I looked up “boogeyman” (alternately spelled boogieman or bogeyman), just to clarify before I started drawing. Here’s what wikipedia has to say about it…
A bogeyman (also spelled bogieman, boogeyman or boogieman) is an amorphous imaginary being used by adults to terrorize children into submissive behaviour. The monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them. Bogeymen may target a specific mischief — for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs — or general misbehavior, depending on what purpose needs serving. In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the devil.
Seriously? Terrorizing children into behaving? That’s abuse, IMO.
My folks didn’t use fear to get me to mind (theirs was a more complex cocktail of reward, guilt and obligation), but I had fear issues anyway. My particular boogeyman appeared in recurring dreams in the form of a Boris Karloff-style Dracula. I refused to draw him because to this day I have a niggling little concern that the nightmare will return.
Instead, I opted for the classic “monster in the closet” drawing. Not the Monsters, Inc., kind of monster (loved that movie, can’t wait for the sequel!), but the icky monster kind. The kind my best friend recommended I use “monster spray” to prevent. That girl probably saved my 8-year-old sanity (thank you, Geri!)
Yes, my closet bogeyman looks kind of like a really grouchy fish, which may have something to do with our planned trip to the big aquarium in Denver to celebrate g-baby’s 2nd birthday. I have fish on the brain.
Anyway… when it comes to boogeymen, I tend to think of the following song. I didn’t know it until I was an adult with children of my own, but it carried me through a number of ugly, scary, stressful situations. It still comes to mind some mornings after my hubby leaves for work in the wee hours and I have to fall back to sleep till dawn.