Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why My Children Will Need Therapy - Reason #462

Pin It (Thanks to the foot post, I now know more about poop and fish eyes than I ever, EVER wanted to know. You're all DISGUSTING. Or rather, your children and animals are disgusting, but in a kind of awesome way. So there's that.)

I must preface this post by saying - I love my daughter and I am NOT AFRAID OF HER.


The other night I was sitting at my computer in the middle of the night, typing clickety-clack, clickety-clack and chortling to myself, when I felt this PRESENCE.

I looked to my left and the girl from The Ring was standing RIGHT THERE, two inches from my face and I screamed in terror. Except, OOPSIE, it was actually my six year old.

(See, she’s really pale, with long dark hair, and when she’s had a nightmare, she has crazy eyes. So you see how it could happen... Right? Um... Right? Hello? Is this thing on?)

For years I’ve worried about what kinds of things my children will say about me in therapy as adults, and I think for Sarah, it will probably stem from that moment, when I scared the living daylights out of her.

She cried, and I felt like a monster, and slapped myself several times because GET IT TOGETHER WOMAN, she’s your darling, tender hearted, sweet, kind, brilliant daughter. And then I took her back to bed and stayed with her until she fell asleep.

But then. BUT THEN.

Last night, there I was in my bed, innocently sleeping and minding my own business, when again, I felt this PRESENCE. I woke up and looked to my left, and sweet mother of a badger, there she was again, staring at me with the crazy eyes.

“I had a bad dream,” she whispered, in a creepy zombie voice. (Or possibly it was just a scared six year old voice. My imagination - now and then it tends to run up and down the hall, waving its arms and screaming in terror.)

I bit back my screams, held out my arms and she crawled into bed with me. I spooned her and patted her back while she told me about her dream about a poisonous snake in the house.

“How long were you standing there?” I whispered.

“A long, long, long time, mommy,” she whispered back.

“Why didn’t you wake me up?”

She turned around and looked at me serenely and yet still with the crazy eyes, then said, “I was trying to wake you up with my MIND.”

Um. Ahem. Well. I see.

You know, I love my child, but from 1AM until approximately 3AM (the premium creepy hours), I think I might be just a leeettle bit afraid of her.


  1. sweet mother of a badger! lol

    sue you are just so cool.

  2. SUE! It's gotta be the Vegas water. We could start some kind of class 5 year old only rarely does this anymore but she used to do it ALL the time.


    Actually it was the adjustment to the our new house, new sounds, new etc. She'll be good after a year or two of near heart attacks on your end. Well, at least that's how long it took Gabby. But you're a better Mom than me...I never crawled into bed with her...hey I don't fit in that dinky bunk bed...once I got used to her presence in my sleep I sometimes ignored her *gasp* and found her asleep on my floor in the morning.

    But she stopped. Finally.
    Oh, and it didn't actually take years. That was a joke.

  3. This is so funny! Sorry to laugh at your terror, but it is definitely one of the funniest things I've ever read.

    "Sweet mother of a badger"

    I love it!

  4. Anonymous7:40 AM

    I was thinking the same thing as Shell - sweet mother of a badger - that's awesome!!
    So anyway, I can totally relate. My youngest daughter has always been the same way, with the bad dreams, crazy eyes and all. And for some reason that I still can't figure out, she will walk up to me so quietly that I won't hear her (and I'm pretty good at those kinds of things) and scare the living daylights out of me! And then of course, because she meant no harm, she too gets startled from my reaction and starts crying too. Good times. Oh, yeah, and she sleepwalks too. One night she had a particularly bad dream, so bad that she didn't even recognize me when I came in to calm her down, but instead only screamed louder as if I were the bad person in her dream! Ack! That was a rough night, I'll tell ya!
    One thing I can tell you for sure though is that at least with my daughter, it seems to lessen with time - she's nearly 9 and we haven't had one of those dreams for nearly a year. That's good for me because I don't like being scared or caught off guard!

  5. I scream when startled. My kids are sort of used to it. I hate when I'm screamat the same time as thinking, "Why am I screaming? It's only my kid standing there?" But it's as if the scream response will not be denied.

