And then came last night.
I am so, so embarrassed to even recount what happened, because, well, in the light of day (um, evening), I SEEMS AN INSANE PERSON. (Love Actually, anyone?)
Anyway, our night began quietly enough. We lit the menorah...
…and T and I commenced cleaning up the 8,932,875 toys that seem to miraculously spawn every time my back is turned. After each and every toy was back in its place, I placed a very sleepy Lo in her empty crib (THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER ON), and tucked T into his bed (where, by the way, he has been sleeping in pretty much the most awesome positions ever)...
...and bid him goodnight.
J and I went on with our evening, and turned in around 11.
At , I was roused from The Deepest Sleep Ever by my husband shaking me awake. “What IS that?” J mumbled sleepily. I heard it, too: It was the unmistakable shrill, cloying sound of one of Lo’s toys. I cocked (heh) my ear, and quickly deduced that it was the magical rolling ball, aka, Toy Most Likely to Induce Seizures And/Or Cardiac Events, What With All the Zip!Zip!Zip! Noises, Shrieky Singing, Flashing Lights and Rolling of its Own Volition, Sans Human Hands. I told J as much, only somehow, it came out like “Isss herrollingball. The noisy one. G’nightzzzzzzzzz.” Somehow, he was not satisfied with this response, and asked me where said ball was located, so that he could turn it off. I sort of woke up, and told him it was on T’s armchair in the living room, as that was precisely where I recalled putting it when we were cleaning up.
As he stumbled out of bed to shut it off, I reflected upon how weird and creepy it was that the toy had apparently turned on by itself in the middle of the night.
And that’s when Weird and Creepy gave me the finger, laughed in my face and said, “Sister, you ain’t seen SHIT yet.”
J returned with a stricken look, and told me it wasn’t there. “What do you mean it’s not there?” I asked him. He repeated himself, and the irritating music kept playing, as I began involuntarily shivering. “Metalia! COME HERE!” he stage whispered. I followed his voice to the kids’ room, and together, we found the ball.
IT WAS IN LO’S CRIB. TINY, SIX-MONTH-OLD LO WHO CANNOT, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, CRAWL OUT OF HER CRIB TO RETRIEVE AND ACTIVATE HER TOYS, AND RETURN TO HER CRIB, TOY IN TOW.
Oh, and T was passed out COLD under his blankets.
In the light of day, I’m sure what happened was this: T woke up and unbeknownst to us, wandered into the living room. While there, he decided to give his baby sister her favorite toy, and crawled back into his bed.
That, however, was NOT what I thought last night. No, what I thought then was that our home was haunted by malevolent baby demons. Then I realized that was ridiculous, and instead came to the more obvious conclusion: A deranged murderer, perhaps a clown of some sort, had broken into our (NINTH FLOOR) apartment. He was a clever evil clown, you see, and instead of simply murdering us, he decided he would toy with us (BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT EVIL, MURDEROUS CLOWNS DO, DON’T YOU SEE?) and send us a little message, just to let us know that he COULD murder us. His method, of course, was to take one of my kids’ toys, turn it on, and place it in the crib, knowing full well that we would awaken from the sound, and just when we were scared out of our minds and all trapped in the room together, he would pounce. Murderingly. (And while I know that isn’t technically a word, I certainly felt like it should be, particularly at .)
PEOPLE, I REALLY THOUGHT THIS.
We shut off the loud-ass ball, and returned it to the living room. We returned to bed; J immediately fell back asleep, and I lay awake FOR THE NEXT HOUR AND A HALF.
I sat on my bed in the fetal position with one eye on the door, and another suspiciously eyeing the video monitor for a telltale glimpse of the evil clown murderer inching towards my kids. If I had a third eye, it would have been staring enviously (yet witheringly) at my blissfully sleeping husband.
“We have to move!” I kept thinking. “This place is either haunted or easily accessed by Potential Clown Murderers!”
Thankfully, I came to my senses this morning, and realized that I was being, you know, crazy. But tell me, people: Wouldn’t this have creeped you right the hell out?