This is Mr. O'Hare.
He has ruined my life.
Can I give you a piece of advice? If you have a 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 year old, DON'T LET THEM SEE THE LORAX!!!
My friend and I took our little guys to see it in 3D when it came out in movie theaters back in the spring. It was the second time I had taken Niall to a movie, but a definite first for the 3D experience. Niall was excited to wear the glasses and he proudly held his little bag of popcorn and smiled as we walked into the theater.
He ooo'd and aaahh'd when the truffula trees popped out of the screen and laughed when the Lorax popped out of the tree stump... but then, Mr. O'Hare, with his scary black bowl cut, popped out from behind his desk and the show was over. Hysterical crying. We had to leave the theater and try to come back in 3 different times. It was ugly-- the situation as well as Mr. O'Hare.
But when the movie came out On Demand, Niall recognized the orange "Lorax" movie title cover and insisted that he wanted to watch it. At this point, it was about 6 months later, so I thought that maybe he would be able to handle it this time; maybe he had gotten over Mr. O'Hare and his mean bowl cut.
And he did. At least that's what he let on. Watched the whole movie, no problem.
But that night at bedtime, he insisted that Mr. O'Hare was under his bed. And now, almost 2 months later, this stupid little stump of a man will not get out of my life.
I've researched and tried everything--
- acknowledge the fear, but don't lead them to believe there is actually something to be afraid of
- check the closets and under the bed, etc. to make him feel better (completely going against the first piece of advice)
- stay with him a while and rub his back until he falls asleep (I could be in there for 5 hours doing that)
- monster spray (a spray bottle with a "Monster Spray" label on it that he can use to keep the monsters away)
- putting Niall's mattress at the foot of our bed for a few nights until he feels better (well, it turns out he would feel better if he slept there for the rest of his life)
- talking about it and giving him ideas for happy things to think about at bed time
- doing it "Super-nanny" style and just bringing him back to his room over and over again whenever he comes out
Well, last night, after taking Niall back to his bedroom about 15 times, he finally gave up. "I WIN!!!," I thought to myself. I couldn't believe it... until I went upstairs to go to bed and found Niall sleeping in mine. I guess he figured, cut out the middle man and go straight to the source-- he didn't even need to come bother with me. How clever.
So today, at nap time, I decided to end this thing once and for all. I asked Niall, "So where is this guy?"
Niall: Under dere (pointing under his bed)
Me: "Ok, that's it-- come out here Mr. O'Hare!", pretending to pull him out, I took him by the hand and dragged him down the stairs and escorted him outside while having a pretend conversation...."No, you can't stay in our house, you have to leave." As I shut the door, I locked it and yelled "Get out, and stay out!"
I turned around to a somewhat stunned and somewhat amused Niall. He asked, "Did he cry, mom?"
"Yeah, he cried! I told him he could never come back, EVER!"
He giggled as we turned around and walked back up the stairs.
I read him a story, laid him down in the very same "scary" bed with the so-called monsters under it, and he didn't make a peep. Just went right to sleep.
It just goes to show that sometimes, you can read all the books and articles in the world, but the only thing that really works is your own gut instinct.
By the way, my future gut instinct is to not let my kid watch PG-rated movies that appear to be perfectly fine for toddlers.
So today is officially the day we say goodbye to Mr. O'Hare. Forever.