Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Monsters Under the Bed- Aluxes Version

For months now we've been fighting the monsters under Max's bed. I thought we had it licked after De-Monsterizing, but the big bad uglies have reared their nasty heads and are putting a damper on our nights (and mornings and afternoons now). Max is convinced that there are not only monsters in his room, but the monsters have started to appear in our bathrooms and most recently at his school.

Last week he was VERY insistent that he had seen the monster outside his classroom. So insistent that he told the same story over and over, exactly the same details every time. I got called in to the school to discuss the story, as unfortunately his monster is naked and he thought he would describe him in great anatomical detail to the whole class of three year olds. I can't even tell you how many times I had to stop myself from laughing as he described "and his penis was hanging out as he ran around and I saw his bum with no clothes on!"

Yesterday as Max was walking into our bathroom and talking a mile a minute, he stopped dead in his tracks and went silent. He backed slowly out of the bathroom and whispered to me "The kid monster is in there, shhhh." Gave me the willies to be honest, it was truly like he had seen something, broad daylight or not.

Now here is where I start to get weirded out. In the past, he's only told us of a generic monster, no description other than "He's going to get me". Recently the description has become quite detailed, and always the same. "He's really tiny, like a kid, with no clothes on, he's blue and he's scary and he's going to eat my friends and get me in trouble". I asked Max how he walked and he immediately hunched his shoulders over like a little old man and started walking slowly with his hands reaching out, on his tippy toes but with his knees bent. As soon as he did that, my mind flipped to "ALUX!". He's seeing an alux, the mischievous little mythological creature of the Yucatan peninsula!

Now, before you all say "You're nuts!", I'll say it first. Ok, maybe not nuts, just open minded and willing to look to the supernatural, especially in this land so full of history and legends. Legends have to come from somewhere, right? Why couldn't he be seeing an alux? It's as good an explanation as any and far more fun than "repressed fear of abandonment, blah blah blah".

So what do we do? For starters, we've begun empowering Max over the monsters, encouraging him to address them (in a friendly way), introduce himself and ask their name, ask what they want and then tell them that this is our house and ask if they could kindly find someone else to scare. This is in addition to explaining to him that they are in his imagination and that he has control over what is happening in his mind. My parents are coming to visit in January and we plan on redecorating his room, making it warmer and more inviting (to humans, not monsters). Once we've redecorated, LisaLoveLoca has offered to do a cleansing of the room, in full shaman form to eliminate any residual bad energy. We're arming him with a flash light and a spray bottle full of "Monster Repellant" that he can spray at will (empty spray bottle, you know, imaginary spray for imaginary creatures). But mostly we are offering comforting arms, warm hugs and big kisses to soothe his scared little heart. I hate to see him so terrified, it's full on panic sometimes, it's enough to make me cry.

I guess I should be putting out some offerings to the alux too, mischievous little buggers like treats and I might as well appease them. Heck, we're going to put out milk and cookies for Santa, some hay for the Three Kings, why not some sopes and tequila for the alux?

For now, I have accepted that Max will sleep with me for a while, we cannot bear to see him suffering such horrible night terrors. We're hoping it's a phase that will pass and that with all the work we are putting into it, it will pass sooner rather than later.

Ok, Mr. Alux, leave my baby alone ok? He really doesn't need your help in causing trouble, I think he's one of your kind already. Adios!!


1st Mate said...

I found an interesting explanation of alux here:

Anonymous said...

hey, no se si existen o no , yo no creo en los aluxes pero he escuchado muchas historias de aluxes, que igual tu hijo puede estar diciendo la verdad

Sue said...

We've had the aluxes at our house. Workers have commented on them and we've had our own experiences with the 'unexplained'. We haven't SEEN an alux, but have felt one, and have seen some things happen out of nowhere that cannot be explained. You know they say that animals can see things we can't; maybe Max can see aluxes. Who knows? But poor kid, I lived in fear of monsters in the closet and under the bed too - I know how terrifying it is. I used to have a light left on in the hallway - took away the complete darkness and then I could sleep. Just a thought. I hope the little guy conquers it though. Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Oh, poor baby! Give Max some extra hugs from me and keep him close until this passes. :(

Frankly Ronda said...

We have not experienced anything with our boys like what you are with Max. But I, like you, are intrigued by what seems truly real to him. Who the heck knows? Good luck with this one - a parenting challenge.

Brice said...

"He's really tiny, like a kid, with no clothes on, he's blue and he's scary and he's going to eat my friends and get me in trouble".

Hungry Smurf????

My Way said...

Ha ha Brice, I was thinking, it sounds like a smurf to me!

But seriously I praise you for taking what he's saying to heart. Kids are extremely intuitive and can see things that adults have taught themselves not to. Keep doing what you're doing, and have him not fear what he sees, but better understand it. And asking it questions is a good place to start. Also, if Max says he sees one, simply talk to the alux yourself so that Max thinks you see him too, and yet you're not afraid.

K.W. Michigan said...

Poor little Max .. I hope the decleanse works. To this day, I don't like being alone outside in the dark!

