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One night, Caillou wakes up frightened. He has had a bad dream. His mommy gets up and comforts him. The next night, the same thing happens. Now Caillou wakes up every night and each time he is comforted by his mommys loving arms. Caillous parents need their sleep, so they need to come up with a solution. Once parents decide to comfort their child whenever he has a nightmare, the child will soon realize his advantage: whenever he screams and cries, he gets attention. One night, Daddy gets up. Instead of picking Caillou up, he gives him his teddy and persuades Caillou to take care of him. As he consoles his bear, Caillou comforts himself. Teddy becomes a transitional object and recreates the mother-child bond. Caillou and Teddy protect each other. In this way, Caillou learns to cope with being alone and goes back to sleep. By doing so, he becomes more independent. Wakes Up At Night emphasizes the importance of a fathers presence in cutting the umbilical cord, to use a popular expression. The father plays a role in the necessary separation between mother and child. Such separation is essential for the child to develop positively and enter the wider world.
Nicole Nadeau is a child psychiatrist at Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, and the author of Caillou: I'm Not Hungry!Pierre Brignaud is the illustrator of numerous Caillou titles, including Caillou: Count with Me!, Caillou: Good Night, Caillou: I Will Always Love You, and Caillou: Just Like Daddy. They both live in Montreal, Quebec.