For years I have lived in fear of the bogeyman stealing my kids. I think every parent can relate. My baby would be napping and I would jump at the chance to take a quick shower. In the shower I would let the water run all over me soothing my new mother worries. Suddenly my serene thoughts would turn to panic as I imagined in some detail some random stranger stealing my baby. My hands literally flew in hyper speed washing myself.
The soap dropped! Ack! I don’t have time. My legs don’t need to be shaved at a time like this! The bogeyman is in my house I just know it!
With soap running down me I would jump out and quickly towel off. Aware of the silence in the house I would stop and listen intently.
Did I hear something? No. Wait a minute, why don’t I hear anything?
The towel haphazardly wrapped around me I rushed into the baby’s room flinging the door open wide in my haste.
Awesome. I just woke him up. That’s great.
Sound familiar to any new moms? Well, as my kids got older I dialed down the crazy a little. Not all the way. But enough. Every once in a blue moon I will be showering and hear wild thudding with occasional screaming.
Holy cow! What is going on out there? It’s the bogeyman! He’s come to steal my kids!
Then I relive the hyper speedy shower scene described above. The shower door flies open and I step out dripping and listening intently.
Did I hear something? No. Oh crap! I don’t hear anything!
My children’s happy squeals shatter the silence and I count voices. One . . . two . . . three. Yep all there. Whew! A second later I hear angry child screams and stomping up the stairs. Yep, definitely all there! And in that moment I realize how foolish I am to worry that anyone would want to steal my children.
Any parent knows that each day is a bipolar array of feelings for one’s offspring. They are so sweet when they’re asleep. Awww. Why do they constantly fight? I never get a moment of peace around here! I love sloppy kisses. Again with the whining? Is that the only tone of voice they have? Look at them help each other! Awww.
Now imagine the bogeyman stealing your child/children. Do you think he would last more than 10 minutes with that? I don’t think so.
The other reason why I believe the bogeyman is not interested in children is because parents think their own children are the bees knees but look at other people’s kids and see dirty, obnoxious, dirty, stinky, snotty, short people. People can honestly tell a mother that her child is adorable/cute/smart/whatever but no parent actually looks at another child and thinks, Dang! That kid is better than mine! For all of our misperceptions of our own accomplishments, we see our own children as the only perfect thing we have anything to do with.
I know what you’re thinking. The bogeyman probably doesn’t have any kids and that’s why he wants to steal yours. After all, your kids are perfect. No. The bogeyman may be tempted to steal your kids but I promise the bipolar display of five minutes alone with someone else’s kids gets old fast. The bogeyman isn’t getting paid to take care of your kids. He is not related to your kids. He does not care about your kids. Let me repeat that:
HE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR KIDS!
Kids are little monsters to anyone who is not actually their parent. I promise. Imagine your worst public experience with your kids. You know the time you think of to gain strength. The time you congratulate yourself on actually bringing them all home alive when you know darn well you could have driven into a tree or off a bridge or something just to end the misery. Keep that moment in your mind and imagine the bogeyman having to deal with that meltdown. You know he wouldn’t know how to handle it. He’s not your children’s parent.
Which is exactly why the bogeyman is not dumb enough to actually want to steal your kids.
He is not waiting outside for the sound of your shower ready to pounce on the innocent victims running around inside. He is not stalking your every move completely aware of when your husband is out of town ready to pounce on everyone sleeping in the house late at night. He does not know you locked the deadbolt between the laundry room and garage but accidentally left the sliding glass door unlocked! He doesn’t know because he doesn’t care. To him your kids are dirty, stinky, obnoxious, snotty, short people.
I have felt this way for years. Now I have my validation. A brazen thief stole a car with a child in the back seat. As soon as he realized there was a child in the car he got off at the next exit and dropped her off at the corner. Why? Probably because she was crying, screaming, whining, reciting lines from annoying movies, calling him a stranger, whatever. “I just want the car! Don’t make me keep the girl inside! Ack! Get out, girl! Find your own way home. It’s that way.” And he sped off.