Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bedtime story

Once upon a time, about a year ago, there was a young princess who lived in an apartment in New York. This princess hated to go to bed at night and would try to stay awake as long as possible. Bedtime seemed like "the worst thing ever" to her, since she "never, ever fell asleep all night."

The princess wouldn't try to stretch out bedtime with requests for more books or water and she wouldn't complain about being afraid of the dark or hidden creatures. She'd just toss, turn, and make a lot of noise - often falling asleep at the wrong end of the bed.

Her kindly parents let her toss and turn in bed until she fell asleep each night, but then her loving father would tip-toe in before bed to gently turn her around so that her head was on her pillow and her blankets were on top of her. "At least we can show her we care in this small way and perhaps it will make up for the torture of having to fall asleep at night," her parents thought.

Suddenly, several nights in a row, the princess started complaining about monsters and being afraid of the dark. Her loving mother sat with her and explained how there were no monsters. Then, realizing that the princess had never bothered with monsters before, her mother asked more questions.

"It's big and dark. It tries to catch me all night long and if it does it picks me up and I can't get away from it."

Her mother advised her to yell at the monster and tell it to leave her alone. But, then the parents started to wonder, "What if...?" They decided to see what would happen if they did not check on her before going to sleep and instead left her to sleep cold and with her head on the wrong end of the bed.

Like magic, the monster quit harassing the princess and has not been mentioned in the long months since.

(And bedtime has become remarkably easier - with the princess staying under the covers with her head on the pillow each night.)

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