Friday, August 21, 2009

Nightmare On London and Maddie Street: The Kid Stealers

Kid Stealers. You'll find them in a lot of popular literature and/or movies for older children: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Golden Compass...the nightly news.

And lately I've been finding them in my daughters' nightmares. We don't watch a lot of television, and haven't read any scary bedtime stories in the past month (unless you count, as London did, "Dogerella" a doggy version of Cinderella), so I don't know what triggered it, but first Maddie, then London, started to have nightmares over the past few weeks about someone ("Hunkle Phil") coming into our home, or their camp or playground, to steal them.

Childhood nightmares are nothing new... growing up, my family lived in a ranch house with a dank, dark, unfinished basement in which I imagined a man lived, clanking around in chains (making all of the noises I heard late at night) with a Freddy Krueger face, waiting for someone to make the mistake of going down to do some laundry or get some ice cream out of the freezer at night. I can't even claim to have outgrown these childish thoughts... my mom still lives in the same house and I still don't like to go down to her basement!


Mary said...


I empathize with you. I also went through a long patch of my daughter having nightmares when she was your daughter's ages. In an attempt to stave them off I bought her a Native American "Dream Catcher" and explained how it "worked" (I think we purchased it in a little store in Chester) We hung the "Dream Catcher" over her bed and voila' the nightmares stopped (for the most part) Not sure if it was the placebo effect, or the reassurance/attention from Mom, but what ever the case, it made for a quieter, happier home during the nighttime darkness! And a less tired/cranky child in school, not to mention less sleep deprived Mom!

Perhaps it might be worth a try? Good luck!


RoxiticusDH said...

That's a really, really good suggestion. London and Maddie each have two dream catchers in their rooms -- one homemade a few years back in Montessori school, one purchased on a trip to New Mexico -- but they haven't been "activated" in a while...thanks so much for the perfect form of reassurance.