My 6-year-old was in a phase of being too afraid to go upstairs by herself because of the imagined “monsters” that would surely be awaiting her arrival.
All of my begging, rationalizing and cajoling weren’t working.
Then, in a flash of insight, I decided that if she really believes there are monsters up there, go with it!
“That’s it.” I ordered. “I’ve about had it with these darn monsters.”
I went to the base of the stairs, mustered up a voice to intimidate an intruder of my own imagining, and in an adrenaline+anger fueled projection, blasted out:
“So help me God, if you monsters lay as much as one hairy claw on this child I will storm up there and rip you limb from limb and bite your heads off and spit out the bones!”
My neck veins bulged and I spit a little while shouting – surprising myself at how emotional and convincing I was.
Both girls ran in and looked at me with a look of…was it pride? Respect?
Then my daughter immediately stormed a monster- warning-stomp up the stairs, picking up my rant where I left off.
“Yeah, and after my Mama chews you up, I’ll jump on the little pieces that she spits out” she yelled, finding her own monster-defeating confidence.