The other night, Grace called my wife into her bedroom. She said that there was a “…scary dinosaur” outside of her window. She was soothed easily enough, and went to back to sleep readily.
This had me thinking about the inevitable emergence of “scary monsters” in a child’s imagination. Must it be inevitable? I’m interested in trying to curtail the whole thing.
If I think about it, I realize that Grace has “known” many monsters for years now. Elmo, Grover, Telley Monster, Zöe, Cookie Monster, Oscar and so on are all monsters, and characters she loves. She hasn’t complained about scary monsters yet, but if she does, I wonder if I’ll be able to get away with that comparison.
Dadventure is working on the problem as well, and he lists some of the tactics he’s been using. A couple of the more amusing items on his list include: “That’s why we painted your bedroom pink. Monsters hate pink” and “Monsters don’t want to eat us. We taste awful.”
Pretty cute and clever, but there’s still a tacit implicaiton that, yes, scary monsters do exist. I don’t know about you, but when I read the 2nd explanation, I immediately generate an image in my mind of a monster actually consuming me. I know that wasn’t the message, but the image is unavoidable. It’s like saying, “Don’t think of a giraffe.”
It’s not my intention to criticize Mr. Dadventure. I’m just hoping (naievly, perhaps) that I can nip this whole thing in the bud by convincing her that monsters don’t exist outside of Sesame Stret. Wish me luck.