(This made more sense when I still had a preschooler.)

Know the Facts: Kids Are Scary

No, I don’t mean, “My kids are SCARY CUTE!” or “It’s scary how fast they grow up” or “My darlings are little monsters, haha!” That’s not news, people.  If there is one goal of my blog, it’s to deliver the news to the masses.

So let’s get right to the point.  It is Halloween, very conceivably a night of increased powers for these small demons, and we are running out of time to understand the facts.

1.    They are born with the capability of casting spells.

Let’s talk about the two ways in which they cast spells.  One:  on you, the parents, and sometimes the grandparents.  Two:  on their peers.

Of course they have the ability of “charming” us as newborns or babies.  I’m not talking about the cutesy sort of spells.  I’m going to set the scene of a very early morning at my house in order for you to understand.  I make my sweet children breakfast.  I am running around trying to get us fed and ready to drive Girlchild to school.  If you’d asked me the night before if I planned to make more than 2-3 items for them for breakfast, I would have laughed, “Aw, HELL no!”  But what am I doing?  Responding to the rude demands of a 3 year old with panic and an illogical need to appease him.  He’s not happy with just the frozen waffle and piece of fruit?  Pretty soon I’m making toast, when I know full well that nutritionally the boy needs no additional carbs.  I’m cowering in a corner trying to somehow mask the sound of the wrapper of my chocolate protein bar, when their supernatural sense of hearing alerts them and they whip their tiny glaring heads around and inquire what I am eating.  (And then I am sharing my protein bar with them.)  I am adding more butter to something because the original butter has melted and they do not trust its presence.  On good days some sort of angel taps me on the shoulder and opens my eyes and I shout, “AAAgh!  What just happened?  Eat what’s on your plate!  You do not need another breakfast item/chocolate protein bar/more butter!!”

As I mention above, they also cast spells on their peers/siblings.  Walk into any crime scene in my house (e.g., most recently marker drawings on the walls) and ask, “What in the world?  Who did this??  Why did you do this?” and one child will always blame the other, “He told me to do it!”  To which I reply with Ye Olde Wisdom, “If he told you to jump off a bridge, would you?”  Naw, don’t answer that, kiddo…. because if you were under his spell, you TOTALLY would take the leap.

2.  Their imaginations mimic the creative horror of Stephen King.

The best personal example I have of this is Boychild’s sudden inexplicable fear last summer of “the hand.” He was 2 years old.  Out of nowhere, he became convinced of the presence of “a hand” under his bedcovers.  He was panicked at naptimes and bedtimes, and would sleep with his feet outside the covers, to protect his lower appendages from this hand.  He would also run from the closet where Manchild tosses on the floor his clothes that are in the purgatory of not-dirty-yet-not-clean-enough-to-hang.  He would make me investigate Manchild’s sweatshirts, because if he saw one of their empty cuffs on the floor, he feared the hand inside.  So—how did my son come to fear “the hand”?  I have absolutely no idea.  We limit and censor our kids’ screen time pretty well, and I have never seen such a thing on PBS or in Disney movies.  Additionally, Girlchild would have spoken up to explain her little brother’s hand phobia, had she been exposed to the same media.  She seemed just as perplexed as we were.

3.  Children are directly employed by viruses to further the viruses’ cause. Do the math:  given a contagious zombie disease, this equals the apocalypse.  “Gosh, why are my kids suddenly so quiet, sweet, and cuddly?  They want hugs and kisses nonstop, want to lean against me, and keep telling me they love me so much!  Why do they want to sleep longer and make my days easier?  Oh well, I guess today’s just a lucky day like that.  Wait a minute!  I see SNOT running out of their noses!  Oh, NOOOO, they are sick and they’ve put me at risk of getting sick as well!” 

 Now, with zombie germs:  “Oh gosh, I thought it was just a cold, but now they’ve been sleeping for 24 hours and I can’t feel a pulse…. AAAGH!  They’re biting my head!!”

 It’s just that simple of a scenario.

4.    According to many horror films, they are more easily possessed by the devil than are adults.  Everybody’s got a “scariest horror subgenre” opinion.  For Manchild, the movie he is most afraid of is Poltergeist.  Others are deathly afraid of vampire flicks.  I happen to be most afraid of exorcism movies.  I definitely saw The Exorcist at too early an age.  I haven’t watched it in years because it freaks me out so badly that I turn into an incredible coward.

So, when Girlchild was about 2 years old and I took her to Mass and started to bless her with holy water from the font, and upon contact of the water to her forehead she began shouting, “What is that?!  I DON’T LIKE HOLY WATER!” I was relieved to be in church for the next hour.

Around the same age, we’d put her to bed one night and were downstairs, and happened to catch something out of the corner of our eyes at the top of the stairs.  She was sitting quietly, eavesdropping, but using her Twilight Turtle to project an eerie blue glow on the ceiling above her head.  AAGH!  What 2-½ year-old sits quietly and eavesdrops and waits??

And, does your child make unearthly voices at times when you are alone with them in the dark, reading them bedtime stories?  Oh sure, they may laugh at their own ability to growl, but if those voices were in a horror movie you’d swear they were noises that cannot be made by human beings.

