Night Light


It turns out that I’m afraid of the dark.

I didn’t fully realize my scaredy-cat tendencies until I started waking up to pee an average of 3 times throughout the middle of the night. I used to be the girl who would hold it all night out of laziness – or I would press on my bladder to see how dire the need-to-pee situation was. Now the threat of UTIs has me naked and half-asleep, ping-ponging my unfamiliar body while cradling my large tight stomach, down my striped Beetlejuice hallway multiple times a night. Every night. When there is a full moon out I can see just enough to be creeped out. When the moon is new I might step on a cat and try not to think about stumbling into a rape-murderer on my way to the bathroom.

Once I make it to the toilet I begin to wake up as my eyes adjust to the dark. I always find this opportunity to reminisce about the scariest movies I’ve ever seen including Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Paranormal Activity, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I try to keep from looking back down the hallway for ghosts or shady silhouettes. I always feel safest when I have a cat accompanying me – especially if it’s Mister Scooty Boots. Then I run/shuffle back to bed, jump in, and assure myself that it’s actually Jeremy next to me with a Hellen Keller style pat down of his face (he usually sleeps through this).

One time, after waking up from a particularly disturbing nightmare (which seems to be shockingly common these days) I actually woke and recruited Jeremy to escort me to the bathroom. I even devised a strategy where I stayed behind him and then jumped ahead of him, per our proximity to open spaces and entryways, so he was always a human shield between me and the things that go bump in the night. He listened with patience and zero condescension as I recounted the horrific details of my nightmare – which of course didn’t seem quite as scary when spoken aloud. “No really. It was terrifying. If only you could see it in my head. You had no legs and there was blood EVERYWHERE.” (Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the most out of the trip and am rocking back & forth on the toilet, per a commenters advice, to completely empty my bladder). Together we’d stumble, nekkid, back down our hallway to our bed and I’d almost laugh thinking about an actual bad-guy-out-to-get-me taking witness to the scene.

Last weekend Jeremy and I were wondering around Lowe’s gathering random things for our home, from lightbulbs to tree stakes, when I decided to pick up a night light. But first I had to ask an employee where they were located. “Excuse me sir, can you point me towards your night lights?” “You mean for kids?” “Yeah … ahem … or for adults.” Some of the more stylish ones also touted changing color LEDs. I don’t need a disco party in my bathroom – I just need a little bit light to ward of the scaries. I settled on a night light appropriate for a grandma’s bathroom and am currently on the hunt for something a little more worthy of my modern sensibilities. But since plugging that bad boy into the wall my night life has completely changed – I’m able to pee in confidence with about 80% less fear than I was experience pre-night light.

Moon image is a poster via Urban Outfitters – overlay by me. 

    • Ah, those night lights are so cool. I especially love the Dodo bird.

  1. I like a night light in the bathroom only because turning on the light is horrible in the dead of night, and we have no bathroom window to help with that.

    We also have them throughout the hallways in our apartment because, while he’ll never cop to it, I think my husband is a bit freaked out in the dark. The darker the better for me…but not so much for Mr. Manly Sorta Brave Guy. 😉

    I hear vivid and scary dreams are pretty common during later stages of pregnancy. Hopefully with all the nighttime feedings you’ll be doing in a few months, you can conquer some of those creepy feelings. 🙂

    • I’ve been experiencing vivid dreams throughout this whole pregnancy! It will be interesting to see how they evolve. Right now I’m just wishing they were less dark and more fun!

      I’m thinking I’ll have the baby sleep in the bed with us for a while with all the night time feedings and whatnot. That way I don’t have to stumble down the dark hallway any more than I have to!

  2. Emily

    You are hysterical.

    (But I’m totally with you. Shh.)

  3. Jensen

    You are definitely not alone on this one.

    You could also put some rope lights under the cabinets in your bathroom. They give off just enough light + you don’t have to stare at them during the day 🙂

    • Oh – that’s an idea! But we don’t have any cabinets… It’s a small bathroom.

  4. Wow. You completely described my nights.

    Except I also feel like that when I have to go into my toddler’s room in the middle of the night. Luckily, he has this toy, and I just press it’s belly so the room lights up with a soft glow and I can be sure that no creepers are in the corner.

    • I’ll be sure to get baby boy a toy that lights up!

