Why Toddlers Are Basically Every Horror Movie Villain Ever

Has this ever happened to you?
You wake up in the middle of the night, drenched with sweat, your heart thumping in your throat, and find someone standing over the side of your bed, hair matted in front of their eyes, breathing heavily through their mouth, and reaching out to grab you.
If you answered yes, you are either:
A vixen from a horror film . . .
You have young children.
It turns out that the plot of almost every scary movie ever written could easily be mistaken for just your average Tuesday with a toddler.
Remember the iconic scene in the movie Psycho where the attractive young woman lavishly washes her hair, completely unaware that a crazy person wielding a butcher knife is about to burst through the curtain? Replace the butcher knife with your not-at-all-waterproof cell phone, and make the crazy person completely naked apart from his socks, and that’s how I get ready pretty much every morning.
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Or that scene in Halloween where the killer calls the babysitter on the phone and just breathes into the receiver until she panics and runs shrieking from the house. Think that’s creepy? My toddler has accidentally dialed my ex-boyfriend from the toilet while I enthusiastically coax number twos from the background. If that doesn’t make you scream, I don’t know what will.
As a parent, if you’ve ever sneaked away to the bathroom for some peace and quiet, you’ll know that the iconic scene from The Shining where an ax-wielding Jack Nicholson forces his way through the bathroom door is not only a piece of cinematic history but also every mom’s nightmare. Except instead of “Here’s Johnny,” it’s more like “Where’s Mommy?” But that’s close enough.
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And it’s not just movies about stalkers and serial killers that are based on life with little kids. Remember Gremlins? You think a story about fuzzy little creatures who hate bright lights, beg for food after midnight, wet the bed, and then turn into evil monsters is entirely fictional? You should see the videos of our most recent family vacation.
Last week I walked into the kitchen to discover my 3-year-old had scaled the fridge and was hanging from the top of the handle by one hand. With the other hand he was batting away balls that the older one was throwing at him. And you thought King Kong was just a movie about a giant ape . . .
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I can remember watching The Exorcist as a kid and hiding under my blankets during half the scenes, too afraid to look. I couldn’t figure out how that girl’s mother doesn’t run from the house screaming the moment she projectile vomits, pees on the floor, and rotates her head 360 degrees. Now, of course, I realize that’s because by the time our kids are Regan’s age, we’re just glad the puke didn’t land in our mouths, they managed to avoid the rug when they peed, and the neck specialist is covered under our health insurance policy.
Anyone who’s ever witnessed a toddler watching television will immediately relate to Poltergeist. I’m pretty sure the second most common phrase uttered in my house – behind “No, don’t stick that in there” – is the only slightly less used “Step away from the TV.” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve caught my toddler with his nose pressed against the screen muttering unintelligibly to the voices only he can hear. So far he hasn’t been sucked inside, but I’m just hoping if it happens, it’s not during an episode of Peppa Pig or Caillou. Because I’m not sure if I’d actually go in after him.
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So the next time your toddler asks if they can watch you pee, strokes your arm obsessively while talking to you, wears your makeup, or steals your underwear to use like a hat, just remember that they’re not necessarily budding psychopaths. They might just be the next generation of highly successful movie makers.
Just keep following that red carpet all the way to the cuckoo’s nest . . . which, by the way, is another place toddlers fit right in. #baby #babyproducts