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  • “Mama, I’m scared of the dark!” Mama puts down her book to join the little one who is hopping around the kitchen with a case of nerves. “OK” she says, “You first, there’s the light switch for the hallway. Little fingers reach up to bring on the light down the dark passage. Here’s your room. I know you can turn on your own lamp. There you go. Well done. Choose your pajamas, alrighty. Together they return to the warm living room to finish the bedtime routine. “I need my slippers! The Dark!” Imploring eyes wish Mama off the couch again. “You can do this Sweetie. You know where all the switches are, and you can reach each one. Young eyebrows furrow, a frown is born. “But why can’t you come with me? Half the people in the room find this a reasonable enough question. Mama responds with the steady loving tone for lessons, “I’ll tell you the truth, kiddo. I know the fear is very real, but you made it up, and you can overcome it as well. People do this all the time. They grow up, living their whole lives running from bogeymen they made up and never learned how to face and defeat. I said it before, my job with you is to prepare you for life without me – not to do all you ask of me. Tell you what, I’ll watch you from here, I see you! Right! You’ve got the hall switch there in front of you – now shout out “BINKLE ! BINKLE!” loud enough so as I can hear you, because shadow monsters are very afraid of “BINKLE ! BINKLE!”
    “BINKLE ! BINKLE!” - “BINKLE ! BINKLE!” Mama hears the scurry as the slippers are nabbed and the pipsqueak is racing back down the hallway, then the triumphant return to the living room with “I GOT ‘EM!” “YAY! Good for you.
    With one light in a small dark room, they cuddle up on the couch for a read-aloud chapter. The shadow monster shakes it head, sighs and shuffles out the back window.
    6 Dec 2002

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