One of the best pieces of advice someone gave me when Eddie was an infant was that nothing is permanent.  Everything is a stage.

This thought helped me get through the colic and the teething, but it also helped me cherish the crawling and the wobbly first steps, knowing that it was all fleeting.

I have learned that you can never get too comfortable with any stage.

Even though I know this, I was taken aback by a few new stages that have taken hold in Sluiter Nation.

Eddie is sure there are monsters in the dark.  I have no idea what sparked this idea, but he started mentioning it maybe a month ago.

He would announce when it was getting dark and give windows without blinds the side-eye.

He would beg Cort or me to come with him to his room if it was after dark and there was no light on in the hall.

And then Halloween happened.

Now he is sure there are monsters outside.  SURE of it.

Just last week this question I was told wouldn’t start until he was three, entered his vocabulary.

– Momma…monsters outside.

– No, Eddie.  There are not monsters outside.

– Why???

– Because there are no such thing as monsters.

– YES!

– Nope.

– Momma…monsters outside.

– No, Eddie.  There are not.

– Why?

Sigh.  This lovely new word generally shows up after we tell him “no” about something.

Last night I told him no more books.  He asked Why.

The other day we told him no more candy corn.  He asked Why.

And clearly, our reasons are never good enough.  So there is generally flailing and the gnashing of teeth.

Toys in the Bed
This started innocently enough.  He wanted an extra blanket or his baby doll in bed.

Then we heard that from time to time he was taking a small car to nap at daycare.  Again, not really a big deal.

Now he is into taking a board book to bed.

The other night after we both said goodnight to him and closed his door, we could hear him “reading” to Lamby.
Bown Bear, Bown Bear what YOU see?
I see Wed Burd wooking me.

It is cute, I’ll admit it.

But last night, he needed to take to bed a small wind up monkey that claps itty bitty cymbals together that his Granny gave him for Halloween.

This morning we could hear the little “tink tink tink” from his room long before he yelled to get up.

People?  This is getting ridiculous.

His bed is now packed with animals, pillows, blankets, books, and now random toys.

From time to time I take almost everything out except that actual “bed” stuff, but somehow it all finds it’s way back.

So tell me…is my child normal?  Have you gone through the monsters, the why, and the over-flowing bed with your toddler(s)?

I suppose these are just more things that will pass, right?  I should probably enjoy the innocence of them.  Well, except for the spazzy tantrums.  Those I guess I have to just wait out.  It will pass.  Right?  RIGHT?

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Definitely normal. My daughter started bringing more and more and more to bed around the same time. When she started freaking out about specific toys in bed with her, I cut her down to 2 or 3 because it was easier for me to keep track of since I was pregnant and she carried them around the house all day.

    I used room freshened spray (green tea scent) as monster spray. That worked well for us.

    Last night she went to bed with about 7 stuffed animals. Oh, and she is afraid of preschool, ghosts, haunted houses, and not saying goodbye to daddy, at least as of 830 am.

  2. ditto the monster spray – worked like a champ with my nephew (who is now 14 and no longer afraid of monsters) :O)

    and ditto the toys. Toys are ok so long as they are not battery operated. Books, stuffed animals, etc. However, my 4 year old likes to take a flashlight to bed. To “read” the books in bed. Yeah. That plan was not well thought out. That battle can wait for another day.

  3. totally normal.. we use our dog when Z complains about monsters, we bring her in his room to do a “monster sweep” and let him know that monsters are afraid of puppies so she scares them all away. And he brings a plethora of toys to bed, it’s really not worth the fight for us. If he asks for a new one he knows it has to be a “small, quiet toy” and he has to exchange it for one already in his bed. Same with books, if he adds one to the bedtime routine, he has to exchange it for one already there.

  4. Yes. It is ALL normal. Really.

    My daughter is 9 and has a bed full of stuffed animals that sleep with her.

    We were lucky and didn’t have to worry about monsters though.

  5. My daughter was queen of the “why.” It has passed. Of course now she asks more detailed questions. For us it’s “mean queens” or “mean witches” instead of montsters. I blame Disney.

