KJ left for five days in London on Sunday, so I decided that as the sole parent responsible for dealing with ALL nighttime activity – bedtime and nightmares and crib-climbing, oh my! – I would keep a log detailing everything that goes down in the average five-night period, between the hours of 6:30pm and 6:30am.
Please note: I know that nobody really cares about my kids’ nighttime sleep schedules. But someday, when I miss my kids because they prefer their friends’ company over mine and/or are 848 miles away at college and/or they’re living overseas somewhere teaching English and/or they’re drinking too much and forgetting to call me every five minutes, I’m going to pull this post up and read it over and over again.
10:30 pm: The Loud One starts screaming. When LO screams, it’s a pretty safe bet she’s experiencing one of her NIGHT TERRORS. Dum, dum, dum.
Now, while “Night Terrors” sounds like a really bad horror movie destined to have four sequels, they’re actually no joke. You can read more about them HERE or you can just believe me when I say that night terrors turn your kid into an agitated zombie who babbles incoherently and moves their body in weird ways.
When LO is experiencing one, as she was on Saturday night, she will talk – or scream – but not make any sense; look us right in the eye but have no idea that we’re there; and scramble around the top bunk like she’s trying to escape from a tree that’s too high off the ground.
We usually just try to make physical contact – hold her hand or hug her – and say soothing things like “You’re OK… you’re just spending a little time in CrazyTown right now” or “LO, can you hear me? Tell your subconscious that it’d be great if you could sleep past 6:00 tomorrow morning…”
But this was a particularly bad one, so I lifted her out of the top bunk and carried her back to my room. I just held her in my lap, while she frantically jerked and yelled, and waited it out.
Eventually, she calmed down and I could feel her body release all the tension. She looked right at me and I said, “Are you OK now? You just had a bad dream.”
And she said, “Oh. I did?”
2:49 am: HD yelling, “Fix my blankies, please!” At least he’s polite in the middle of the night.
5:22 am: The Nibbit needs help. Wiping. Awesome.
Let the day begin!
Loud One and I have a deal that if she wakes up in the middle of the night when KJ is away, she can stay in our bed.
The second KJ walks out the door for any trip she starts asking, “Can I sleep in your bed?” every five minutes.
6:40 pm: The Nibbit is asleep. Let the angels sing. LO follows around 7:15.
7:47 pm: LO is up, “Can I sleep in your bed now?” No.
8:00 pm: HD is still awake. He’s yelling, “I need water! I need a truck! I need another song!” I go in and give him water, a truck and a song. I’m such an effing pushover.
8:15 pm: LO is up, “Can I sleep in your bed yet?” No.
10:20 pm: “How about now?” Finally, I turn off Grey’s Anatomy and let her climb in. (Yeah, I still watch Grey’s Anatomy. Shut up.)
2:25 am: Someone cries. I ignore it and it either goes away or I just fall back in a deep enough sleep to be able to ignore it.
2:50 am: Either that same someone is crying again or perhaps STILL crying. I get up. It’s Happy Dude and he’s upset because he “doesn’t want that!” I have no idea what he’s talking about so I say, “Me neither,” tuck him back in and go back to bed.
7:30 pm: Everyone’s asleep… for now.
10:45 pm: LO comes running in and doesn’t even ask… just crawls right into bed with me.
4:34 am: HD is screaming for Amanda. In case anyone is wondering if I get upset that my baby screams for the babysitter in the middle of the night instead of me, the answer is no. In fact, no one wants Amanda to show up at 4:30 in the morning more than I do.
4:57 am: The Nibbit is crying… loudly… “You forgot to tuck me in!” It’s almost five in the morning; are you freaking kidding me? I get up and literally throw the bedspread over his body and walk out.
5:36 am: The Nibbit is now screaming because he has poked himself in the eye. ????!?!?!?!?!?! He’s up for good, of course so I do what any rational parent does at that hour… give him the iPad and go back to sleep.
5:58 am: HD is now also up for good. He gets Cars II on the TV. And I go back to sleep
6:20 am: HD is crying because he has a snake in his mouth. WTF? I stagger in there wondering what he could possibly be talking about and it’s a HAIR. In his mouth. Gross. I WISH I WAS KIDDING.
We make it all the way until 3:12am with no wakings! Victory!
3:12 am: The Nibbit is yelling “MY COVERS ARE RUINED! MY COVERS ARE RUINED!” and as I stumble into his room, I mumble “My life is ruined. My life is ruined.”
4:30ish: I’m not sure of the exact time because I was too flabbergasted to write it down. I hear footsteps and assumed it’s the Nibbit again, but he never comes into the room. I force myself to get out of bed and HAPPY DUDE – you know, the one that still sleeps in the CRIB – is walking down the stairs.
This is not the first time he has climbed out of his crib, but I thought we had convinced him of the mortal dangers of doing so a few weeks ago. And it was certainly the first time he’s done it in the middle of the night. A bit disconcerting to say the least. I got him back to sleep, but then he…
6:00 am: … climbs back out. This time, he never wakes me up. He just goes straight downstairs to hang out with the Nibbit. I decide that I’m totally OK with that.
Last night was relatively quiet. Either that, or I was SO TIRED I just slept through all of night terrors and crib-climbing and uncooperative covers and God knows what else.
KJ comes home tonight. We missed him.