I find myself out 50p tonight. At least, I have given an IOU for 50p (four year olds evidently don’t take debit cards). I may have made the mistake of taking a minor detour down memory lane at bedtime and telling M that I would show him old episodes of Duckula (which was awesome, but which I only actually watched about three episodes of, because we only had one Duckula VHS tape for some reason. I was explaining to my husband that I learned what the French Revolution was from Duckula. He hasn’t heard of it, apparently it is a British TV show – who knew, it is certainly weird enough!)
My innocent reminiscing went awry when I realised that I had only reminded M of his worst fear: Dracula, or as he pronounces it: Drac-clea. (I did this in a very stupid way of course, by saying “oh wait no, you won’t like Duckula because it will remind you of Dracula, never mind.” You could almost see the colour drain from his face).
The rest of bedtime went something like this:
M: I’m too scared to sleep in my bed!
M: Because of Drac-clea.
Me: Well he’s not real is he. Even if he was real I still haven’t invited him in have you?
Me: There you go then. If you are that worried you can have some garlic if you want. I mean, he’s not real but in the stories garlic keeps vampires away.
M: Scooby Doo waves some garlic at a werewolf!
Me: I’m not sure that would work, it’s silver bullets to kill werewolves I think.
M: Does garlic kill vampires?
Me: No if just keeps them away. You kill vampires with steaks, like sharp bits of wood.
M: Have we got any steaks?
Me: What? No – you’re not planning on killing Dracula are you? He’s not real anyway, he’s just a story from a book written long ago. People like scary stories just like they like scary rides it’s just scary fun.
M: I wish the word vampire didn’t exist.
Me: Ah, well, it does exist. It’s just a word for a mythical creature, like dragon, or unicorn.
M: Or Kraken?
Me: Yes, or Kraken *flashback to the Mythical Creatures exhibit we saw at the museum on holiday. I read M the bit about the Kraken, to which he replied: “Mum this has RUINED our holiday ’cause now we can’t got to the beach ’cause I’m scared of the Kraken” to which I explained that there weren’t any beaches in Colorado anyway!*
L lets out a shrill cry from downstairs in protest at his dad’s attempts to rock him to sleep.
M: I just heard a witchy sort of a noise!
Me: That was your brother crying. Honestly!
M rolls over to lie on his back and looks dramatically at me.
M: I keep thinking Drac-clea is behind my back.
Me: *laughs* honestly! Why would he be behind your back? He’s not real.
M jumps half a foot in the air and looks behind him
Me: There’s nothing there! If you are that scared you can sleep in our bed and daddy will put you in bed later.
M: But I will be scared in the night.
Me: If you are scared in the night you can come and find me and get in with us.
M: But how will I get to you?
M: How will I get down my ladder fast enough?
Me: You mean you will be so paralysed with fear that you won’t be able to get out of bed?
Me: Well call me then and I will come get you.
M: What does Drac-clea eat?
Me: What? Um… Nothing, he doesn’t eat anything, like zombies *instantly realise my mistake*
M: But zombies eat brains. What does Drac-clea eat?
Me: Nothing. He eats nothing I tell you!
M: Oh, like ghosts? They eat things and it falls right through them. Can ghosts drink?
Me: I don’t know, speaking of which I need a drink, wait here.
M: *look of terror flashes across his face* but Drac-clea…
Me: I will be two minutes. I will bet you 50p that Dracula will not come into this bedroom while I run downstairs to get a drink.
M: *bravely* okaaay.
I run down to get a drink, quickly exchanging an exasperated giggle about the whole situation with my husband who is dutifully rocking L while faffing on his phone.
Me: I’m back, do I owe you 50p?
M: *grins sheepishly* yes!
Me: Are you still scared?
Me: How about I lie here with you and you go to sleep while I write about how daft you are on my blog?
M: *smiles* OK
Me: And when you are older you can read it.
He is now cuddled up on my shoulder, fast asleep. I have yet to see Dracula make an appearance.
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