We spent last Friday night at my sister’s in Ohio. I slept next to my two-year-old niece. After she was done with a bottle of milk, she told me a story about a tortoise. I understood half, imagined the rest. Later, since she couldn’t sleep, she swiped through multiple rhyme videos on YouTube. At some point, she distanced the phone with a jolt. I looked at the screen, there was a dragon in one of the videos. We had to pacify her and rock her to sleep. Sometime past 3 am, I woke up to find her crying. Bawling, to say the least. She couldn’t catch her breath and wouldn’t let go of her mother. We switched on the light, and walked her to different rooms. My sister (her mom) started a story which she wouldn’t listen. Her grandma handed her a bottle of milk which she wouldn’t drink. She cried like she had just learnt how to. We were powerless. We watched as her cheeks soaked in tears. She wiped them with her hands and wiped her hands on her frock. 15 minutes later, she allowed us to put her in bed. And slowly, the monsters she had seen, vanished. Sleep and exhaustion crawled in, and she lay still for the rest of the night. The next morning, she had no recollection of the episode that had rattled the rest of us. I looked at her as she stood in the patio in her onesie, her eyes staring at nothing in particular. She looked so vulnerable, so tiny. I wanted to bodyguard her dreams, make her believe that life is like the pure white milk she drinks… until she grows up, walks beyond the little patio, and figures it out herself.