    Once, long ago, I woke up in the morning, looked to my right, saw someone's head (presumably severed) on the pillow next to me, sat up, and screamed. This bothered my husband a lot. I say it is his fault for always pulling the blankets up to his neck.

  6. Anonymous7:48 AM

    Sweet mother of a badger! Does it take you hours to come up with these things? That's priceless!

  7. Thanks, Sue. Now I won't be able to sleep tonight worried about my six year old scaring the pants off of me.

  8. Oh, Sue, you are too funny!
    I wonder if badger mothers scream at their kids?

  9. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Thanks for a much needed laugh. Sorry! This has happened to me so many times.

    Shell said it are just so cool!

  10. Why do you think I never watched that movie? 'CAUSE OF THAT.

    Mine is just a chatterbox when he wakes up, he thinks it's a fine time to have a conversation.

  11. Anonymous8:22 AM

    PLEASE write a book. I read you at
    work and need to strap on a Depends
    as a precaution.

  12. One time I rolled over and saw this messy top of hair on the side of the bed, and screamed "what the hell are you doing here?"

    See, I *thought* it was this creepy kid from church... turns out it was my husband, whom I had just scared the ba-jeebers out of!

  13. PS- This post should definitely make it to the sidebar. I'm pretty sure it's my all time favorite. Or second favorite. I really like Goodbye Cruel World, too.

  14. I loved this. You are tooooooo funny. Just the perfect dose of hiliarious I need to start my day!

    I too have been FREAKED by my little PRESENCES in the night! How they are so noisy in the daylight and so stealthy in the dark is beyond me!

  15. Oh my!! How scary!! I would've screamed too. But yeah...poor kid :D

    I'm afraid of ALL my kids, and none of them have woken me up like that!! *lol*

  16. Sue, anyone that can wake you up with her mind needs to have a little bell-necklace to wear to bed. Or maybe an anklet would be safer. Kids are so awesome.

  17. Heck, my kid is used to my screams. He knows better than to use his Jedi mind tricks on me.

  18. So, do you think she really did awaken you with her mind?
    Because if she really has that ability, THAT could be really scary.

    My toddler prefers to wake me up by poking me in the eye.

  19. This is where being EXTREMELY nearsighted is a blessing... I just dress the kids in different color night clothes, and viola, I know who they are, but am spared the crazy rolling eyes!

  20. Anonymous9:49 AM

    Night terrors are usually something kids have, not something they give you! Oh, the joys of motherhood.

  21. Love it!!

    Although your lack of sleep will only increase the slap-happiness and that should make for some good blogfodder.

  22. OH geez I thought I was the only one! When I was little I used to do this to my mom and when she didn't wake up or when she told me to go to bed I would just stay there and eventually lay on the floor and sleep. I had horrible night tremors and sleepwalking but I don't ever remember doing this. Now... my daughters do it too, not one but two of them. It scares the crap out of me and they just crawl in my bed like nothing... Geesh! I feel your pain! :)

  23. i also love the clack clickity clack part

    thats my second favorite part

    I've read this port 10 times already!

  24. Anonymous10:51 AM

    Sweet mother of a badger - great stuff!

    I'm sorry your daughter is so scary, but seriously, this was so funny that I had tears leaking out, and I nearly died from the effort of holding in my laughter in my office at work!

  25. Ha ha ha!!! I'm glad my kid's a little blond boy. I probably would have screamed too. That movie freaked me out.

  26. roflmao....this post is hilarious!

  27. You should know that I almost died reading this post. Literally. I was eating ice cream while reading and just about choked to death. Funny!!

  28. Ha — this post and also the various commenter who have woken up to what they thought was a severed head. Ya'll are cracking me up.

    I don't know about everyone else, but I am COMPLETELY irrational between the hours of 1 and 3. I believe things to the core of my being that I would never even contemplate during the light of day: that there is a UFO trying to abduct me, for instance...

  29. boohahahahha...wiping tears from my eyes! I get scared at the littlest things...and I also scream when my kids wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me they are scared...

    You should go on tour or are hilarious!

