If you’re the parent of a toddler, and you sit down to watch a scary movie this month, don’t be alarmed if you experience a strong sense of déjà vu.
Parents of young kids don’t get a lot of down time. But October is the season for scary movies, and if you do get a chance to turn on the tube, odds are high that you’ll see a horror film or two while channel surfing. If the frightening scenes before you look really familiar, it could be because you’re basically watching your own life play out on the screen. In many ways, raising a toddler is like being the star of your very own scary movie.
But don’t take our word for it — here’s proof:
1. Marker, pasta sauce… or something more sinister?
The set of a horror film and your dining room carpet are both covered in unidentifiable stains that will take some serious scrubbing to get out.
2. Time to call the exorcist.
Spontaneous puking, random flailing of limbs, seemingly impossible body contortions: Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re dealing with a typical toddler tantrum or watching a scary movie about a demon. Either way, it couldn’t hurt to sprinkle some water on them and see what happens.
3. No spooky soundtrack required.
Parents of toddlers can finally breathe easy during the Halloween season as it’s the one time of year that they can open the windows without the neighbors thinking someone is being tortured inside. Your child’s shrieks of joy and frustration will simply make them think you’re watching a Saw marathon.
4. Costume changes are rare.
Main characters in scary movies never seem to have the time to stop and change clothes as they are far too busy running for their lives. Spending your days chasing after a toddler can also result in forgetting the last time you swapped out your yoga pants for a fresh pair.
5. Lots of running around in the dark.
People in scary movies are always stumbling around in the dark and tripping over things right as the killer is gaining on them. We might not have a monster breathing down our necks, but every parent of a young child has bumbled across a dark house and into an end table or two while on a middle-of-the-night mission to find a missing binkie.
6. Nighttime visitors.
You know those creepy scenes in horror films when a little ghost child comes into the room in the middle of the night to watch a sleeping adult? Parents of toddlers awake to this terrifying sight on a regular basis, but instead of vanishing with the flick of a lamp switch, our midnight company demands milk and time in the big bed.
7. Is that Latin?
An overexcited toddler and a possessed character in a scary movie often sound like they’re reading from the exact same script.
8. You’re constantly nervous.
The trepidation you feel when waiting for one child to catch their sibling’s cold is the same as one feels when waiting for the killer to come flying out of the bushes in a slasher flick.
9. You’re on the lookout for monsters.
In both scary movies and parenting, there’s a lot of peeking under the bed and into shadowy closets. At least when playing the role of heroic mom or dad fending off the boogie man, you know you’re not going to find anything… or will you?