Somewhere around two this morning, I had to get up to take care of one of a father's most important duties: monster patrol.
I've done it before, but this time was different. For starters, it was both kids who woke me up. Usually it's just one. Second, the monster was hiding somewhere different. Usually, it's under the bed or in one of the bedroom closets. This time, for some strange reason, it seemed to be in the bathroom. That's what I could gather from the kids, anyway. When they're under the blankets, it can be hard to understand everything.
I wasn't really that surprised. We were having a hell of a thunderstorm last night, and I figured that was probably the cause. In the probably futile hope of reclaiming my bed from the kids, I dragged myself out of bed and staggered out to take a look at the bathroom.
Damn near pissed myself when I got there. There was this really freaky sound coming out of the bedroom. It's almost impossible to describe - it was sort of like a whimper, but with this strange echo effect, and something that sounded sort of like heavy breathing going on, too. I wasn't sure what it was, but it probably wasn't the pipes.
After taking a minute to recover, I mustered up my courage, turned on the lights, and lunged into the bathroom. And found the dog.
It turns out that the thunderphobic canine, banished from the master bedroom, had taken refuge, whimpering and panting, in the bathtub.