My mother-in-law bought our middle son a bath baby because he won’t stop manhandling his real baby brother. For those of you who have no idea what a bath baby is, it’s a baby that you can play with in the bath. Supposedly.
She thought maybe our son could direct some of his overbearing attention to the doll, which was an excellent idea, except our son says he doesn’t want to play with the doll because the doll doesn’t talk* (never mind that his baby brother doesn’t, either) and also it’s for girls.**
**I am not responsible for this gender stereotyping, I swear. He’s picked it up from that rough crowd he’s running with at preschool. Honest.
I can’t really blame him for shunning the bath baby. If we’re being honest, I shuddered a bit when he opened it. Baby dolls creep me out. Like, a lot.
One time, for instance, my husband and I were shopping for a birthday present for our niece. Being parents to boys, we were a little unsure when it came to all things girl, but we did manage to find a super cute play stroller and thought we should probably get a baby to go inside it. This was before we turned down the baby doll aisle and froze in sheer terror.
There they were, staring at us, no doubt contemplating cutting us up in our sleep and feeding the tiny pieces of our corpses to our children at knife point. We abandoned the baby purchase and decided our niece would just have to push a stuffed animal around in her new stroller. It’s what was best for everyone involved.
So when our son opened the bath baby, I had a flashback to that day in the toy store aisle. It didn’t help that the bath baby was nearly naked, save for a cloth diaper, and had piercing gray eyes and a homicidal grin on its face, either. I could tell it wanted to string me up by my toenails or inject me with a paralytic and shove me through a meat grinder. Either one.
I tried to ignore the alarmingly real-looking, gender-nonspecific bath baby and was quite successful in my endeavor until I glanced at the floor during a conversation with my mother and saw what I thought was my infant son lying there, eyeballing me. My heart lurched into my throat as I tried to figure out how he had managed to jump out of his Rock and Play and undress himself without anybody noticing before I realized it wasn’t actually my son on the floor, but rather the bath baby plotting our mass murder. A startled scream and a muffled prayer for the safety of my family escaped my lips before I nudged the bath baby out of sight with my foot.
I thought we were clear of the bath baby’s antagonism until my husband, our infant in hand, screamed and asked who undressed and put our infant in the Rock and Play. He realized a nanosecond later that the real baby was in his arms and it was the bath baby in the cradle, staring him down and threatening him with its demon eyes, but not before I decided to nickname the bath baby Lester because Lester sounds like the sort of name a serial-killing baby doll would have, and it was becoming clear based on its stealth that not only would the bath baby slay us, but also we were not its first victims.
I have lived in terror since Lester the bath baby entered our home, sleeping with one eye open and a pair of scissors on my night stand for stabbing purposes. By some grace of God, we have yet to succumb to Lester the bath baby’s malevolent lust for bloodshed, but I’m certain our day of reckoning is upon us.
It’s only a matter of time.
So for the record, it was nice knowing you all. We’ve lived a full life. I guess. And for legal purposes, if the authorities find our remains stuffed inside the ass-end of an abandoned vehicle on the expressway or inside a floating trunk in a remote body of water, it was Lester the bath baby who did it, and while I’m not 100% certain, in the event they cannot find him for questioning, I recommend checking out his BFF Chucky’s house. He’s probably hiding out there.