Monster spray?

Let’s just say Jen and I are going a little nuts. Batty. Bonkers. Cuckoo for Coca Puffs. That bearded head you see nodding up and down and all around is not a 200-pound, walking bobble-head. It’s just me, dazed and confused. Sleep deprivation can do that to a parent.
It’s not that Jen and I stay up to watch the late, late show, or even the late show. We rarely make it to the 11 o’clock news. We’re in bed early enough to get those eight hours of sleep that our family doctor (and fellow 1981 Clarkston High School graduate) Maria Liveriatos says we need.
It’s not our critters who keep us up. As soon as we turn out the lights for the night, the dogs head for the ‘off limits? leather couch. Except for their snoring, our canine friends are quite quiet while we slumber. Our cats, well during the witching hours they’re off doing very stealthy cat things. It’s not seven-year-old son Shamus — as soon as he falls asleep he’s out and he doesn’t bother his parents (what a good child). No, it ain’t any of the above.
It’s the devil child, the baby of our clan — Sean T. (for terrible) Rush. Four nights out of seven, Sean, aka Distructo the Midget, will get up every hour on the hour (this of course, only after he has had five or six straight hours of sleep himself.) I must say, he has trained his old man well. I can hear the padding of his little four-year-old feet on the floor, two rooms and one hallway away.
‘Poppy! I had a bad dream!?
I’ll get up, take him to the lav, then back to his bed and tuck him in . . .
. . . again and again.
I’ve tried to reason with him.
‘Sean, Poppy needs his sleep too. If I don’t get my beauty sleep, I’m gonna? be one mean, cranky and ugly Poppy in the morning. You don’t want that, do you??
I’ve tried the ‘appealing to the little boy who wants to be a big boy? approach. ‘Sean, you need to sleep in your own bed all night long so you can grow tall. You only grow in your sleep, so every time you wake you stay short.?
I’ve tried bravado. ‘Sean, there are no monsters or bad guys gonna? come into this house ‘cuz they know Poppy’s here. And you know who’s the meanest, toughest Poppy in the world. Me. Bad guys are scared of Poppy.?
I’ve given in to the Dark Side and growled, ‘Sean. I am your father. Get your skinny little butt in bed or else!?
Nothing. At three in the morning it started again.
The last time our little darling son awoke, Jen must have heard me growl and fearing for the safety of her offspring, intervened. She said softly, ‘Remember Mrs. Giza’s Monster Spray.? It wasn’t a question. It was instruction. Well, I remember Mrs. Linda Giza (which rhymes with Fleeza, Wheeza, Sneeza, Jeeza and/or Leaning Tower of Peezza). She’s Sean’s (and Shamus? before that) pre-school teacher. But nuthing ’bout no Monster Spray rang any bells.
I did get the idea, though.
I hopped out of bed, donned my bathrobe and went to Sean’s side.
‘Did I ever tell you about Monster Spray? It’s like ‘skeeter spray, but it keeps monsters away. Come on. I just remembered how to make it. You can help.?
And help he did. He added the warm water to a plastic cup. He added pinches of sugar (one for every year he was old), four shakes of salt, a splash of green hot sauce and one coffee bean. Sean stirred it up with a dirty fork from the dishwasher and then we went to work. First, I had him close his eyes and flicked some on his hair, and rubbed some of Poppy’s magical elixir on his cheeks and on his pjs. Then I had him do the same to me. We were protected for the holy task at hand.
In the darkness of morning, with no lights on we went around the house, room by room, scary spot, by scary spot. Where ever Sean thought a monster might be, we flicked our concoction. For the better part of 10 minutes we exorcised Sean’s demons. And, before we were through, he made sure to flick some stuff on a sleeping Mommy and brother Shamus. He wanted them protected, too.
With our job completed, I kissed him and tucked him back into bed. Where, I might add, he stayed until 7 a.m. That was this morning. Will it work tonight and into the future or have I just admitted monsters really do exist? Have I created more sleepless nights? I guess only the bedbugs know for sure.
Comments, questions, suggestions for the sleep walking, bobble-headed one, Don can be e-mailed to: