I thought it was just me, but I found out it was you too.
Yesterday I took a chance and mentioned “The Phantom Cry” and you said you heard it too. Sometimes it disguises itself as a cough or just a funny sound that must be investigated, but it is a real phenomenon that is causing sleep disruptions for parents everywhere.
Night time is not the only time the cry will present itself, although hands down the most frequent. Sometimes you hear it during the day. Working in your kitchen, running a vacuum or inside a store, you hear it. Calling you, pleading with you and causing you to get up to run to your child’s aide. Sleep finally claiming you, body relaxed and then you hear the beckon of a little one. For a moment you question its validity.
Was that my child or the house settling?
Was that a cough or did a bed spring sigh?
I don’t think that’s what that was, but it could have been.
Perhaps I will just get back to what I was doing.
I better go check.
Just in case.
The child is probably asleep and I’ll just disturb their sleep.
I still better go check.
I won’t be able to go back to sleep if I don’t.
You check and see a sound asleep child. Smiling, acknowledging “The Phantom Cry”; you turn to leave the room. Proud of yourself for checking, but knowing you were just a victim to “The Phantom Cry”; you shake your head and promptly trip over a toy left in the center of the floor. Favoring the toe, you hop and lose your balance falling into the toy chest.
The Phantom Cry is now real. Good job, momma. Yet, for all the times it wasn’t real…where you questioned your sanity and your hearing…you aren’t alone. All of us parents are casualties of “The Phantom Cry”.
I also found out that you casually rock back and forth in a grocery line cradling a jug of milk or loaf of bread and your house is also missing most table spoons and socks disappear with no explanation.
Have you experienced “The Phantom Cry”? What other phenomenons do you think are universal of parents?