As a child, I don 't remember being scared of my toys. Except the time my aunt gave me a clown, and my sisters and cousins would dangle it in front of my face when I slept - reenacting a scene from Poltergeist the movie.
Their giggling would wake me up and I would scream in terror as the clown grinned at me.
It wasn't an evil looking clown. It was kind of cute. But the movie, and my sisters actions made me hide it in the cupboard and one day, I threw it out. Nobody noticed the clown went missing.
As I often lie awake in my daughters' room, I look around and watch as dusk turns to dawn my daughters toys gradually morph in my mind from innocent dolls to a gang of undesirables. There are three dolls I pay attention to. They are on my watch.
They are like the rough kids in the playground. I stare, I watch, I wait, I observe. I am ready. If they make one wrong move and even hint at hurting my cherubs, like a panther I am ready to attack.
One is a Minstrel doll, handmade. If you lift it's dress, it has my mothers name sewn into it's belly, like an amateur tattoo after a drunk night out. Scary and weird.
The other two are little girls, that have curly hair, hats and are in eighteen century dresses. When they have batteries, they sing American skipping (or jump) rope nursery rhymes.
I haven't been able to make out the rhyme, but am convinced one is from the 1940's (Charlie Chaplin went to France). Read the lyrics, and you will understand why the dolls do not have batteries. I am not ready to talk to my 1.5 and 3.5 year olds asking me about World War 11.
The girls don't play with the Minstrel doll. They get the two girls down, and play with them for about two minutes. One has lost an arm in battle. And still, I don't pity it. I am suspicious. They look like they're going to attack, like possessed dolls in a horror movie.
I have decided that when we move (in a few weeks), we're sending these three dolls on holiday to the same camp the clown went to. One far far away, never to return (and if they do, we won't be here).
I feel a shudder as I make my decision. Paranoia? Yes, Overacting exhausted mind? Absolutely. I wonder if the girls will notice.
Image: "Crying Doll" by Theeradech Sanin. Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net