clutched tightly around herself, he cannot pry them open. She's crying more and more hysterically. I'm explaining to them what she saw, without saying any of the forbidden words, but of course when Tyler realized the word "manatee" is somehow involved, he's beside himself with joy.
Ry finally gets her on his back to go into the bathroom to brush her teeth. She's standing on top of the toilet with her arms still clutched to her sides when Tyler feels the moment is right to break out in the Veggie Tales song "Barbara Manatee...you are the one for me..."
Oh the humanity. Toothpaste and tears are mingling together on her face while she breaks out into even more hysterical, gut-wrenching wailing. Ryan and I finally have completely lost it, and are laughing so hard we can't breathe. Unfortunately, everything we've tried to say to fix it has just backfired, (would YOU appreciate and believe someone who is doubled over laughing?) and Grace is getting more and more upset.
We finally get her back on my bed, I wrap her in her blanket and snuggle her on my lap. She's still folded in on herself, and every bit of her little body is clenched under her blanket with my arms and legs around her so nothing can get her.
Ryan breaks out the computer to show her a map of the USA, where the ocean is, where Utah is, how far away the montauk monster, or any manatees might be. She condescends to peek out of her blanket and the fingers clutched around her face to look. It's not helping. Now she won't even get on his back to leave the bed and go to her own room to go to sleep.
I had a snuggly little bed partner that night.
And she is now really adept at jumping on the bed, and leaping off of it all the while protecting her ankles.
7 months ago