Halloween is almost here. And while I may not be sticking to my pre-parenting traditions (scary movie marathons, obnoxious decorations, and drinking my weight in pumpkin beer), I am still finding time to be living in a constant state of fear #isthisyearoveryet?
You see, when you are a parent of small children, everyday is Halloween. Someone is always asking you for something (trick-or-can-I-have-more-crackers), there are costumes, and cobwebs. Lots and lots of cobwebs.
And like I said, shit is scary. I’m talking more than just the day to day cray that is 2017. Toddlers are scary. I mean, they are known for the weird things that they say and do. And weird things become terrifying things when they happen in the middle of the night.
As a matter of fact, life with a toddler is kind of like Halloween married a scary movie and they had a haunted house for a baby. And now you’re stuck changing that baby’s diapers.
- There’s not much difference between a toddler and a poltergeist. Sometimes I’ll be sitting on the toilet and the door will quietly open, but there won’t be anyone there. Cabinets and drawers that were previously closed are suddenly open. I can walk out of a clean room for two seconds and walk back into one that looks like a team of monkeys got into a fight in a Toys R Us.
- There is something else living in my toddler, and it’s trying to get out! My daughter twitches, giggles, and yells randomly. It’s almost as though she’s waging an inner war with an alternate personality that is intent on taking over. Sometimes she’ll give a shudder and then start growling seemingly out of nowhere. She’ll just turn ever so slightly to look at me or my husband and give a slow, deliberate smile. I’ve seen this movie, it does not end well for the parents. Well, at least it doesn’t end well for the dad, I’m pretty sure the mom made it out okay though.
- There’s another presence here… and it lives inside a Fisher Price barnyard walker. Toys turn off and on at random. Sometimes in the middle of the night I will hear a song playing quietly in an empty room. Or a giggle will escape from inside of an otherwise unoccupied toybox. Theeeey’re heeeeeeeere… and they require five D batteries but you only have four because THEY ONLY COME IN PACKS OF FOUR.
- Toddlers relay messages from the other side. Yeah, kids say the darndest things. And by the darndest, I mean the most terrifying shit ever. Recently, my 6 month old was asleep in her room while the toddler and I were cooking in the kitchen. Suddenly, grabbing the baby monitor, the toddler yelled, “Look mommy, you’re in there!” I was like, “Wait, what? Who the hell is in there with my baby?!” One night way back when my daughter was 18 months old, she woke up at 3AM and refused to go back to sleep. She kept pointing at the windows and the door and saying, “It’s outside.” When I asked her what it was, she couldn’t tell me. Eventually she walked to the door and reached towards the knob and said, “Help open.” Um, fuck that. I scooped her back up, turned off the lights in the kitchen, and noped back into the bedroom where my husband was sleeping. We stayed there like that until morning.
- If you have a toddler in the house, you are just constantly saying, “What is happening?!” with varying degrees of urgency. I’ve been in the middle of cooking dinner when suddenly my hallway sounded like the end of Paranormal Activity. You know the part I’m talking about, with the loud rapid footsteps. I’ll be mid-stir at the stove and suddenly it sounds like a large demon is running down my hall, about to end my life. But when I turn around, it’s just my tiny toddler. I’ve caught her, on more than one occasion, pointing at nothing and smiling/talking/laughing, like she’s communicating with something only she can see. Once, I walked into the hallway and she was standing there, stock still. Her back was to me, and she was looking out towards the dark kitchen. When I called her name she slowly turned around and looked at me, smiled, and ran laughing into the darkness.
- Actions speak louder than words, and a toddler’s actions scream, “You’re going to die soon!” Have you ever been in the shower with shampoo suds streaming down your face when you hear the sound of the shower curtain slowly sliding open when you are supposed to be in the bathroom alone? I have. I hope asking me for animal crackers was worth shaving two years off my life!!!
- Night time is the scariest time of them all. You haven’t really lived until you’ve woken up in the middle of the night to someone standing silently next to your bed. If doctors really wanted to test your stress levels, they’d skip the treadmills and just hook you up to a machine as your darling daughter crawls into your room with her head down, on all fours, whispering while you’re minding your own business watching the Amityville Horror. That’s a true story. That freaking happened to me.
- Night terrors and terror in the night… You’ve heard of sleepwalking, and sleep talking, but have you heard of sleep crawling? I have watched my daughter crawl out of her room and into ours while sound asleep, dragging her head along the floor like dead weight. Which, while unbelievably terrifying is apparently perfectly normal according to her doctor who may or may not also be in league with Satan.
So yeah, I may not have found time to watch my box set of Nightmare on Elm Street this year. Or, been able to pencil in a haunted hayride, but I have had my fair share of scares this Halloween season.