A couple of my kids have decided to tell all of the other kids that there are ghosts in our house. These ghosts apparently live in the basement and the upstairs bathroom. I have personally never seen or heard any of these ghosts and the kids spreading these ridiculous tales haven't either. But they've heard them. And they've just known the ghosts are there sometimes.
This has resulted in every kid under the age of 12 being scared to go down to the basement (where their bedrooms are, for crying out loud!) or into the bathroom unless someone is with them. Because somehow, the ghosts will not devour frightened children who travel in pairs. It is getting to the point where I am beyond frustration in dealing with this. I have tried reasoning with them, using solid arguments such as the following:
Kids: Baby X, you want to come down to the basement with me?
Me: WHAT?! He doesn't want to go down to the basement with you. Just go down there yourself! You're FINE!
Kids: I'm not going down there alone.
Me: And how is Baby X going to help you? Is he going to fight off these imaginary ghosts? Are you going to hold him in front of you so he'll be attacked first? This is ridiculous! THERE ARE NO GHOSTS DOWN THERE.
Kids: There are.
Me: Has anything happened to anyone who has been in the basement alone in the 15 years we've lived in this house? EVER? No! So, what are you scared of?
Kids: The ghost.
Me: WHAT GHOST?! There is NO ghost!
Kids: Cowgirl heard it once.
Me: No she didn't! She heard the water going through the pipes or someone walking on the floorboards upstairs or the wind outside. There are no ghosts! Ghosts don't exist! The only thing in the basement is your bedrooms, a bathroom and the washer and dryer!
Kids: Ghosts like to hide.
Me: There are NO ghosts hiding in our basement. What do you think these imaginary ghosts are going to do to you?
Kid 1: Scare us.
Kid 2: Or eat us.
Kid 3: Or get inside our bodies.
Me: WHAT are you even talking about?!
Kids: That's what ghosts do.
Me: Maybe it's a ghost like Casper. Maybe it's a friendly ghost!
Kids: HA! So you ADMIT there's a ghost!
Me: No! There's not... I meant... Oh, forget it.
And then there's the issue of using the upstairs bathroom. Little O was all potty trained and never had any accidents. Until Princess decided to freak out one day and tell all the kids that there is now a ghost in the upstairs bathroom. The result? NO ONE WILL GO IN THERE WITHOUT A COMPANION. In the bathroom. Come on! Yesterday I made it a point to not let anyone accompany anyone else into the bathroom. I wanted them to see that they could use the toilet without company and return to the rest of the family, unscathed, and without any ghost sightings.
Here's how that went.
Little O: I gotta go to the baftroom lilly, lilly bad!!
Me: GO! GO! You know how! Get in there!
Little O: I too scared! You come wif me!
Me: You can do it, Little O! You're a big boy!
Little O: (doing The Dance) I GOTTA GO LILLY, LILLY BAD!
Me: HURRY! GO!
Little O: PRINCESS! COME WIF ME!
Me: He can go himself, Princess. Let him go himself.
Princess: But the ghost!
Me: PRINCESS! There is NO GHOST.
Little O: I too SCARED! (Looks down) Uh-oh...
After 3 changes of clothes, I had had enough. I let him have a bathroom buddy and pretended not to notice.
All I can do is hope this is a phase they are going to grow out of. Either that or I'm going to be stuck in a haunted house for as long as I still have kids at home. And friends, that's a mighty long time.