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Lady Lullaby Blog

Lullabies for babies, grown-ups and everyone in between!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monsters and Other Friends

Lullabies are usually sweet and lovely things, aimed at soothing and calming a baby in the hopes that everyone involved gets a good night sleep. For slightly older children bedtime also should be soothing and calming, but the fact is that toddlers have more ways to express themselves and that can complicate bedtime. Babies cry. Toddlers whine. Babies drift off. Toddlers negotiate. Babies cuddle. Toddlers go down with a fight—after all, there’s that monster under the bed.

Last week I shared one poet’s interpretation of what babies think. Here’s another artist whose songs about slightly older children express the thought process of that stage of life. Julie Maccarin is a psychologist and family counselor in Asheville, North Carolina who channels toddler’s thoughts and turns them into very funny songs.

“There’s a scary monster under my bed
His hair is blue and his eyes are red
He has two bumps in the middle of his head
And he’s keeping me awake at night!”

Kids like songs like this because, Dr. Maccarin says, “it describes a common childhood fear in a playful and non-threatening way. This helps reduce their anxiety and gives them a sense of mastery over their fears.”

She also has a song about imaginary friends, a topic I understand well. My daughter’s “friends” Herman and Inchka stuck around our house for a very long time---they didn't eat much and cleaned up after themselves, so it was fine with me.

“Many children have an imaginary friend,” says Dr. Maccarin, “though whom they can vicariously express their wishes, fears, needs, frustrations, and other feelings.” The song below is about an imaginary friend who is “smart and wonderful, but also sometimes naughty, not unlike a real little girl or boy!” Take a a look at Dr. Maccarin's website at to learn more or order her CD. 

So as you tuck your baby or toddler into bed tonight, check under the bed and know that, whatever you and your child find, all is well.

Sweet Dreams,

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