    We haven’t had the toy issue, but when I was a kid and I was afraid to sleep by myself, I used to line my bed with all my toys. I have an extremely vivid memory of waking up to toys “protecting” me in my bed. These toys included a snoopy snow cone machine, a punch balloon, a doll head that had “real” hair, a baby doll stroller and a mechanics garage for matchbox cars. Yep, all in my bed. And I’m mostly normal so I’m sure Eddie’s just fine.

  6. Solo is in the Why stage for sure and the toys in the Bed. I guess I don’t worry too much about it, he’ll still nap usually after playing for 10 or 15 minutes with whatever toys he brings in .
    Monsters is a hard one though, i feel for you!

  7. Yes, yes, and yes. All normal. I basically can’t find my 5 year old in the morning without digging through every toy she owns. And my little brother (OK, he’s 27 now, so don’t tell him I told you this) used to sleep with this big ride-on plastic horse with wheels. I mean, it was like, the size of a tricycle. Really, as big as he was. Green. Hard, hard plastic. With WHEELS. And he slept with it in his bed. He also wore his cowboy hat to bed. Obviously. Because a cowboy never lets his horse OR his hat out of his sight.

  8. I’d actually give anything for my kid to entertain herself in bed for a while after she first wakes up. We put a few stuffed animals, books, and soft toys in her crib hoping she’ll play or read or otherwise entertain herself when she wakes up in the morning. I figure it would give us at least 30 more minutes to sleep in on the weekends. But nope… she just stands up in the corner and hangs on the railing sucking her thumb and clutching Lambie, until she inevitably drops him and starts to cry. So, I say roll with it and enjoy the fact that he can entertain himself independently.

    I have no advice on the monsters and “Why” stages? We haven’t reached them… yet.

  9. Yep. I totally get all of these.

    The irrational fears are so hard. DG has different ones crop up now and again, but the monster one will disappear and then reappear now and again. When it crops up, we have a monster sweep (we go all over the house making sure it’s safe) or a monster “spray” (water in a spray bottle) helps. We tell DG every night that we love her very much, there are no monsters (or whatever the fear of the moment is), and we do everything we can to keep her safe. That seems to satisfy her. Just this week, DG informed me that she had a “bad dweem” about whales and snakes. Uh….

    We got DG a small doll bed (from IKEA) that goes next to her bed and she can put all her “babies” to bed there then she can take two or three of her very favorites to bed. That seems to help the need to take every toy she owns to bed. 🙂

    And if you ever find a way to help the “Why?” then I want to know! It’s exhausting! 😉

  10. Oh, I remember the toys in the bed stage. Right now we are in the ritualistic kisses phase. My son wants six kisses. One on the forehead, each cheek, each ear and one on the mouth.

    I take comfort in knowing that some of my daughter’s outburst are just phases too. One moment she’s a tween and the next moment she wants to cuddle with me.

  11. I got the same advice when I was pregnant! “Stages” keep me sane. I am not looking forward to the why? stage though.

  12. Yes to all of it. And I have discovered after five bouts of Whys, that the easiet way to stop the Why is to counter with “You tell me why.”

    or of course, “Because I said so.”

  13. We haven’t gotten to the “why” stage yet, but my toddler is increasingly taking trains, trucks and books to bed with him. The books we let him keep (too nerdy not to enjoy the sight of my little boy cuddling a book), but we discreetly remove the toys while we’re tucking him in.

  14. We are knee deep in the “why” stage and it has given me a massive headache for weeks. There is just too much that I don’t know. Looking forward to the NEXT stage!

  15. HA! The toys in the bed. My daughter goes to bed with upwards of 10 piled all over her. She has a few that she cuddles while she sleeps (and that rotates) but there’s a bunch that have to be in there with her anyway. I try to keep the hard things (and noise making toys) out of there so they don’t wake her, but I don’t bother caring about all sorts of stuffed things.

    Oh, and we’re totally at the “why” stage, but eventually I give up and tell her “I don’t know” or “ask your father later” and seems to suffice if my other 100000 answers didn’t jive ;D

  16. The Nugget talks about “munsters” or “creatures” in the dark, but she doesn’t seem to be scared of the idea yet (she’s two and a half). She hasn’t gotten into the “why” phase yet!