The one about the dark

27 Jun

We had a crisis Monday night, it was up there with the best of them. Bedtime had travelled remarkably smoothly to its inevitable conclusion, and I snapped on L2’s night light only for a flash of phosphorus to precede the dimming and subsequent disappearance of said illumination.

When I say night light, I’m doing it an injustice. It is in reality a bedside lamp equipped with blazing bulb. For my poor little boy, the standard soothing night light glow is night ‘lite’ – simply not enough to keep the terrors of the dark away from his sleeping. He is genuinely petrified of the dark hours. He has a boogeyman, ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’, based on the character that dances along to the eponymous song on Wii Dance, who appears from the 90 degree corner created by the end of his bedstead and the wardrobe, who visits on regular occasion, and whose behaviour is only modified by following an important series of rituals including the number of lullabies and words used, and, of course, the presence of the blazing lamp.

L2 isn’t necessarily frightened of ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’, it is more that they have a complicated relationship that he wants to control on his terms, not the terms of unfettered imagination.

So you can see it was an urgent and pressing matter to find a lamp to substitute for his. L1’s sage advice was to turn to the collection of camping equipment for salvation. We haven’t quite had to replicate the blazing light conditions in the tent, as when L2 sleeps with his big sister he feels a lot safer (which is lovely, as it is one of the few times he shows her how much she means to him as a protector), but we do have a good collection of lamps and lights to mine.

Ten minutes in, all the lamps, torches and lights are scattered around the garage. I simply can’t find the power lead for the best of the best, no matter how and where I look. So I move to emergency solution 2, which is basically to extract my bedside lamp from its tangle of wires and install in his bedroom. Crisis averted, and he snoozes.

When M comes home, he conducts a far more rational and measured search, and discovers that I have failed accurately to identify the camping lights correctly. The one I had lost the power cable for didn’t actually have a power cable at all – it was the battery powered one – while the one with the power cable I had rejected as the battery powered one and abandoned on top of the spare fridge, still in its box, which of course contained the required power cable.


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