Survivor Journals

Survivor Journals:   Year I

Round 3     by Paulineee

Bob's challenge assignment for round 3:

For the third challenge, the question is much more personal, from the stand point that it involves my daughter. My daughter is 5. She is a bright and funny child, but gets anxious at times, especially at night time, before falling to sleep.

It's 11:00 PM, and my daughter has just called you into her room, as she is afraid of something terrible happening.

What do you say to my daughter, to ease her bring her peace...and a good night's rest?

I will assume for the purposes of this exercise, that I am babysitting; otherwise I would not be the one called in!

I never had a daughter, so I don't know if little girl fears are the same as little boy fears. My sons never verbalized anything specific other than their displeasure at my leaving the room.

The first thing I would do is sit down (to communicate that I didn't have one foot out the door, and was prepared to spend some time with her) and listen. I'd listen to whatever she had to say, relevant to the problem of falling asleep, or not. If I didn't understand something I'd ask for clarification but otherwise I wouldn't say too much.. I'd nod and grunt to let her know I'm paying attention.

If she articulated any concrete fears I'd try to reassure her but NOT by telling her her fears are silly or impossible. The girl has enough problems without being told that her thoughts are invalid. If she was worried about her parents, we might call them on their cell phone (if appropriate); we might check under the bed for monsters.

If she was still anxious, I'd cuddle up with her (if she allowed it) and watch TV with her or read her favourite books.

If none of that worked, it would be time for some major distraction.

First we could take crayon inventory. Line them all up by colour and check if they're still good. The off-white walls in the living room would be our palette; it would also be educational to observe the difference between how the colours looked on white and on darker shades, using what's available around the house (possibilities: drapes, upholstery, panelling). The difference between wallpaper and paint might also be considered.

Then we could move on to the boudoir. Little girls are often fascinated by their mother's cosmetics. There's lipstick and eye makeup to model; there's perfume to try. If feeling adventurous, we could see how various scents blend (or not) together.

In the interests of equal time, we'd have to examine Daddy's stuff. (Well, not the stuff in the bottom drawer.) We could go into the bathroom and see what's the big deal about shaving cream. If we're lucky, Daddy might have the aerosol kind. I wonder how that would work as wood furniture polish?

After all that, if she's STILL not tired, we'd have to bring out the big guns and go on a sugar binge. Not just an ordinary sugar binge but a home-baked one! Double chocolate fudge chunk cookies should do it.. Just the smell from those baking can anesthetize a kindergarten room! Of course most of the fun is in preparing them and licking our fingers - it's sanitary because the germs get killed in the oven after.

By that time, Mommy and Daddy should be home and available to help with the bedtime rituals, all over again.

Cleanup? I'm the babysitter. Babysitters don't DO cleanup.

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The Other Participating Journals:

And If I Die Before I Wake
Funny The World
Hell Is Other People
Nova Notes
On My Lap & From My Mind
Quiet Moments

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