Eri's sister usually watches after Omi and Opi (since she lives next door), but she's going down to Miami to help her daughter with the oncoming string of hurricanes. They need some supervision, so Omi and Opi are staying at our house, even though their home is in no direct danger.

That means Eri and I are sleeping in the kids' rooms. Sleeping apart isn't so difficult; it's a little disheartening, but not so bad. But last night Eri woke up our youngest daughter, Kayla, on the way to bed.

Kayla has been suffering from anxiety over mummies.

No, seriously. And somehow I don't think the "Oh, no, mummies! I'd better walk slightly faster!" argument is a good tack to take with her.

So I've taken the "not real" position. It's a little harder to defend than the werewolves or vampires variant, since mummies patently do exist. I just have to convince her that the moving kind are a myth.

Although that's taken hold reasonably well, she still isn't all that happy. Now she's concerned over Neverland falling down to touch our world in the night and letting the bad guys cross over.

So I've taken the "Harry Potter" position as a fallback: bad guys can't stand love, and Mommy and I have put so much love into you that as soon as you touch the bad guy, he'll crumble to dust. (That's the movie variant; she's read the book, but not seen the movie. I don't think it's appropriate for a 6-year-old.)

For good measure, I've added on the "bad guys are scared of Daddy" and "I don't let any bad guys in the house" corollaries.

That's holding up very well, but she's still scared at night. So much so that she's been coming to our bed for the past three or four days, with sporadic visits over the past two weeks.

So last night, when she woke up, she didn't want to go back to sleep.

I spent hours calming her down, telling her stories, standing by her bed, setting up her night light, charging up her glow-in-the-dark Doodle Bear, hugging her when she was still scared or crying because she "can't go to sleep". She despaired that she'd be grumpy the next day, and hated the idea that her body would succumb to exhaustion at some point.

She eventually fell asleep, then woke up only to find me missing a few minutes later. It took two iterations of this before she realized that I was too big to just disappear on my own, and she had fallen asleep. She started to understand that she could go to sleep, because she had gone to sleep.

Finally she fell into a deep enough sleep to stay that way until morning.

Then Opi woke up and went for a walk around the adjacent room.

Luckily, Kayla was unaffected. But I hung around to make sure she would be okay. By that time it was 2:30AM. I was falling asleep on my feet.

It was hard to wake up this morning, but I seem okay. I wonder if that's just an effect of the sleep deprivation. I can't wait to see the code I write today.