NO ONE Tells You These Things

Recently, Jane took the liberty of adding items to my bedside table. It was really only a matter of time until she took some ownership of the space, as she’s always finding reasons to be in it. First thing in the morning she wants to snuggle and watch cartoons. After dinner she stacks a tower of books on the floor and wants me to read to her in bed.

I always have a stash of books, a glass of water, my glasses, TUMS and hand cream on the bedside table. She’s fascinated by these things. One night after a reading session, she deposited her Dr. Seuss book on top of the table, next to my books, and smiled shyly.

“I put there,” she said.

A few days later she left me a t-shirt she’d used to blow her nose. This week I noticed her Tinkerbell cell phone, a purple sock, and a comic book that came with her Chick-fil-A dinner called Cowborg (this entire piece of literature confuses her and she just calls it “angry cow”).

A few nights later I turned out the lights and settled in. I fell asleep and rolled over. Jane, like the thoughtful two year old terrorist that she is, had carefully deposited her Tinkerbell phone under the covers. Verily I say unto thee ladies… you have never known terror until you roll onto a toy in your sleep and it switches on, and through the dark you hear these words:

“Iridescent! You’re looking sparkly tonight!” 

I’d previously finished watching an episode of Hannibal before bed, and Matt was working late. My sleep deprived brain mixed all these components into a scary stew cocktail before I was even conscious enough to analyze what was happening to me. I sat straight up in the dark, lunging away from the pale yellow light of that little demonic piece of plastic.

The Tinkerbell cell phone might be this generations’s Chucky doll.

Here’s the part of the story where I’m a very bad mother. After she left for daycare the next day, I submerged the phone in water. I did not ever want to hear that thing bleat another chipper, horrifying fairy phrase.

“You are glowing with sunshine today!”


“My, I’m impressed by your fairy wisdom!”

I watched the bubbles gurgle to the surface and smiled smugly, knowing the little electric workings of its guts were smoldering into oblivion. Then I took it out, dried it off, and deposited it back onto my side table. There would be no more midnight Tinkerbell horror in my house.

The plan was very clear in my mind.

Jane would come home, pushing the previously chatty buttons on her Tinkerbell cell phone : “It’s bwoken!”

Me, hugging her, seeking to assuage my guilt: “Aw. That’s ok. Let’s go buy you a new cell phone.”

*insert super fun mommy-daughter Target date here*

I went into my closet to put on shoes. I hummed a little tune. I felt no guilt. That’s when a horrible, garbled voice from the bedroom started talking to me.

“The moon above gives us good cheer!”

It sounded as if Tinkerbell was a life long smoker, and had had a baby with Pee-wee Herman. Then they recorded it’s voice, and then slowed it down to the slowest speed possible.

“Theeee fairyyyyy duuuuust is readddddy for harrrrrvest…”


 I know when I’ve been beaten, and that hellish piece of Chinese plastic beat me. I ran down the stairs, out the door, into the garage, and off to the safety of work.

They should really tell you about things like this when you take your childbirth classes. No one tells you that one day you’ll try to snuff out Tinkerbell. And then plan to lie to your kid about it. And then Tinkerbell will resurrect herself from the dead and taunt you with her zombie vocal chords.

No one tells you these things.

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