About two months ago, Raisin found something in her room to be frightened of. We knew she was scared, because she'd wake up screaming every night. Some nights it'd happen several times, and she could only fall back asleep if one of us stayed with her.
She couldn't tell us what she was scared of, though, so I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't want to introduce the idea of scary things (like monsters), because I was afraid that I'd be compounding the problem. But two months later, DH and I are tired and crabby, and she's only sleeping marginally better despite our efforts.
So, this weekend, thanks to a suggestion from Moxie, we turned her harmonicas from KinderMusik into "monster scarers." I might be jinxing it by saying this, but I think it's working. She slept until 6 or 6:30 the last three nights (previous record: 4 am, after which she would only sleep in our bed, while the two of us clung tenuously to the scant inches of space she left us on the edges).
Last night, I'd put her to bed with no problems, and I actually thought she'd fallen asleep right away, since she was so quiet. Then, about 15 minutes later, we heard harmonica playing from her room. A few minutes after that, she really was asleep. I've decided there are 3 possible interpretations here:
1. Heartbreaking: she was scared of monsters, and now she's in there all alone, fighting hell's minions with just the piddly piece of plastic her mother gave her. I am a terrible mother.
2. Empowering: she wasn't sure what she was scared of, but now has a name to put on the fear, and a way to fight it. She is whistling in the dark. I am an awesome mother.
3. Hilarious and adorable: She couldn't give a rat's ass about the monsters, and she's just been crying because she doesn't want to sleep. At least now she can play the "I gotta go to bed" blues. Artistic expression helps her insomnia. I am still awesome.