  5. soleil

    My sister got me a really cool blown glass nightlight last Christmas. It is really pretty. You can even adjust the brightness of the light so it can be really dim or really bright. It even has a little tray you can put on top to add essential oil to make the bathroom smell good.

    • Oooh, I would love to find something that dims.

  6. carly

    I just looked on Etsy and they have a ton of super cute night lights on there 😉

    • Someone suggested Etsy to me on Twitter! I’m going to check it out.

  7. Meghan

    This is so funny.
    When I have to get up during the nights, I’m always afraid of creatures lurking in the bathroom. I had heard that rats can come up your toilet, but then I heard a story about it actually happening on this American life. Every night I curse Ira Glass. I’ve gotten past the point of actually having to turn the light on and check to make sure there are no rats in my toilet, but I still pee as quickly as I possibly can just in case.

    • DO WHAT!? No. No no nononono.

  8. I thought I was the only one! Sometimes I imagine giant crabs in the dark, clicking away with their giant claws. Terrifying. (What does it mean?!)

    Sing this to yourself, it helps: (Inspired by your post title)

  9. Shelby

    I am SOOO afraid of the dark. Ohman. and when I’m home at my Grandma’s house and I have to go outside to either close the chicken coops, or put something in the trash ohman I AM SO FAST. Hah. And she lives in the country, no street lights, lots of creepy animal sounds. My heart is racing just thinking about it.

  10. Jess

    I have had a night light in the bathroom for a few years. Before the night light I would have to turn on the overhead lights, waking myself up, just to make sure there was not a snake in the toilet. Yes, a snake. No, I do not own a snake, I just have an unreasonable fear of them biting me while I am on the john. Our brains are funny.

  11. Bianca

    This is hilarious and so me! Unfortunately, I combine the pitch black run and jump into bed (in my mind I’m running from Norman Bates, obviously) with an unnatural fear of awaking to find that I’ve gone blind. One night while visiting my in-laws, I opened my unadjusted eyes to nothing but darkness. In my startled sleep induced state, I leapt from the bed and in the process managed to drop-kick the window. Nothing was broken (on me or the window), but both the hubs and I can’t help but laugh out loud anytime we think about it 🙂

  12. I enjoy it when other adults share their fear of the dark. I’m petrified.

  13. Whitney

    I still get up at least once every night to go to the bathroom. The walk to the bathroom is fine, but as I’m sitting there I suddenly think Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, oh god, Whitney, don’t think it a third time. DO NOT THINK IT A THIRD TIME!! I avoid the mirror and run back to bed. Then I think, duh, you have to say it out loud. Every single night 😀

  14. Sara

    There are nightlights that you can install instead of an outlet or ones that have a nightlight and a socket underneath it so that the outlet doesn’t completely go unused. I got them for my kid’s nursery because being the paranoid mother-to-be I was, didn’t want him to be yanking out a nightlight and sticking things into the socket and getting electrocuted 🙂

  15. Heather

    I am not ashamed to admit that there are several night lights in our house and I insist on curtains on as many of the windows as possible because I can always imagine someone lurking outside and I’d hate to be caught in the buff. I think the vivid nightmares during pregnancy are the worst and I’ve woken up my husband as well a few times because of the intensity. I usually end up tip-toeing down the hall to check on our son as well who has much cooler “night lights” in his room that we can turn on with a remote. Hooray pregnancy paranoia!

  16. rox

    we’ve got nightlights stashed all over our house! although we won’t admit it’s from fear – it’s completely practical!

  17. laura

    😀 thanks for sharing, it made me giggle. with you, not at you!

  18. Alien Mind Girl

    At a conference I was given a freebie… an energy efficient LED night light (lime light?) that is supposed to last forever and use next to nil electricity. I tried using it but the dang thing is TOO bright for me and I had to unplug it. I will send it along for you, just in case you like it.

  19. Sharon

    Nightlights are great! So comforting and homey! My mom left like 30 in our new house before we arrived (“to create a glow so it looked like someone was home and the house wasn’t empty”), and I like to plug them in for guests around the hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms. You are NEVER too old for a little bit of light in the dark!

    I have been thinking of boys’ names for you! Now I can’t remember the entire list I made up in my head, but here are a few I wondered if you and Jeremy might like: Archer, Asher, Max, ‘Zander (Alexander), Sawyer. I will see if any others pop to mind!

    • Kathleen

      Oh, I like your names! If you think of more please share.

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