Fighting the Bogeyman, With Science!

Before I continue, a programming note. Effective immediately the sobriquet of “Beachy” as it refers to my daughter is retired on SB. She’s never been a big fan of it, and earlier today requested its immediate and permanent discontinuance. We’re talking in the strongest possible terms here. I’m left with no alternative but to honor her request.

beachclosed

It remains to be seen how I handle this from here. Stay tuned.
Image credit: Wolfram Burner

Right, now on with today’s narrative.

As is the case with most eight-year-olds, bedtime can be an ongoing battle. In the case of my daughter, this is especially true when she’s with me, as well as especially true on the eve of a major event such as the last day of school. That’s tonight’s double whammy.

When I was a kid, I held a very strong affinity for twilight, especially in late spring and early summer. Although it was way, way past my bedtime, it was still light enough to play outside. Especially during that time of year, I often got away with doing so. It’s one of those those little nuggets of past freedom which brings a smile to one’s face decades later.

My daughter, unfortunately, views this same scenario with profound trepidation. She blames it on Twilight. You know, that eponymously cheesy vampire movie. “It scarred me,” she says. Well, I can certainly relate to that.

TWILIGHT_FANS_FAIL_But_Win_4Us_by_AnimeKicksAss7345

It scarred me too, and I refuse to watch the damn thing.
Image credit: ~AnimeKicksAss7345

Seriously though, she’s afraid of vampires and such. This is nothing new with her. But with her effective graduation from second grade now mere hours away, tonight I resolved to do something about these irrational fears. My daughter possesses a very keen scientific mind, so that’s what I appealed to.

“What’s the single most important aspect of science? The one thing that all scientists do all day every day regardless of their particular field?” I asked. “It’s observation. Right?”

“Well, have you ever actually seen a vampire before, or a zombie, or a werewolf, or whatever? Of course not. You know what? No one else has either. Those who claim otherwise are simply imagining them for one reason or another. They exist in fiction, stories and movies. Nowhere else.”

533px-RANDI

Daddy’s totally channeling James Randi here, FTW!
Image credit: JREF

I could tell this really struck a chord with her. “Is it like that in history too?” she asked. “Why yes, to an extent.” Wow. Didn’t see that one coming. We then talked about Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, something my daughter considers silly at best. Yes, the very same video that seriously freaked out my sister some three decades ago. History indeed.

Nevertheless, I’ll share the sublime genius of “Golimar” with her another day.

Although clearly satisfied with the conversation, she still wanted me to check on her every five minutes until she got to sleep. “Can I leave the light on?”

“Sure,” I replied.

Five minutes later, she’s sound asleep. Good night.

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