Year 5, Day 96

It’s been a few weeks since I removed the knob cover from Miles’s door, granting him the ability to open and close it as he pleases. He’s largely treated this development responsibly, staying in his room when told and not coming into our bedroom in the middle of every night. In fact, his night-time incursions are so rare that we know if he does show up, something must really be bothering him.

Around 4:00 this morning, Miles crept into our room (and by crept, I mean it as I would for any four-year-old — he immediately made his presence known and was loudly whining). Neither of us was inclined to get up or argue, and so Miles climbed into bed with us and, mercifully, went back to sleep.

This morning I was able to investigate the cause of his distress a little more closely. After asking him what had troubled him, he said there had been “a critter” in his room, adding that he “saw eyes on his chair” in the corner.

Thanks to virtually every scary movie of the 1980s, I have a deep concern whenever a small child mentions “critters” in the night. And yet, even as my own dread was heightened, Miles’s had subsided, having now moved to problem-solving for next time. Miles outlined his plan for us to confront the critter and force him out of the house, a plan I don’t think I’m totally qualified for.

As he explained how we’d go about finding the elusive creature, Miles said we’d all need magnifying glasses. “Because we’re detectives,” he clarified. “Did you know that?”

If he says so! I guess I’m more qualified than I thought, at least in the eyes of a four-year-old.

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