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It was a total Silence of the Lambs moment...

Posted Oct 07 2010 9:14am

Two nights ago, Bella awoke Tim from a deep sleep, muttering something to the effect of, "Big brown thing....on my face....I'm scared...."

Too tired to investigate, he let her sleep on the sofa with him. 

At this point, you may be wondering why Tim sleeps on the sofa.  Short version....he snores and refuses to go to the doctor to resolve it, I booted him from sleeping in our room at night. 

Back to the story, in the morning, Bella runs into my room where I'm getting dressed and begins shouting at me. 

"Mommy, I was so scared last night.  This huge brown thing landed on my face when I was sleeping!"

I asked, "Really?  What did it look like?"

With wide eyes and animated hands moving a mile a minute, she explained, "Well...(clucks tongue), I was sleeping and (takes a deep breath) something tickled my chin (clicks tongue).  So (another deep breath), I looked around and saw this BROWN thing and it was flying (clicks tongue)...."

"Okay, Bella...seriously, I have to finish getting ready.  Can you tell me the story without all the pausing and tongue clucking?" I asked, frantic to get my eyelashes curled without poking my eyeballs out.

She looked at me for a couple seconds, clucked her tongue again and said, "I'll try to keep it simple for you."

Oh, why thank you, your royal highness, for keeping it simple for us dumb folks who lost numerous amounts of brain cells during pregnancy.

Waving her hands in the air, she began, "So like I said, this brown thing was flying and it landed on my face.  I mean, my chin.  Well, my chin is on my face (clucks tongue)."

She paused and raised her eyebrows, as if to say, "You following me?"

I nodded my head, practically pleading with her telepathically to get a move on with the story.

The drama continued...."I woke up and I saw it flying in front of me.  It landed on my chin.  I tried to slap it but it flew away.  It looked like a butterfly but it was brown.  It was HUGE!"

Trying to stifle the laughter which threatened to pour out of my mouth, I said, "It sounds like maybe it was a moth".

"A moth?" she asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest as if she was preparing to debate with me over this unknown flying object.

"Yes, a moth.  Moths are brown AND they're attracted to light.  Since you and Cole insist on sleeping with the light on in your room, it was probably hanging out in there when you went to sleep," I offered, hoping this would be the end of it.

Bella replied, "Well, whatever it was it freaked me out.  Can you look for it and get rid of it?".

"Sure," I promised.

With that, she went off to school and that was the end of it.

Until that night, as I tucked her into bed...she inquired, "Mommy, did you find the brown thing that flew on my face last night?"

"Shit," I muttered to myself.

I fibbed, "You know, I looked all over the place and I didn't see a thing!  So, you see, there's nothing to worry about."

She squinted her eyes at me briefly, while she considered what I had just told her.

"Are you sure?" she challenged back.  I nodded my head and responded, "Absolutely sure".

About an hour later, I heard screaming coming from their room, "Mommy,'s back!  The brown thing is back!"

I ran upstairs in time to see.... positively nothing at all.  The "brown thing" was nowhere in sight.

"It was on me...on my mouth!  It flew right in front of me and landed on my mouth!!!!" she bellowed, sitting up straight on the top bunk. 

Because I couldn't help myself, I said, "Okay, Clarice....I don't see anything in here flying around.  No signs of butterflies, moths, whatever.  Maybe you're just imaging things in your dreaming."

Not only was she tired, but now Bella was also annoyed. "So you think I was just dreaming that a huge brown thing landed on my mouth?!"

"Uh, yeah," I answered.  "I don't see anything flying around in here or in the hallway.  I honestly think you just dreamed it".

I knew what was coming next as her eyes practically bulged out of her head and she groaned, "Two nights in a row?  That's impossible...and who's Clarice?"

"Never mind," I grumbled.

I tucked her back in to bed and said, "I really don't think there's anything flying around in here...try to go back to sleep now, okay?"

As both she and Cole laid back down, I whispered, "It places the lotion in the basket..."

"WHAT?!" they both asked. 

"It's a movie reference, just couldn't help, go to sleep!" I responded.

As I walked out of the room, I heard Cole ask Bella, "Why does she want us to put lotion in a basket?"

The next morning as I came down the stairs, Bella was waiting for me...."So, the flying brown thing was just a dream, huh?"

Oh for God's sake...

She pointed to the kitchen garbage and said, "Look at THAT!"

People, I present you with Exhibit A...proof that the "flying brown thing"  truly did exist.


Tim explained, "Last night, I was watching tv and I kept hearing a fluttering sound and sure enough I turned on the light and there it was....that brown moth flying around so I managed to kill it."

Next thing I knew, I was surrounded by a bunch of tiny angry people staring me down as if I had just committed the crime of the century.

"Well," I stammered.  "I never actually saw it myself.  I honestly thought Bella had imagined it."

Clucking her tongue yet again, it was obvious Bella was infuriated with me. 

"I tried to tell you the truth and you didn't believe me.  AND you called me Clarice!!"

Attempting to throw some humor in to the mix, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Maybe it was looking for the lotion..."

Tim began to double over with laughter but the kids just continued to stare at us as if we had undoubtedly lost our minds.

Bella said, "I don't know who Clarice is or why you keep talking about lotion but all I know is you guys are CRAZY!"

Patting my sweet daughter on the head, I replied, "You're just now figuring that out?   This is a total Silence of the Lambs moment but you're just too young to appreciate it."

She shook her head and said, "Whatever...

I have a feeling someday in the future, we'll be sitting together watching the movie...while sharing a good laugh over this whole brown moth incident.

But then again...maybe not.
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