Sleep: Scaring the monsters away

Most of us have experienced, either firsthand, or through a loved one, the "monster under my bed" routine. Many adults tell stories of being so scared at night that they either slept with the nightlight on for twenty years -- and still do -- or slept with a sibling until puberty. Even family bedders can relate, although with much less frequency, to stories of things that go bump in the night.

Fear of the "night monsters" isn't new. I'm sure that many ancient witchdoctors were called upon to conjure up monster chasers. The Native Americans have dreamcatchers to protect against bad dreams and the naturalists have mugwort pillows. Most segments of society seem to have found their own solution. What have you and your children used?

Well, for many, sleeping with a nightlight or a favorite blanky is the solution. Some have a favorite teddy bear or doll, and others sleep with a pet dog or cat. But if you haven't really found an effective, workable solution yet, you might want to consider this.

Since the "monster" usually only appears when the child is alone, the child herself needs to be empowered with a "fierce weapon." Since the "monsters" are "magic" you'll find that a "magic weapon" works best, and since the "monsters" are invisible, it's logical that the "weapon" is an invisible spray.

Keeping this in mind, what I've found works best is to buy a new, empty one-quart spray bottle, with a large, self contained spray nozzle. I then create an interesting label for it. Holographic wrapping paper works well. With a Sharpie brand marker I write "Magic Mist" or "Monster Mist" and then embellish the label with dragons. The less artistic can decorate with swirls or clouds. (Leave the bottle empty. The mist is invisible -- just like the monsters.)

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