It always seems to happen around bedtime. I suppose it's not surprising. 7pm is probably a five- year-old's equivalent of our 3am.
The insomniac's Hour of Hell, willing themselves to sleep but unable to rein in thoughts seldom given brain-time during daylight hours. Pension schemes, savings accounts, wondering how to dissuade a teenager from having her bum tattooed, all conspiring to hold sleep at bay.
Finje's concerns are somewhat more original. Her recent sleeplessness was prompted by a sudden inability to yawn and brooding thoughts of leaving home. Fortunately short lived, these particular woes were easily allayed with a little empathy and some well practiced distraction techniques.
Last night however, Finje's occasional bedtime moments of angst, hiked up a level.
Currently, at her own request, Finje stays in kindergarten until 3pm. On her return home yesterday, she entertained herself contentedly for a couple of hours, lost in a fantasy world of unicorns, castles, and Pingu her penguin. After supper and a bath, I asked her to put on her pyjamas.
This request seldom causes a negative response as it's usually followed by the reading of a story of one episode of a favourite DVD. I was taken aback therefore, by the sudden look of pure despondence and outburst of sorrow.
According to Finje's inner timepiece, it couldn't possibly be time for bed as she had "only just" left the kindergarten. Reassurances from me that she had actually said her goodbyes a full four hours previously fell on disbelieving ears as she insisted she had been there "just seconds" ago.
In the end I was forced to take down the wall clock. After much patient explanation and a broken clock hand, she very reluctantly admitted defeat and pyjamas were donned.
A consolatory extra episode of Winnie the Pooh I had hoped would be enough for her to settle into bed worry free. It was not to be. With creased brow and teary eyes she grabbed my hand as I tucked her in.
"The world moves too fast mama. Why does the world move so fast?"
Contemplating a suitable and age appropriate response to this splendidly profound question I stroked my daughter's fretful head and, as all good mothers do,stalled.
"Well......" I began, deciding to yet again demonstrate my exemplary parenting skills by making it up as I went along,
"Well, it's like this..."
But Finje was already fast asleep.
What do your children worry about?