“How was work dear?” monster mother asked at dinnertime.
“I loved it! I am so lucky to have a job in customer service. So many customers called to complain and shout at me. It was easy to imagine them dying terrible deaths. I left work in such a good mood,” monster father said. “How was your day?”
“The daycare kids tore through the house like little hurricanes. It was music to my ears. I sent them all home covered in finger-paint and crumbs.”
“Can I have more cardboard and old shoes?” the older monster child asked.
“Of course Jamie dear. Remember to chew with your mouth open,” monster mother said.
“Me too?” The younger monster child asked.
“You haven’t eaten the laces, Taylor,” Jamie said.
Taylor growled. “I was going to play with them before I ate them,” he said.
“That’s fine then. Perhaps just a little cardboard, dear,” the monster mother said. “Then it’s off to bed with you both. Taylor, do you need any help brushing your teeth?”
“Yes,” Taylor said. He finished eating and brought out his toothbrush and a bar of soap. “Make sure it lathers really well, mom. I like the bubbles,” Taylor said.
Jamie started running a cold bath. “Dad, can you bring me some ice cubes?” she asked.
“Of course,” the monster father said.
After cold baths, with their teeth nicely brushed, the children piled onto the couch. Their father read them a scary story about a tax collector. Their mom sang them a beautiful, frightening song about forgetting to turn off the lights when you go to bed.
It was early when the monster children went to bed, just like they liked it. They were neatly tucked under their beds with their lights off and their curtains firmly shut. “Mom,” Jamie said, “do you think there might be a tickly spider under my bed tonight?”
“I hope so darling,” the monster mother said.
“Dad,” Taylor said, “Do you think we’ll have socks and lima beans at lunch tomorrow? It’s my favorite.”
“Mine too. I especially like it when the socks don’t match,” the monster father said.
“Me too. I hope we do,” Taylor said.
Finally the kids were in bed. Monster mother and monster father decided to spend some quality time together paying bills. “Look at this one dear,” monster mother said. “It’s for three and a half dollars. Shall I write a check?”
“Of course. But make sure to use yellow ink. It’s really hard to read. And try to make your handwriting extra messy,” monster father said. “We want them to continue to do business with us.”
“Here, this one is for over twenty dollars,” monster mother said, pulling out another bill. “Let’s pay it in pennies.”
Just then, they heard a shriek from upstairs. “I don’t think that was happy-scared,” monster father said. “It had the distinct tone of unhappy-scared. I’ll go see what’s wrong.”
“I’ll wait to count the pennies until you get back,” monster mother said.
Monster father went down the stairs to the basement. Jamie was snoring loudly under her bed, the picture of a peaceful and happy monster child.
Taylor, however, was sitting up next to his bed looking sad. “Dad, I had a bad dream,” he said.
“Do you want to tell me about it?” The monster father asked.
“I dreamed there was a teddy bear on my bed,” Taylor said. “When I woke up, I didn’t see it, but I know it’s there.” He sniffled a little.
“If there is, I’m sure it’s a vampire teddy, and that’s why it’s invisible,” the monster father said.
“Oh. That’s okay then,” Taylor said. He snuggled in under his bed and started to snore.
“Back to the bills,” monster father said. He smiled. What a great day!