Does your child come downstairs whispering when you least expect it?  How about saying creepy things that imply that they’ve been reading your mind?

All these things have happened in our house.  To the extent that the one time when our baby monitor was picking up a neighbor’s older houseguest whose voice sounded too much like Tom Waits, my heart spent 2 seconds in my throat before my brain told me to dig out my rosary.  Manchild was convinced there was an intruder in our house, and went in Girlchild’s bedroom looking for the man, while I just shook my head and recited prayers, searching for that rosary.  I was murmuring to myself, “It just all makes sense.  I knew this time would come eventually.”  Turns out, the monitor was just on the wrong channel, but we still got rid of it just for peace of mind.

5.    They have a sixth sense.  Yeah, dogs and cats do too, but they can’t tell you about it, so you can dismiss their antics as just crazy animal confusion, unless the spot they sniff on your arm really does test positive for cancer.  What about when your kids tell you super freaky stuff?!

When I was little I distinctly remember at least two times hearing a demonic voice either saying my name or telling me I needed to leave its house.  Thank God this stopped in my teenage years, but that was some seriously freaky shizzle.  Yeah, I was half asleep so I guess it could have been a dream.  Sure sounded real though.

And what about the thunderstorm in which Girlchild crawled into bed with me after Manchild had left for work in the morning?  We cuddled and she stared straight ahead, far across the bedroom, and said, “There’s a man over there in a black tuxedo with his arms crossed.”  For some reason I didn’t feel scared, so I replied calmly, “Ok.  Well, he will have to watch us sleep” as I laid my head on my pillow and shut my eyes.  I must have been hella sleep deprived or something because this gives me chills now.

And then there was that trip to Sedona I took with a friend, in which the second psychic with whom I met (I needed a second opinion because the first one was just dead wrong, and very judgmental, I tell you!) volunteered the information that a dark-haired man in his 30s follows me around to “learn from me.”  I cackled at this…. what in the world would this man stand to learn from me or my life?  She said she didn’t know, only that he had died a tragic death . . . Since I’ve never felt scared or felt like I have a presence near me, I mostly dismissed this info.  Back home a few days later, Girlchild looked at the front door window while she ate breakfast and laughed, “There’s that man again at the front door.”  I looked up…no one there.  I took a slow breath and said, “What did he look like?”

“He has dark hair.”

I calmly asked, “Has he been here before?”  To which she replied in the affirmative.  Holy.  Crap.

6.    They are energy vampires.  Halloween USED to be my favorite holiday.  Now my kids have stolen its pleasure from me.  I am currently so worn out, that although our house is filled with spooky candles, an animatronic urn and animatronic ghoul butler and animatronic spider, I walk by nonchalantly.  Old and good friends (and victims!  You poor people!!) will recall that in Em Time B.C., I used to celebrate Halloween for a full month.  While our decorations are still up October 1 barring any illnesses that pose challenges, this pales in comparison to celebrations that occurred before Girlchild and Boychild existed.  Every weekend for a month I hosted Friday and Saturday Halloween evenings, which included a pumpkin entrée (pumpkin soup, pumpkin lasagna, etc.), Halloween themed dessert, 1-2 horror movies and/or a trip to a haunted cave/house/whatnot.  The last Halloween event was always a big party.  EVEN IF NO ONE SHOWED UP TO THE HALLOWEEN WEEKENDS, THE SHOW WENT ON.  Attendance was always high at the parties, and at least one year there was a breakdancing contest in costume.

My children LOVE Halloween, but it’s not the same.  Kids hate pumpkin soup, and I can’t show them R-rated films at their ages.  Actually not even PG-13 and most PG movies too.  Adult Halloween parties?  Nope.  Too much work, and we’d have to keep my 5 hour Halloween music mix at too quiet of a volume.  And at the end of each day I’m so worn out I don’t even want to watch scary movies.

Yeah, I know, Halloween is a kid’s holiday.  But these little vampires have drained my juvenile fun out of my blood.

So watch your back today and tonight, my parent peeps.  Kids can be sweet and are always adorable in costume, but I’m just not sure they can be trusted entirely.

3 Responses to “Know the Facts: Kids Are Scary”

  1. Meredith L.

    Agree. With all of it. And will add:

    Babies are like zombies: hungry, relentless, seemingly harmless but really out to drool and/or gnaw on you.

    Kids come up with some effed up ess, yo. My four year old tells us that his baby brother is so cute, he wants to “cut his cute little arms off.”

    And I definitely can sympathize with the whispering. Last winter the husband and I decided to rewatch “The X-Files.” Unfortunately, this coincided with the then 3-year old Juban Princeling’s new habit of waking up and getting out of bed at night. Since the back of our couch faces the long, dark hallway that leads to the bedrooms, we quite often were startled, mid-“X-File,” by the maniacal but whispered giggles of a crazy (possessed?) preschooler. We stopped finally gave up on “The X-Files” and also started leaving more lights on.

  2. dontrepeatthisinpreschool

    Meredith–I completely agree with the baby/zombie comparison! And I would totally add to this list your blog post about the Ghost Nanny. That was soooooo freaky! I hope she’s moved on for good!

  3. eafield

    As a zombie lover, I loved your comparison of children and zombies! =D very clever and I found your post to be witty and engaging!


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