    Oh and can you answer something for me? What is with the Sweet Mother of Badger comment? Am I missing something?

  30. That was great! I screamed like that too when I turned around to see my almost 5 year old girl right in front of me and she had just chopped her bangs completely off. I'm scared of my youngest too. He's honestly the spawn of Satan. I love him to pieces, but it's true. He can look and talk just like the boy from The Omen. I finally gave up and admitted who he was after the last incident I blogged about. Sleep tight!

  31. Yeah it works for all small children apparently. My nephews and niece used to think it was great fun to go wake up aunt kalli as soon as they got up (which was the butt crack of dawn), except they would just sit at the foot of the bed and stare at me until I got the willies and woke up.

    Someday I'll pay them back.

    Sweet mother of a badger. Hahahahah!!

  32. oh sue, it's okay. my kids will end up in therapy too.

  33. How is it that you always manage to make me snicker out loud like a dying hyena? It's not an attractive sound. At. All.

  34. Anonymous3:46 PM

    That is totally creepy. I would have screamed for sure! My nephew spent the week with us a few summers ago and woke us up every day this way. He was used to crawling into bed with his parents in the morning, and thankfully he spared us that surprise! We are now getting ready to adopt a few kids and I am going to have to remember to supress the screma reflex.

  35. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! I normally wake up as soon as I hear the doorknob turn as one or the other of my kids enters my room, but on two particular occasions, Emily has managed to get in without me hearing her entering. The first time, I woke up, and her face was literally two inches from my nose, the room was dark, all she was was a shadowy THING in my face, and I jumped up and screamed pretty good. Scared myself, her, AND my husband in one fell swoop. She was just standing there, watching me sleep, because she was afraid to wake me up, apparently. The next time, she not only got into my room without me hearing her, she SOMEHOW, also managed to get all the way up into my bed without either myself OR my husband waking up. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and THERE SHE WAS, sharing my pillow, tucked under my blankets. I assumed her daddy had stuck her in bed, but he claimed innocent and Emily said she did it all by herself while it was still really really dark out. Makes me wonder what else I've completely slept through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My grandma tells the story of waking up finding my aunt hovering over her in the middle of the night with a butcher knife, sleepwalking, apparently! now THAT'S worth waking up and screaming about!

  36. Seriously - that gave me goose bumps.

    Thanks for that very sweet comment on my blog. Totally undeserved, but I'm not giving it back!

    Hugs! Heidi

  37. How completely freaky is that.... waking you up with her mind?? lol. I would probably scream too. Hope she isn't scarred for life :)

  38. I better add that my time is coming, my oldest is two and still confined to the crib. So, we'll see in a couple years if I have a child who also needs 'therapy' lol

  39. Anonymous5:14 PM

    haahahhaha. I yelled Right! but only in my mind.

  40. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Yikes--I totally would have screamed, too!

    I used to have to close my eyes when I nursed my first newborn in the dark in the middle of the night. It creeped me out how he would stare straight at me with his big, black eyes. I could hardly see the whites, so it was like looking at a shark's eyes or something. I still *shudder*shudder* thinking about it.

  41. Oh yes. I remember those nights. I used to scream at my kids all the time. You see, in the middle of the night, or early morning, or when I'm sound asleep. Waking me up will also wake up the entire neighborhood. They learned early on to just lay on the floor by my side.

    Don't wake mommy, she will scream at you.

  42. GREAT Post! You funny, funny woman!

    How is it that children pad so noiselessly into rooms in the wee hours and hover over beds, scaring the bejeebers out of their moms? My son has done that a couple of times, too.

    All I know is that I'm using that one from now on..."Sweet mother of a badger!"

  43. Oh Sue! I needed that laugh!

    My brother used to that to my mum -all- the time. He'd just stand next to her side of the bed until she woke up. Freaked her out hugely.

  44. It's not your kids that will need the therapy, it's you with all this creepiness.

    It reminds me of my niece who carried on a Gollum/Smeagol conversation with herself in time-out. That was creepy too.

    Also, I love you. The end.

