Usually from Jesse.
Seth came out of his room last night at almost 10 pm, whimpering.
"Jesse's scaring me," he moaned. "He says he saw my green dragon (a stuffie) move."
I stroked his hair. "Your dragon is a stuffed animal," I explained. "And stuffed animals don't move."
"But he saw it move! He said!" Seth insisted. "And he said he heard a noise--a huuuuuuuush," (Seth is whispering this in a low but spooky voice, a few tears trickling down his cheek).
"It's probably the washing machine," I said. "Jesse is only trying to scare you. Now, back to bed."
Dutifully, Seth climbed back into his loft bed and I covered him with his striped blanket, hoping that would be the end of the fear-mongering.
By 11, we'd had a few more visits from my fearful boy, culminating in a two-day electronics ban for his button-pressing brother.
It brought back for me all the fears of childhood, the monsters under the bed, the branches scraping against the bedroom window, the creaking floors and doors that surely spelled doom. And none of it, of course, anything real.
But the next morning, I found the green dragon in the bathtub.
No idea how it got there. The power of the mind, perhaps?