Sometimes the monster is in the next room disguised as a teddy bear, and the fangs come out so fast that even if you are listening you don’t even have time to play it over again in your head before the teddy bear bites your child for the second time. You hear the bear hit the wall and your child runs into the hall crying, angry. Using her strong voice.
The bear looks all the sudden like a stuffed animal. It’s as good as screaming “she’s lying” because really? Monster bears?
Everyone thinks and a few people say “Oh honey, the bear didn’t bite you for real because bears don’t do that. Just be more careful with your toys.” And someone makes a stern face at the bear and your child is momentarily satisfied and runs albeit cautiously back toward the bear to play some more.
But you are not satisfied. The hair on your neck and arms is standing up and you call your children into the room and you send a message to your spouse and you separate the children from their toys for a few minutes, and then for the afternoon. There might be something wrong with that bear, because your hairs don’t lie and neither does your child. Some of those bears that were made in China have sharp edges or lead paint or parts that move too fast and you have an instinct. Get to the bottom of this, says your gut, which is in knots. You believe your child.
Your husband has a conversation with your child, careful not to put words in her mouth. What’s up with those toys? Your kids have active imaginations. But sometimes toys really do come alive and turn into monsters.
He confirms that incredibly, this toy is a monster toy. As much as you tried to protect them, screen their toys, even as you were right in the next room a toy transformed into a monster and attacked your child.
Later the therapist will ask about the color so you make note that the color of the heat that overtakes your body is white when you ask your husband to either change the lock on the safe or remove the firearms from the house. What you want to do is rip the bear from limb to limb; destroy it before it hurts any more children. Find the factory where it was made and burn the factory to the ground. You cannot stop yourself from sinking into a delicious fantasy about this act. You don’t want to stop yourself.
What happens instead is the bear goes away forever and you start the long process of reassuring your children that they are amazing and wonderful and that from this point forward you will make sure that their toys are safe. You will never let a monster near your kids again, and you will slay a monster that threatens them. Because that’s your job. Your job is to believe them and to protect them.