December 3, 2009

Darth Vader Must Die

On Thanksgiving, Darth Vader showed up to our table.

S has not slept well all week. Hence, we're all exhausted around here.

What happened on Thanksgiving is that my 12 year-old cousin asked my brother to get out his old Darth Vader helmet/mask, just because that's what 12 year-olds do. He wanted to take it home or something. So he comes down the stairs wearing the hat, naturally, and it has buttons that make that breathing sound. SoJo started screaming and crying, and his clueless mama didn't even see it coming.
I love this Threadless t-shirt, which has been sadly discontinued
S spent the entire meal saying in a sweet toddler voice "no Dar Vada" over and over and over. Not crying, just saying it. All he ate for dinner was the ice from my water. I think he was just too overwhelmed to eat, and I'm sure his tummy was not up for a high-carb experience.

There's a vibe in the air at home that just won't go away, a mixture of stress and fear, not just about DV, as Mr. Geek and I have been code-calling him, but the fear of when the naptime/nighttime screaming bouts will begin. They're so unpredictable.

Like last night. S woke up a 3am, screaming "Mama, mommy, daddy, mommy, daddy!" in full panic mode. That's enough to propel you out of bed running to his room in the haze of deep sleep, thinking he's being murdered. Naptime is equally bad, with him screaming for me upstairs. It's so heartbreaking, especially now that he knows to call his dad or me. He never screams about Darth Vader, but all of this happened after Thanksgiving, so I'm guessing DV is the source.

In a desperate attempt, I've been trying to work with him to conquor his fear. We have a pop-up book, Star Wars Guide to the Galaxy, which is so cool (that's another post) that I've pulled out to show S Darth Vader.
He loves the book, especially the last page with the full pop-up helmet and two miniature figures--Vader and Luke Skywalker--who are wielding light-up light sabers. He's certainly not afraid when I pull out the book, but then again, that breathing sound DV makes is not there.

So my predictable, easy-to-put-down-to-sleep toddler has totally thrown a wrench in the works. Will this go away? What should I do? I don't ignore his crying, as that seems cruel, but maybe I should distance myself a bit more, check on him then let him cry for a little while. Suggestions would be much welcomed.


  1. Maybe get another Pop Up book to get his mind away from Darth Vadar,

  2. I don't know if you have tried praying with him. Hope he gets back to normal soon.

  3. Aw. I'm sorry. I don't have advice for that one. The Pop Up book is probably a good idea in my opinion, but I guess you could try to do something super awesome that he would like, like going to the train depot or something to watch trains?

    I dunno, D. is in a big choo choo phase right now, Jojo was never into trains that much. But Jojo LOVES scary things.

    D. is scared of thunder. One night he woke up crying because of the "booms", and it was actually fire works. So I took him outside and showed him the "pretty booms" and he calmed down quickly. Hopefully next time there is a storm and REAL booms, he won't react so fearfully.

  4. I would do something not related to DV. Maybe even though he enjoys the book, it still conjures up that fright he felt when he saw the mask. Give it time, dont show him DV and he will get over it as it becomes less fresh in his mind.

  5. Oh boy...I feel for you. DS1 has his episodes too--with vaccuums especially. He'll shake and scream and scream if he sees it, hears it, or even if I go near the closet it's in.

    I think it's just getting him used to it're on the right track, and hopefully he'll get over his fear soon.

  6. That POOR BABY!!!

    We haven't has issues with fears like this I will be interested to know what helps him.

    I hope you get him through it soon!

  7. Aw, poor baby :(
    Unfortunately, I don't have much advice for this-Maybe explain the fact that Darth Vader isn't real and he shouldn't be scared?
    I wish I could help more.

  8. I had something like this with my daughter and sharks..My boys watched shark week and she freaked.I went online and found not scary pictures of sharks and shark babies and she has been fine with them evey since.Maybe finding some child friendly pics or even creating a DV picture with fun stuff in it might help.I put mine on my desktop so she would see it on her own and I was not pushing her into it.Then i printed a few and hung them in the boys room and she eventually wanted her own in her room.

  9. Well, it's no surprise, DV scares me, maybe not for the same reasons, but he is a scary dude. I do want to comment on you worrying about going to him too often. In my opinion kids cry for their parents for a reason, if he needs you, go to him and don't feel guilty about it! It's funny this came up, I just posted about parenting without guilt!!! He is at an age where fear comes into play, he's just now figuring out the world is a much bigger place than Mommy's lap! You'll get through it with love, time and patience.

  10. Have you asked him why he's so afraid? Maybe it is Darth Vader maybe it's something else. I would ask him point blank what's so scarey and not let him get away with saying nothing or I don't know. If he tries that maybe you can gently ask, "Darth Vader?" then and there and have a conversation how DV is just a made up character.


I'm a good listener...comment away!

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