I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve been in Japan for a few days, or the fact that she is jetlagged and didn’t take a nap, but something deep inside Chloe was awakened last night.

It started at 5:30pm just before dinner when I felt the Earth shake. I thought it might have been an earthquake, but then I looked at Chloe’s face and saw that her tired puffy eyes started glowing red.

Oh no, I’ve seen this look before when she gets hangry, but this was different. This look brought about fear like I’ve never felt before. This was not Chloe at all, this was a monster.


The high-pitched scream startled us all, but not as much as the rampage that followed.

While kicking and screaming (her, not me) I managed to get her into our room where we sleep on the futon mattresses on the floor. It’s a good thing, because Chloe made adequate use of the space.

She thrashed around on her back pounding her feet on the floor shrieking “NO! NO! NOOOO!” over and over again.

Aya and I went in shifts trying to console her, or at least try to snap her out of her rage, but we both emerged defeated, injured physically and emotionally. I took a few heel kicks on my chest and a few fist pounds to my legs. Aya got scratched in the face hard enough to break skin and bleed.

We’vedealt with this type of behavior with Ellie before, but this monstrous rampage rivaled even Ellie’s worst tantrums!

After an hour of trying to wait it out or break the spell, it was finally the Grinch Who Stole Christmas Bluray that got her to calm down. I guess it takes one to know one, or something like that. Eventually she fell asleep in my lap while the Who’s emerged singing on Christmas morning. I gently laid her down in bed, kissed her forehead and prepared myself for some chocolate cake (well deserved chocolate cake). But not more than five minutes later, the monster rose! Back with a ferocity dwarfing the previous attack (if that’s even possible)!

Aya’s mom’s watched in sympathetic horror from a safe distance from behind the kitchen counter while Aya and I tag teamed the steaming beast before us. Both of us trying to not get injured again. It’s a good thing that Aya’s dad was out last night, because I don’t doubt we would have lost him if he stayed home. Ellie just lied sleeping peacefully, oblivious to the terror occurring on the other side of the thin sliding door of our room.

Naturally, these outburst provide a certain level of anxiety, but at someone else’s house, in an apartment with neighbors really close by, in another country, with your typical bag of tricks inaccessible, it really adds another layer of stress. Sometimes your bag of tricks never works though and you just have to wait it out. After another hour of shrieking “NOs” and more physical and emotional abuse, Chloe let out a long and gentle sigh and finally collapsed into a deep sleep.

Just like that, the house went silent.

With the coffee table flipped on its side, the TV cracked and smoldering in the corner, broken dishes strewn about, we sat and savored the silence and the feeling of survival.

It was quiet just long enough to cut a piece of cake and pour a cup of tea before Ellie woke up shouting, “Daddy daddy!”

I sense a sequel…

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