Last night I was startled awake by piercing screams coming from my youngest daughter's room. I went in to check it out, and she was standing up in her crib, eyes wide and trembling. I picked her up and she clung on to me with every limb. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me in her 2-word sentences, why she was afraid. "Dinosaur window", "Dinosaur yellow", "Dinosaur coming", "Dinosaur bite!"
She was terrified of an imaginary dinosaur. I took her downstairs, put on some soft,classical music, and cuddled with her. I told Tessa how I was happy that she saw a yellow dinosaur, because yellow ones are the easiest to scare away. Yellow dinosaurs are VERY afraid of Mommies and Daddies. If she sees the dinosaur again, she can just call to Mommy and I will frighten the dinosaur away - or she can tell it to go away, and it will listen. At one-in-the-morning, Tessa and I practiced saying "Go away dinosaur!", with great enthusiasm. After a few minutes. I laid her down, and she fell asleep quickly and slept for the rest of the night. I know it wont be as easy to calm my kids' fears as they grow, but it sure felt great to be the person she trusted to scare away dinosaurs.