Afraid of the Dark

The Grasshopper is suddenly afraid of the dark.  Very afraid.

She has been sleeping on her own in her room for almost a year, but suddenly, when it comes time for me to kiss her goodnight, it’s meltdown city.  She also will not go into her room alone to choose her clothes.  Or to the bathroom alone.  Or anywhere alone.  She would rather stand there and pee in her pants* than click on the hall light, click on the bathroom light, and use the toilet.  At 3 in the afternoon.  (*We assume she would pee in her pants.  We’re not willing to humiliate her by putting that to the test.  She’s insistent enough that I’m certain it would end with a puddle on the floor if one of us didn’t intervene.)

Clearly this is not about the dark.

I talked to her about it last night, and, from what I gathered, she is missing some of the attention that we are having to give Cricket.  She feels sad that Cricket is with us all the time while she has to do things on her own more.  Poor kid.  I never lived with a sibling.  I have no idea what she must be going through.

We tried adding more night lights.  No dice.  We tried keeping her door open.  Didn’t work.

But I think we might have finally hit on a solution.

We have a very sweet boxer dog named China (pronounced “Chee-nah”.  She’s nearing old age at 8 years old, and as a working breed dog, she’s needed a job for a long time.  Well, we may have finally found one for her: watching over the Grasshopper.

The trouble is, she’s been trained for so long that she’s not supposed to hang out in the Grasshopper’s room.  She’s unbelievably loving and patient, but you don’t leave a dog with a baby.  Period.

Last night, though, she got the surprise of her life when the Grasshopper and I invited her into bed.  Poor China was confused.  It took a few tries to convince her that she was allowed to stay in the bed with the Grasshopper.  And in the middle of the night, she did her usual pace through the house to check up on things elsewhere.  But overall, I think we’re onto something good here!

I think I will do something special for the both of them and find China a pretty new bed that we can place in the Grasshopper’s room for her to sleep on.  She doesn’t always like to sleep with people.  She gets hot sometimes and just wants her space.

Maybe this new found friendship will be good for both of them.  Goodness knows, China’s been unemployed for far too long.