  45. Oh my Gosh! I can't stop laughing from your post and the comments! Severed head! Gollum-Smeagol conversation? It's too much! Last year my then 6 year-old would come to my room at night and debate with "Nest" and "the other boy" (his imaginary friends) if he should get in my bed or not. Extremely creepy for someone who at 30 is still terrified of the night. One day he told me he was going to make a picture of these friends so I cold meet them. I was terrified of looking at it, until I realized they were a turtle and a dog.
    And also, the same son had a high, high fever, and he came running to my room, where he continued running from...dementors. I almost cried of terror--you see, my husband, the son of a gun, was out of town...

  46. You might not be afraid of her but I think I am.

  47. Anonymous2:35 AM

    I am making sweet mother of a badger my new mantra.

  48. Ok, I hope this isn't too weird, but I linked to your page from Shelle's. I wasn't going to comment until I read that "you might die." So here it is...

    What an awesome story. You are an AMAZING writer. I laughed with tears-a-flowin'. The only bad thing is now I feel like I truly suck as a writer. Oh well, nice job.

  49. i LAUGHED SOOOO HARD, I mean soooooooo hard through this whole post. this is hilarious!!!! and yes a bit scary. i use to worry my first born was possessed and i didn't know it, but i guess she "grew" out of it.

  50. Anonymous4:19 PM

    My daughter used to get night terrors in which she would scream uncontrollably and wouldn't recognize any of us who were trying to calm her down. Every once in a while she would creep into my room and stand by the side of the bed and when I felt that "presence" and awoke and tried to talk to her, she would start screaming uncontrollably. "Sweet mother of a badger" is the perfect phrase to describe that feeling.

  51. Anonymous11:20 PM

    This one should go in the sidebar too.
    Along with some of these comments!

  52. Anonymous12:39 AM

    I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes from laughing so hard. This was hilarious!!! :)


  53. I'm still laughing. Days later.

    And if it makes you feel better, I have screamed at my children when I open my eyes to find them staring at me, just inches from my face. Screamed like a teenager in a horror movie. I'm impressed you were able to hold it together.

  54. Can I have free use of "Sweet mother of a badger"??? I will totally give you credit if I use it! That is the funniest phrase I think I have ever heard! HAHAHAHA

    My husband and I are totally scared of the Ring girl!!!! He swears she came walking out of his shop one night so I don't go out there after dark! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  55. Anonymous7:12 PM

    I used to do that to my mom all the time. I actually remember doing it as an adult too (yea I moved out late but whatever). It was pretty funny on my end, I think after 20+ years she got used to it because she would wake up with the meanest look, and then I'd ask her if she was awake. LOL, I still think it's funny.
    My baby sister used to sleep walk and one night she came into my room all zombie like. Freaked me out, especially when I looked up thinking it was my mom and no one was there, then I looked down and there was the crazy little just staring at me.
    Mind willing is awesome, don't be afraid. Hopefully you get used to it soon ;).

  56. Umm yes, yoinks, is all I can say!

  57. Oh my goodness... I can hardly see through the tears to type..."sweet mother of a badger" sides hurt!

  58. OH my gosh...this is TOO funny.
    I have a feeling someone has been watching scary movies.......sound familiar???
    Love your blog!!!

  59. Anonymous5:34 AM

    I am laughing so hard right now I am crying......this has happened to me! And that girl from The Ring---so scary.

  60. Hilarious! I had a similiar experience with my older sister. We'd just seen "The Ring". She saw me standing there, with my hair in front of my face later and she screamed. She scared the life out of me!

    By the way, I found your delightful blog on the mormonblogosphere thingy.

  61. Huzzah, this post earned you the "honor" of being the Imperfect Blogger of the Week!

  62. Holy cow that was funny. And I am afraid for you...very afraid.

  63. I am laughing so hard, tears are rolling down my face.

    Congratulations on being the most imperfect blogger!

  64. My son did the "stand right by the edge of the bed and breathe on me until I woke up" thing a few times while he was potty training. Scrared the livin' daylights out of me every time. Don't feel bad about thinking it's just a little creepy.

  65. I'm not sure if the post or the comments made me laugh harder. It is sooooo good to know others have this happen too!