Rise of the ... DEMON CHILD (shudder)
I've experienced this a few times before, so it didn't have as much of an impact on me as it did on my two teenage children.
That being said, it was still a little freaky.
Last night, my 9-year-old son walks into the living room where I'm up watching tv with the teenagers.
It's pretty late, round about 11:30pm.
Now, this young man has had a habit on some weekends of forcing himself to stay awake late. Not only that-- he, his twin sister, and younger brother were having a 'sleepover' down in their playroom... which increased the likelihood of him being awake at this time of night.
So, when I hear him coming, my first question is a "What's wrong, there, buddy?" kind of thing. Expecting him to want a drink or to tell me he can't get to sleep.
Then I see THE LOOK.
The slack-faced, glassy eyed look of a child whose soul has been sucked from his body and is acting under the control of evil spirits from beyond.
Either that, or a kid who is totally asleep, walking around and talking.
He says something to the effect that I have to help collect some money from his older brother because he brother wouldn't give it to him. Or something like that. Whatever it was, I'm sure it made perfect sense to him at the time.
Without missing a beat, I put my hand on his shoulder and lead him back toward his bed, telling him that we should probably wait until morning to collect that money when we're not so sleepy.
I tuck him in, give him a kiss, and that's it for the night. He doesn't say another word.
When I return to the living room, my 17-year-old daughter points out that this was "the freakiest thing I've ever seen in my life."
I know what she means. However, I actually do find it kind of cool to see someone functioning at a level somewhere below the surface of consciousness.
But it still creeps me out a little.