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Thursday, July 9, 2009


The lesson I learnt last night was not to jump out into an empty doorway screaming "boo" shortly before bed. Despite the fact that the girl and I had been playing at being bears and running up and down the hallway chasing each other, hiding from each other and then roaring, the girl was unprepared for my surprise. The result was a torrent of hysterical tears. Much comforting in my lap was needed to rectify the situation.

The girl had been playing in the boy's room while the husband got him ready for bed. In continuing with the bear theme I thought it would be funny to hide and have her come and find me, only to then jump out and surprise her. I should have taken closer note of the whine in her voice when she asked "where's mommy?". Instead, I stood outside the door laughing in anticipation of the fun to come.

When the girl finally recovered she seemed to need to talk through the whole experience. Once we were all in her room she wanted to be the bear and scare me. This involved me standing very still while she walked right up to me and roared. Not very scary, definitely no element of surprise there, but I could see where she was going with it.

This morning we had to play again. She was a little braver this time. We took turns coming in and out of the room and roaring at each other. The boy found it quite funny.

Tonight before the kids were herded upstairs to get ready for bed the girl informed me that we would be bears and that she would come and scare me. She did. Then she and I were both bears and we scared the husband. After that she, I and the husband were all bears and we scared the boy. Finally we were all bears.

"But who are we going to scare" the husband and both asked.

"Madeline" she said. (The girl loves to read the Madeline books. Somewhere along the way Madeline has also become her "boss").

"Where is Madeline?" I questioned.

"She is hiding behind the rocking chair" the girl answered.

Quietly the three of us tiptoed over to the rocking chair in our bedroom, the boy was crawling off in his own direction, and yelled boo.

"We scared her" I said.

"Yes", said the girl. "Now let's eat her!"

Just like that we went from a family of vegetarians to a bunch of wild cannibals. We did manage to stop the girl before she ate Miss Clavel.

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