Sleepless nights, Mojo Jojo & the Powerpuff Girls
3:oo a.m. Shrieking screams followed by the sounds of charging feet awaken my husband and I out of slumber. Our bedroom door burst open and the light of the hallway reveals the silhouette of our 4-year-old daughter, our little Chickenhawk. In a panic she calls out “Momma” then races across the room and leaps into our bed.
“What’s wrong, baby?” I ask as I embrace my little one, softly stroking her hair out of her face and kissing her peachy soft cheeks.
“I’m scared. I’m scared,” she repeats.
In strolls my oldest (Ms. Prissy), frightened and questioning what’s going on. My husband motions for her to go to him for assurance.
“I think our youngest has had a bad dream.” I state. “But it’s OK.”
Both girls settle in our bed. We all nestle together and are comforted by our union.
4:00 a.m. After a few slaps to my face and a kick to the chin. I come to the realization that there is no room for me in my bed. I think since I am up, I might as well jump-start my day. Reply to a few e-mails. I then assure myself that I will get to bed early that night.
2:45 a.m. This time the drama opens with the sound of loud crying. Then the door. Chickenhawk. Ms. Prissy. Comforting parents. Girls in our bed.
3:15 a.m. One elbow to the rib.
4:00 .a.m After repeated physical abuse and a strained neck, I make my husband carry the girls to their bed one by one.
5:00 a.m. My youngest runs back into our room. I get out of my bed and brew some coffee.
3:05 a.m. Straight out of the dark comedy Groundhog Day, my door burst open. It’s little Chickenhawk. Ughh… In an irritated yet fake sympathetic tone I ask my cherubic daughter.
“What are you afraid of darling?”
Before she could answer, Ms. Prissy strolls in the room.
“GET BACK TO BED!” my husband and I shout in unison. My oldest quickly pivots and returns to her room. The weight of her steps express her disappointment.
“Little Chickenhawk, please tell me what are you so afraid of?”
“I don’t want to tell you. I’m scared. I’m too scared.”
I let out a deep breath. “OK. But lets go back to your room.”
3:25 a.m. After much protest and crying, then threats on my part, my youngest eventually concedes to a deal of me sitting in her doorway until she falls to sleep — so I can “protect” her.
4:15 a.m. I wake up face down on the hardwood floor near my two cats. I peel myself up and return to my bed.
5:00 a.m. Chickenhawk kicks me on the back. In my comatose sleep, I did not even realize she had crept back into my bed nor that my husband is now on the couch. I’m up! Begrudgingly start my day. COFFEE!
Day 4 & 5
A repeat of Day 3.
Under my breath, I repeat the words of one of the best book of 2011, Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Manbuck, as I rock my little girl to sleep.
(If you have not read the book or listen to the Samuel Jackson’s explicit narration, please click on the cover image. It is a classic.)
“Chickenhawk, tell me what you are so afraid of?” I ask.
“OK, mommy “she whispers. “I’ll tell you… Mojo jojo.”
“The monkey from the Powerpuff Girls?”
“Yes. I think he is going to get me.”
I hug her and tell her “He is not real, honey. He can’t get you.”
“I know, but I am scared of him. That is why I need to hold you, touch you, and sleep with you. You are real!”
Somehow I got the logic. But I knew I needed some help with this one. I consulted with my daughters’s day care teachers, confined in other parents, and even begged a child therapist for suggestions. Each informed me that this is a common phase with kids her age. But it was affecting everyone.
Lack of sleep was disrupting our household. My husband was perpetually grumpy. Ms. Prissy had informed me that she almost fell asleep in class, and I had become an emotional mess, crying at the drop of a hat as well as unable to focus on work during the day.
I had to get this under control. Quick! Then it dawned on me that we needed to confront and defeat Mojo jojo himself. I pulled out my trusty tools. Colored pencils and my laminating machine and brought the Powerpuff Girls to life. I placed my handmade decals over my youngest daughter’s bed. From then on I started reminding my youngest about how strong she was, what a big girl she was, how powerful she was — just like the Powerpuff Girls. She was part of the team.
Though it did not happen over night, she did start sleeping through the night in her bed. And now I am slowly starting to recover from the vengeance of Chickenhawk’s will, the haunting of Mojo jojo, and lack of desperately needed sleep. Thanks to the Powerpuff girls and a stiff drink.