Quick! Think of a scary scene from a horror movie. Think, damn you, THINK! Have you finished? Sweet! You guys are officially my mind slaves!
I bet at least one of you pictured that scene from The Shining with those two girls in the hallway. “COME PLAY WITH US, DANNY.” Those girls were creepy as hell, right? Same with the kiddos from Village of the Damned, Regan from The Exorcist, Damien from The Omen, Samara from The Ring… you get the picture. Children are straight up nightmare fuel. (I think it’s their little teeth.)
Speaking of abject terror, M sleepwalks. And sleeptalks. With his freaking eyes open, staring into the depths of my soul.
So Joe, being a nurse, works weird hours and/or long days, which means that my nightly routine consists of:
- putting the children to bed
- ignoring the dirty dishes/laundry/pile of duplos/mound of unswept dog hair/etc.
- browsing Netflix for 15 minutes trying to decide if I want to watch something I’ve already seen eight thousand times, or take a chance on something I’ve had sitting in my queue for ten years, until I decide on nothing
- having an existential crisis about the fact that I just wasted 15 minutes of my life browsing Netflix when I could have been doing something productive, oh god what am I doing with my life, I am 30 years old and still have no real answer when people ask me what I do for a living and HEY REMEMBER THAT TIME SEVEN YEARS AGO WHEN THAT SUPER EMBARRASSING THING HAPPENED? LET’S ANALYZE THAT FOR TWENTY MINUTES!
- passing out, alone, at 8:57, new worry lines permanently etched in my brow from the previous activity
Point is: I go to bed earlier than your grandparents. And (fun fact!) sleepwalking usually occurs during the first two cycles of sleep. So right around the time I’m entering DreamLand, M is booking his trip to Crazy Town. Choo choo, motherfucker… all aboard the Sleepwalking Express. Next stop: Terrorizing Your Mother-ville!
The first time M sleepwalked, he was about three or four. Ever since becoming a mother, I am easily awakened by the slightest noise, because evolution and motherly instinct are dicks. So when I heard the sound of breathing near my ear, I woke up, heart racing, to discover M’s face inches from mine. In the dark. Eyes wide open. “FUCK!” I cried, because I was still half asleep, and also a terrible influence.
“M, what is it, what’s wrong?”
“Mama. There’s a man in the corner of the room. He’s looking at you.”
The fact that I’m still alive and writing about this means that no, there wasn’t really a man in the corner of my room waiting to murder me and wear my skin as a suit. (Huzzah!) I somehow managed to get M back into bed without stroking out from fear, and things were pretty quiet for a while.
Until about two months ago.
I’m in bed, passed out, probably drooling. (Definitely drooling.) Once again, my Spidey-sense starts tingling and tells me that there is a smallish creature next to me on the bed. So I open my eyes. There’s M, laying on the bed, facing me, with his eyes wide open.
“M, what are you doing in here?” (Notice I didn’t swear? Progress!)
“M… go back to bed.”
“M… dude. Seriously. GO TO BED.”
*shakes his arm* “M, SERIOUSLY. GET BACK INTO BED.”
In my just-rudely-awakened stupor, I didn’t quite figure out what was going on. His eyes were open, he was responding (kind of), and when I finally managed to get him out of my bed, he walked into his room, shut his door, and climb into his bed completely on his own. It was only after a few minutes of muttering “wtf” that I made the connection. So, like any normal person would do, I laughed softly to myself and went back to sleep.
And now that you’re my mind slaves, you never will either.