Last fall, we moved ourselves and our five month old into a 60 year old home that needed a "bit" of work. You'll hear more about that super fun weekend in a future post, but it can be summarized with the following equation:
Packing and moving + five month old + $$$$$$ + impossible time table + perfectionistic woman = mental breakdown.
Pretty simple, right?
Well, one day, about a week into the fiasco that was our first home ownership experience, I put Darby down for a nap and headed to the shower.
It's safe to say I was still slightly more "on edge" than normal. But normal's just a setting on the dryer, right?
Anyway, I plugged in the baby monitor, jumped in and let the hot water melt my tension away.
Then I heard it. Crackly crying coming from the baby monitor. And whining.
"Ugh, Greg's not even home to help," I thought, before grabbing a towel and getting out to check on my daughter, at the very least.
Surprisingly, I opened the door to find her sleeping.
Creeping back inside the bathroom, I started to step into the tub when I heard it again. A young child whining. But this time, I could tell it was a male toddler; he was speaking words, not just baby gibberish.
Then I heard another person in the baby monitor: an adult's voice speaking to him.
Now, the best way to describe how I felt at that moment is for you to imagine this scenario: you just bought an older house, then one day when you're alone you hear the ghost of a dead child playing in the room where your living child is sleeping.
Yep, that pretty much nails it, so just imagine that.
It's creepy enough, but add the fact that we knew a young child had lived there at one point because we'd discovered things like a dirty, rotting miniature desk and chair in a dark corner of the furnace room, and you have me in full-on creeped out mode.
I called Greg at work, and in my I'm-trying-to-sound-calm-but-I'm-actually-FREAKING-OUT-right-now voice, explained what was happening.
"Allie, baby monitors can pick up signals from all over the place. They're like little radios. And don't you remember? The people next door run a day care. They probably have their baby monitors on."
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ok. Totally knew that. Totally wasn't scared that we bought a haunted house and were going to have to hire a paranormal expert and have the Discovery Channel come film an episode for that ghost hunting show.
In the shower once more, I had no choice but to continue listening to what I could now determine were several children and one very flustered adult, who seemed as though she was possibly even more "on edge" than I.
A persistent child asked her a question several times, and I heard her yell, "NO! I SAID NO! YOU CANNOT DO THAT! GOSH!!!"
I muttered, "Note to self: never send Darby to daycare ... and definitely never to the daycare next door."
Since then, on certain days when the radio waves are a blowin', we've "overheard" more interactions from next door. None of it's abusive or call for investigation ... but ... let's just say this daycare owner is no Mary Poppins.
I don't judge. In fact, every time I'm sudsing up and catch her yelling, I mutter to myself: "Poor woman. Chasing 15 toddlers around my house every day is actually a recurring nightmare I have."
In summary, there are three morals to this story:
1) It's probably not a ghost.
2) Don't ever even think about starting a daycare in your home.
3) If you're going to yell at your kids (or your husband,) for heaven's sake turn off your baby monitor.