(A post originally intended for the Halloween season, but giving birth has postponed it until now...more to come soon.)
For almost a year now, Olivia, my 3-year-old has had an unwelcomed obsession with monsters. I think we first noticed it one night when she came into our bedroom and said, "Jesus is bringing me monsters." Her exposure to said creatures has been limited. The most reoccurring ones appear to be ogres, giants, and wolves.
Olivia brought this monster home from preschool a couple of weeks ago. Based on the other monster pictures I saw coming out of the classroom, the mouth was probably supposed to be a smile, but she gets it. Monsters are unhappy. They show up in her nightmares. For any number of reasons, they are a rejected species. Shows like the Muppets or Sesame Street, even the movie Monsters Inc. are trying to redefine monsters for us, take away the scariness, but it doesn't really work. What you end up with aren't monsters at all. Monsters are never really happy, just ask Olivia.