No, I’m not talking about kids being scary in the financial sense (here’s looking at the “day” cares seriously charging college tuition to teach finger painting) or about the awesome and petrifying responsibility of raising another human being that is completely dependent upon me for every little thing (no pressure!). Kids are actually scary.
Cookie, your Mommy and I often awoke in the wee hours of the morning to a quiet, disembodied voice floating through the monitor. “Mom-my. Mom-my. Mom-my. Mom-my. Mom-my. Mom-my. Mom-my. Mom-my.” You didn’t cry or scream. You just repeated the words calmly, elongating the sounds and accents eerily, just like ghosts in the horror movies that I’m sure you’ll grow to like. Somehow at a very early age, you learned that Mommy and Daddy watch you via the baby monitor in your room. You would stand up, look at the camera, and talk to us. Turning on the view screen of the baby monitor, we would see your face up close to the camera; only, the night vision of the camera doesn’t pick up the whites of your eyes, leaving a black pit where your eyes should be –a cherub face possessed by the demons of the darkest pits of my imagination. That first time we saw your eyes completely black caused a jump and a scream (a manly scream, I assure you). We love you, Cookie, but we still jumped very single time afterwards.
Cookie through the monitor: Thirsty. Milk. Please.
Me whispering to Mommy: D’oh! Well, maybe she’ll fall back asleep.
Cookie through the monitor: No sleep. Thirsty. Milk.
To make things worse, you have inhuman hearing. Your bedroom is all the way down the hall and on the other side of the kitchen, yet you heard Mommy and my conversations in our bedroom with both your and my doors closed. It always freaked us out to hear you joining our conversations via the monitor. This, of course, was the first time, so it freaked me out all the more.
Me: Coming Cookie, I’ll warm up the milk.
Note how well you had me wrapped around your finger, Cookie, and you weren’t even one yet. I didn’t even speak into the monitor, I just accepted that you could hear me, and if my demon daughter with inhuman hearing needed milk, well, off I went to heat it up. You obviously heard my response, because you sat down in your crib to wait.
So there I was, sleep deprived and already spooked, standing in the kitchen warming up a bottle of milk, when all of a sudden your toys in the dark living room started talking to each other. I, of course, jumped three feet up in the air, splashing milk everywhere. You couldn’t have gotten by me from your bedroom to the living room –you couldn’t climb out of your crib–, but maybe demon babies with inhuman hearing could also fly, so I went to the living room to see… no one.
Great. Now I had a demon daughter, possessed toys, and spilled breast milk. Where was I going to find an old priest, a young priest, and a divorce attorney at this hour?
Parenting tip: apparently many baby toys that speak or sound have a slight time delay function where it will speak or sound to regain the baby’s interest a few seconds after the baby last played with it. On this particular night, however, all of those toys coincidentally and simultaneously had a six hour delay. That has never happened again.