4 year-old Summer has developed a real fear of the dark when it’s time to go to sleep. It all started when she had a dream about this evil guy named Haman. Turns out Haman is not a bully from her preschool class or a deviant Congressman. She learned about him during a celebration of the Jewish holiday Purim.
Apparently this Haman tried to destroy the Jews but did not succeed and when children hear the story of Purim they hoot and hiss with great fanfare whenever Haman’s name is mentioned.
I think my husband felt a little nervous when he heard Haman was the start of Summer’s night time phobia because it is very important to Rick that our kids be raised Jewish. And nobody mentioned this Haman character to me during our pre-wedding interfaith class.
But I don’t blame Rick. Surely, the image of J.C. being nailed to a cross would not help Summer rest any easier.
We’ve done everything we can to help Summer sleep. She insists on keeping a light on in their room. Plus the hall lights. Plus the bathroom lights. It’s so bright that I have no idea how Dylan or Summer are able to fall asleep but apparently, they eventually do. Or maybe they are vampires. Who really cares as long as it’s quiet in their bedroom.
Often before bed, Summer will cry because she is scared and then we go through a list of things that make her feel happy like ice cream, swimming, going to the beach, her favorite TV shows, the color aqua marine blue and her cousins.
If she’s still nervous, I tell her to look at one of her favorite books, and when she feels tired, close her eyes and she’ll dream about the vocab show-off Fancy Nancy instead of that jerk Haman.
The other night I finally got Summer to sleep and not long after, she was crying again. I went back upstairs, calmed her down, tucked her in and she said to me with lots of enthusiasm…
“You know when Regan our neighbor cracked open her head and had to be rushed to the hospital?! There was tons of blood. TONS. And her mommy said it took four people at the hospital to hold her down so they could sew her back up. That’s a lot of people.”
“Summer, just a thought here. Thinking about stuff like that is not going to help you sleep.” I was starting to wonder how I was going to shut my eyes later that night. “And Regan is just fine now.”
“Yes, but it took FOUR people to hold her down.”
“Goodnight Summer. I love you.”
That’s a Fancy Nancy way of saying “I’m not coming back upstairs again. Go to sleep. Your room is brighter than Yankee Stadium. This conversation is over. I’m starving. I need a glass of wine. I’m not talking about Regan’s bloody head anymore. See you tomorrow lady.”