Monkeys Under the Bed

by Heather on December 27, 2013

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Gabriel will be 3 next month, and although he’s been sleeping through the night for over a year, he’s recently starting doing anything he can to delay going to bed.

His most common complaint: “I scared monkeys!” He insisted there were monkeys under his bed, and even after multiple checks he wouldn’t sleep in it. He started falling asleep in Duarte’s bed, and then he wanted Duarte to stay with him in the room until he fell asleep. Recently this has stretched from the usual 8pm bedtime to around 11pm.

Yesterday we decided to take all the furniture out of his room and rearrange the furniture. He watched while we did it, and every piece of furniture that was moved was ‘inspected’ for monkeys. Gabriel seemed to be in agreement, saying “No more monkeys!” every time we put something back in the room.

When it came time for bed, he agreed to go in his bed to start with, but he wanted someone to stay in the room with him. I wanted to wind down and do some reading anyway, so I was on the extra bed while he was in his bed. He wanted to read too, so he took out some of his new books and looked at them.

I started to fall asleep, but he refused to turn the lights off. Then he started saying he was scared of the monkeys again! I reminded him there were “no more monkeys” and he quickly changed his story to include monkeys upstairs under the couch, and he was afraid that the Buzz Lightyear Christmas ornament was going to have to fight the monkeys. I’m now wondering if this monkey fear comes from the monkey in Toy Story 3. The conversation went like this:

“Buzz will be okay. He’s not afraid of monkeys.
“No Buzz scared monkeys. Monkey eat the foot!”
“Buzz is strong. The monkey won’t eat his foot.”
“Buzz scared monkeys! Monkeys upstairs!”
“Buzz is okay. He’s not scared.”

Around 10:30 Gabriel was still not sleeping, in spite of me being there with him, having all his favorite toys, and acknowledging there were no monkeys in his room. Duarte took over, and finally around 11:30, after insisting that Duarte get in bed with him, Gabriel fell asleep. He was quite crabby when he got up at 6:45am for school.

Today I’m going to try cutting his nap down to just 1 hour, as he’s been sleeping 2-3 hours in the afternoon. I’m not sure this will work, as he seems genuinely tired around 8pm but still stays up, but it’s worth a try!

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