After I tucked the wee one back in I went to check on Iris. She's always been a sleep talker, but tonight was kind of intense. She was definitely asleep. Eyes closed, not moving, but talking, she started muttering about biting. Then she said "Ida was biting me and she was so angry." I tried to tell her (with her eyes closed, while she was sleeping) that Ida wasn't going to bite her; in fact, Ida routinely trots into the kids' rooms while they're asleep and checks on them, but she repeated it again: "Ida was biting me." So finally I just said, "I'm so sorry. I'll tell her not to." Apparently I said the right thing because she heard that and relaxed and fell back into deep sleep.
Iris usually wakes up at some point in the night and comes to our room. Her typical reason is that bugs are in her bed and they are biting her. This is fully my fault. My dad used to say to us every night before bed, "sleep tight; don't let the bedbugs bite." It was sweet and I thought it was a lovely, heartwarming tradition to uphold so I said it to Iris one time. Once. One. Time.
That's all it took to convince her that bugs lived in her bed and would bite her while she was sleeping.
There was a monster who lived in the hallway, and a witch who lived in the bath tub, and a wolf who lived in her closet. All were treated as real, producing actual fear, and providing good reasons to never go to the places they inhabited. We've managed to quash almost all of the random mythological creatures' influence on her routine, but I'm not sure how to handle this "Ida bites me in my sleep" thing. I mean, she doesn't bite Iris. Not even kind of. She trots into her room, checks to see she's there, then goes back to lying under the chair in the living room. Not really sure what to do here.
I think I might get her a wand; teach her to cast spells and banish spirits. If she believes it, I'll move on to giving Cormac a spray bottle containing "sad repellent" and let him squirt the hell out of anything he sees fit. Wish me luck.