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I have mentioned before that I know something ghostly hangs around my house. (Yes, I am completely aware that ghosts don’t exist/I’m going to hell for believing in spirits/there is a good explanation for everything/all of the weird stuff is coincidental but I still believe that there are other-worldly things going on around us that we have no chance of understanding yet. Sorry, not sorry.) Well, lately the strangeness has been popping up more and more.

It all started with a few puzzles. My mom sent the boys some really cool wooden puzzles for Christmas, and in true Grammy fashion, she didn’t send one – or even one for each boy – but six. Six wooden puzzles. I opened three and put three away for later when the first set are destroyed and or lost (it will happen eventually.) Two of the three that I opened make sounds. One is farm animals, the other vehicles. First you dump out all of the pieces, then as you put each animal or vehicle in it’s place, the puzzle makes the appropriate sound. Truman was afraid of them at first, the sounds are realistic and very loud. The animals sound straight out of a barn yard and the vehicles right out of a mechanic’s garage, no cartoonish oinks and beeps here. After a few hours he warmed up and mastered both puzzles, dumping and replacing the pieces over and over. Such fun!

Truman goes to bed at 8:00 and Mike and I usually stumble off to bed around 11:00. The other night Mike fell asleep on the couch and since I gave up trying to wake him when that happens years ago, I headed off to bed myself. I got all of my stuff together, grabbed the baby and turned off the lights. That animal puzzle, previously sitting silent for three hours started mooing! In a silent house now plunged into total darkness and a puzzle mooing all on it’s own, I almost hauled ass down the hall screaming. Thankfully, I remembered that I was holding a baby and don’t have the best track record for staying on my feet, so I full body shivered and walked as fast as I safely could to my bedroom, telling myself I must have bumped the puzzle somehow. Two days later, Mike said the puzzle scared the crap out of him when it suddenly started crowing just sitting untouched on the floor. A few days after that, I found myself shutting down the house for the night all alone again. Mike was in the shower, I had locked everything up, grabbed the baby, turned off the lights… REEEEE REE REE REE! That damn pig started squealing! I was creeped right the F out. I sat on my bed holding the baby and anxiously waited for Mike to get out of the shower; all the while wondering what we should do about this possessed puzzle? Throw it away? Call a priest? Burn it?

“It did it again. I turned off the lights and the thing started oinking by itself!” I blurted out to Mike as soon as he walked in the bedroom. He shook his head and kind of shrugged it off. I wasn’t sure if he just didn’t know what to do with that information or if he thought I was insane. Probably a little of both; but the next night, oh he got it good. See, we shut down together. As soon as he flipped off the light, our friend the puzzle pig squealed with delight. The look on Mike’s face was priceless. He flipped the light back on and said, “That just gave me goose bumps all over. What the Hell is going on?” I was secretly thrilled that he experienced this and it wasn’t all in my head.

I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to know what was going on. I’ve experienced many a toy talking all by itself at weird times, but this was too consistent. Especially since it happened at the same time the lights were turned out each night. I suspected something less supernatural than I originally thought was at play. So, as any good parent in this day in age does…Google. Sure enough, Melissa and Doug reviews popped up immediately with a huge group of parents talking about how these puzzles scared the bejeezus out of them every time the lights went out. Turns out, the puzzle works via light sensor. When the puzzle piece covers the sensor, the animal or vehicle makes the sound. So, naturally when the pig sensor is bathed in living room light and that light suddenly goes away, the damn pig is gonna squeal. So will the cow, the rooster and all the other little animals on the farm.

Thanks Melissa and Doug. As if my mind isn’t crammed full of a million concerns each and every day as it is, I need your asshole puzzle animals making me think I’ve got a houseful of ghosts partying with them every night. You watch, one day I’m going to just lose it and throw out all of the creepy voiced, sing-songy, plinking-plonking, noise making, light flashing, annoying toys that inhabit every corner of my house and my son will be left with nothing to play with but sticks and cleaning supplies…which is what he likes best to play with anyway.

If you’d like your very own talking puzzle to scare the crap out of you every night, go here.