Monday, December 10, 2012

Silly Gilly nightmare

I noticed some concern on Dylan's face the other day when he was watching a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, Minnie's Pajama Party, which features Goofy telling a scary story about a creature called a silly gilly gumble. Goofy pulls out a flashlight and basically does a shadow puppet that looks like a rabbit on the wall and tells all of his clubhouse friends, "Once upon a time, there was a Silly Gilly-Gumble. The Silly Gilly-Gumble lived in the woods and only came out at night, floating with long ears." A glorified bunny, folks. And that's all he says about the creature. The rest is left up to the power of suggestion.

The episode continues with a knock on the door from Pete and Goofy causes trouble again by planting the fear seed in the minds of toddlers everywhere, "Maybe it's the Silly Gilly-Gumble!" Soon, an owl hoots. Again, Goofy starts shit. "Did you happen to hear a Silly Gilly-Gumble a-hootin' out there?" [Owl hoots] "[gasping] That's it! That's the Silly Gilly-Gumble!" No, a-hole, it's an owl.

Lastly Willie the Giant shows up to the party moaning and Goofy again says it's the Silly Gilly, but Willie shows everyone his finger and says he was making that strange noise because he has a boo boo. The friends wrap his finger in a bed sheet and the party continues and everyone does the hot dog dance, yada yada, the end.

Dylan and I cuddled in front of the fireplace yesterday and he brought up this Silly Gilly-Gumble. He kept saying, "Scary!" and "Boo boo!" and "Owl!" all the while flailing his arms in the air and scrunching up his cute little forehead. I explained to him that the Silly Gilly-Gumble is not real but his look of concern never dissipated. I knew he had engraved this scary monster in his mind. Our first scary monster.

So I wasn't surprised when he started calling for me in tears in the middle of the night. As I hugged him he showed me his finger and told me about Willie the Giant's boo boo and the owl and the Silly Gilly-Gumble. I held him until he fell asleep and settled in next to him until morning. My poor baby was scared.

This morning I woke up ticked off at the Silly Gilly-Gumble. The mama bear in me wasn't happy that Mickey Mouse had scared our little buddy. So I Googled the episode and found numerous blog entries from parents having to soothe nightmares stemming from Goofy's story. And since Dylan was still talking about how scared he was in the morning I decided to sit him down and rewatch the episode with him. Either it would terrify him further or become a good teaching moment.

Since he didn't understand the concept of real vs. make believe, I told him that the Silly Gilly-Gumble was actually just the name of that sweet owl hooting in the trees. Letting him associate the title with an object seemed to help, but just to be triple sure we Youtubed videos of baby owls being petted like kittens. Dylan loves kittens. See? Not scary at all buddy! Just cute little owls named Silly Gilly-Gumble!

He asked to watch this video allllll day long. If you like cute baby owls it's worth watching.

I'm just hoping he isn't afraid any longer. I'm a total worrier and I want more than anything to shield him from silly gilly things like shadow puppets on a wall. We'll see tonight if he can finally shake the nightmares.