Anonymous said...

great post kelly and i think you are handling the situation perfectly! my husband never liked having our kids in our bed but when they were little and he was out to sea, i would sometimes let them sleep with me. no harm done.

enjoy the season! it's such a precious time of year with little ones.

school is closed because of 2 inches of snow. that will probably sound funny to you being from canada, i lived in rochester n.y. as a kid and it had to snow a lot more for school to close. however, this is a very hilly area and driving on the ice is very dangerous. lots of districts in western wa. are closed.

take care,

Anonymous said...

I think you should take your son seriously. Some of us are born with the ability to see things that others can't. It's good to encourage him to speak to them, but also give him some tools he might need. I don't know if you are catholic or belong to any other religious organization, but if you can teach him a short version of our father that would be great. Some might laugh but it works. Have him cross his arms over his chest(Right arm on top)and say: "Padre mio, señor mio, te pido con toda mialma y todo my corazon, que ordenes a mi intercesor elemental, que traze circulos de proteccion alrededor de mi cuerpo fisico, para que ninguna fuerza del mal cause daño, a mi cuerpo fisico y a mis cuerpos internos, amen". You can do this with him every morning and at bed time. Ask him to imagine a circle of light surrounding him after the prayer. Basically he will be talking to his guardian angel, it will work, I assure you.

Heather said...

I am completely fascinated by this. I can only imagine your heart breaking seeing him that way, but i agree with everyone else.... your handling this the best i could even possibly imagine. Your a great mama with a great family and support system.

Anonymous said...

We believe in the aluxes in our house but they do not seem to threaten or scare my little ones in any way. I am however having trouble with a character called "Crying Mary", a terrifying ghost introduced to my children by our crazy ex-limpieza from Chiapas. Has anyone else heard stories of "Crying Mary"?

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Hey hon. I agree with the crowd that it is best to keep an open mind about what he is actually seeing. No matter what, he sees it, he is confinding in you and you will loose trust if you you simply wave it off. So congrats on that. We went through something similar in Oregon when Kennedy was between 3 and 4. It did take sometime for her to learn to calm herself. We are big believers in the take a deep breath and focus. It is really cute to see a 3 year old get all worked u and then tke a deep cleansing breath.
Keep up the good work hon. Lets get together.

CancunCanuck said...

1st Mate- Thanks for the link, interesting reading. Living here you hear many different versions of the same story, lots of similarities but each with their own personal flair.

Anon- Creo que esta viendo ALGO, no se que es, pero el pobrecito esta sufriendo. Gracias por tu comento y disculpe mi español!

Sue- I'm like you, I had a nightlight for years. I love that you have an alux, I hope he's a protective one.

Sandye- He's getting lots of hugs, poor baby indeed. :(

American Mommy- Definitely a challenge, I'm doing my best to find some way to offer him comfort at the very least.

Brice- LOL! Hungry Smurf it is. I guess I shouldn't buy the "Smurfs Christmas" DVD I saw today. :)

My Guey- Thanks girl, it's an interesting challenge for me, balancing act of encouraging his creativity, recognizing his abilities and showing him that I trust him but also letting him know that whatever he sees can't hurt him, that it is something in his mind. Ay, mi cabeza.

K.W.- For some reason outside is ok for me, but inside can still give me troubles in strange places.

Teresa- We're enjoying the season for sure, thanks! I saw the news about all the snow up in Toronto today, ouch! I send you virtual warmth and sunshine to melt that ice.

Anon- I believe in the spirit world and believe that any kind of prayer or mantra or positive thinking can help, thank you.

Heather- Thanks mami, I appreciate the kind words. I'm just going with the flow here, trying to figure out what works!

Michele- Crying Mary might be "La Llorona", a famous Mexican myth about a woman who kills her children then herself and can be heard crying and wailing "where are my children?" throughout the town. Lots of variations on that one all over Mexico.

Rosas Clan- Thanks girl, glad Kennedy got through it (and you!). I'm working on breathing with Max, we do a really loose interpretation of yoga (with a lot more bouncing around and "Look what I can do!" moments than your average yoga class). I'll send you a message about getting together, I've got some time coming up. :)

bordersaside said...

Wow, I think you are doing a great job with this. He will be a creative and wonderful adult if you all keep your minds as open as you can. I had an imaginary friend when I was little. I dont remember it but my mom tells me this friend was as real to me as this little creature is to max. Lucky for my mom it was a friend but we had to set this little friend a place at the table for a while even. My mom was also open minded and if I asked her to would talk to my friend and be sure not to sit or step on them. I like that you are telling him that he has control over this creature that he is seeing. That seems to be the best thing that you said you were doing. Empowering children is always so important. Let us know how this goes.

3LittleFlowers said...

Im really sorry this is happening... Gaby have had fear with the monsters (as I mentioned before), but has never said anything about seeing one... This sounds very serious to me... Big hugs for him and kuddos for you for taking this seriously.

Anonymous said...

Who are we gonna call? lol
Para eso están sus papás, para cuidarlo.
Este enano es muy especial y lo amo mucho.

Papá de Max.

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