Posts Filed Under Family Life

My Fear Is Real

posted by Momo Fali on October 20, 2008

Saturday night, I left my nine year old daughter downstairs while I went up to take a shower. She was watching a Harry Potter movie, which can be a bit spooky when you’re alone in a room and it’s dark outside. But, when I asked her if she was okay staying downstairs by herself, she shrugged as if I’d asked her the dumbest question ever and she replied, “Sure. I’m fine.”

A few minutes later, I was washing my hair and our dog started to bark incessantly…and I started to get anxious. Obviously someone was outside and my daughter was alone downstairs, and I was not in any condition to answer the door should someone knock. My husband wasn’t home and my last post about Amityville Horror was fresh in my mind.

Eventually the dog stopped barking, but as I finished showering I came to a realization. When someone jumps out to scare me, there’s a reason I burst into tears.

This is not about the boogie-man or being scared to go to haunted houses. This is not about getting spooked. My fear is real.

When I was eight, my aunt not only took me to my first horror movie, but that was also the year that another eight year old girl, who lived near me, was picked up on her way home from school, sexually assaulted, and murdered. They found her body a few miles from where I lived. They never found the killer.

Her death was the reason that my childhood memories include staying up all night reading, because I was scared of my own dreams.

After my kids go to sleep, I go into their rooms and marvel at how they are peacefully slumbering when their closet doors are open. Then I shut them. I move hanging clothes so they don’t cast frightful shadows if they wake during the night. I shove toys out of the way should they need to come running to me. These were the things I did, and still do, so I can sleep through the night. I don’t do it because my kids need it, it’s because I do.

In my teens and early twenties, I was involved in an abusive relationship. It ended with him stalking me and threatening me. I bought a gun and learned how to use it. The police had enough evidence to press charges against him, but that’s never stopped the nightmares.

Then shortly after my husband and I were married, I was home alone when I saw a car drive slowly past our house, over and over. Something about it was unsettling. A short time later, a strange man approached my window and looked inside.

I was standing a few feet away, in a dark shadow with my gun in my trembling hand. I didn’t know if he was going break in while I stood within an arms length. He left as quickly as he appeared, but I still don’t know what he was doing or what he wanted. The police caught him that night at the end of our street and pressed charges against him. That is why we went out a few weeks later and bought our dog.

These random events have made me paranoid. These random events have done enough to scar me so that the slightest “boo” completely freaks me out.

But somehow, I have not transferred any of this to my children. They can go to sleep with their closet doors open. Somehow, despite the anxiety I have deep inside of me, my daughter can watch Harry Potter alone, in the dark, with the dog barking at someone outside.

And if that doesn’t prove that I’m conquering these demons, I don’t know what will.

In Contrast

posted by Momo Fali on October 15, 2008

Today, I’ll be giving you a view of our master bathroom. Please don’t think me a bad housekeeper because of the hideous shelf paper and chipped wood. We’ve been redecorating this room…for almost eleven years.

This is my husband’s shelf. The trimmer set is only used for about a month out of the year when he grows a goatee. Also, keep in mind that we share the dental floss and mouthwash. I wouldn’t want you to think the jumbo Blue Mint is because the poor guy has a major case of halitosis.


This is my shelf. Actually, there’s even more stuff hidden in a nearby cabinet. About three times more stuff. It takes a village, people. It takes a village.

Wolf-Boy

posted by Momo Fali on October 13, 2008

Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I hired a private dog trainer. Our puppy, Blue, was six months old and our veterinarian recommended someone who would work with her one on one.

We were too dumb to realize what he really meant, which was that Blue would never be accepted in a class. Not that she couldn’t play nice, but he was quite aware that we wouldn’t be able to get her to stop playing period. We probably should have got the hint when he prescribed her tranquilizers.

Labrador retrievers are, by nature, as hyper as Looney Tunes’ Road Runner. On speed. This puppy of ours bounced off the walls. She was particularly crazy in the evening when my husband and I got home from work. Which is, of course, when the $55.00 an hour trainer would swing by.

The first night the trainer was here, she explained that Blue wasn’t peppy because we had been gone all day, but because dogs naturally get a little wacky at twilight. Apparently wolves are most active at that time of day, and because our puppy was a distant relative, we could blame them. Stupid wolves. I wondered if I could also blame Blue’s family tree for the holes in all of our underwear and my ficus tree that was chewed to a stump.

Wolf or no wolf, the trainer lasted about a month before she quit. That’s how bad our dog was. Someone making $55.00 an hour, threw up her hands, walked out the door, and told us our dog was untrainable.

Blue is ten and she’s finally calming down. But now, there’s a new wolf in town.

Our six year old son is also affected by twilight. Every night after dinner, he becomes a little bit nutty. He jumps off the furniture and runs through the house laughing and screaming. He drives his sister crazy. He drives us crazy. He is an unstoppable goof. We call him Wolf-Boy.

So help me, if he starts chewing on our underwear I’m throwing up my hands and declaring him untrainable.

It’s Only Disrespectful If You Get Caught

posted by Momo Fali on October 6, 2008

I saw my son standing behind his sister, sticking his tongue out at her.

I pulled him into another room and said, “Don’t stick your tongue out at people. It’s not okay to do that, because it’s really not nice.”

He quickly replied, “But, it is okay, because she didn’t see me do it.”

Which means it’s okay that I took $20 from my husband’s wallet when he went to bed early. Right?