In the spirit of the Victorians, let’s tell a scary ghost story just before Christmas. It’s a better way to be in the Victorian spirit than using arsenic as makeup anyway.

When we moved into the current house, L was two years old. From the very first night, she refused to sleep in her room. Even though we’d been sure to set up her crib and make certain that all the essential, familiar items were unpacked and ready, she staged an epic protest and insisted on sleeping in the master bedroom with us. All she would say, when asked why, was that her room was not nice, and had monsters.

So I embarked on an epic effort to make the room nice. We hung her curtains, put up stickers… it was a regular Fixer Upper, Toddler Edition (more Tinkerbell, less shiplap). Still, she wanted nothing to do with the room at night. Eventually she was able to say why… there were monsters. I figured she was using her amazing imagination and working her way through a really big change. After all, I was feeling overwhelmed and out of my element after moving to a new state, so I’m sure she was too. I figured it would pass after things settled down.

Narrator: It did not pass.

Gandalf: I told you.

We would periodically have conversations with her about what would make her want to sleep in her room, which led to the purchase of a toddler bed, then a full sized bed. She would sleep in there if one of us joined her, but never alone. She insisted there were monsters.

As she got older, she was able to describe the monsters in more detail. There was a mother monster (not Gaga) and a baby monster. The mother monster did not talk, but the baby did, and the baby would tell L that the momma monster was “very bad.” The monsters were stuck in the walls and ceiling, but had very very long arms, with talons at the the tips of their fingers. Yes, my daughter used the word talons. And…the monsters only wanted blonde girls.

Gulp.

The consistency of her story, the details she included, and the way she’d talk about it so matter of factly all added up so much that now I’m afraid to go in her room alone. That plus the creepy notebook we found hidden in the basement ceiling when we moved in, and the fact that the last family who lived here moved out for apparently no reason, and how I’d been assuming it was the cats opening her closet doors all the time…

A couple days ago, L reported that the monsters were gone. They were bored, and left. Evidently we’d starved them out of house and our home. I’m grateful we had quitter monsters who decided to just peace out and find a new food source, rather than get all nasty about the lack of service. But I think I’ll sage the house just in case.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a monster-free night!