I’ve got five kids, three of whom are under five. I haven’t slept through the night in four years. It’s ok. Really. I’m used to it. I’ve just convinced myself that sleep is for wimps – like those people who ride the motorized carts through Walmart just cause they’re pregnant. Wait. I did that once.
Anyway, it’s not a sleep training issue, really, it’s not. I sleep train like a champ. Like it’s my J.O.B. because, well, it is. It’s more a law of averages. With five children, there is always going to be someone who has a bad dream, or falls out of bed, or loses a lovey, or doesn’t make it to the potty, or DOES make it to the potty and then proceeds to drop the toilet lid so loudly that we all start up with hearts racing wondering when the war started. Then, of course, occasionally, there’s the puking. Like last night. Poor little Juliette who made it down from the top bunk and all the way to the bathroom. Well, the first time. Not so much on round 2 and 3. That’s another law for you: the law of diminishing returns. I know I don’t have those right. Shut up. That’s not my job.
These are all interruptions to be expected. This is what people are talking about when they say to new parents, “You’ll never sleep again.”
You know what they don’t mention? They don’t mention waking in the night to a half-naked zombie boy standing by your bed, scratching his neck, rolling his head around, and asking about curtains. Nope. See, told ya. But I’m your friend, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
Sleepwalking is real, y’all, and it’s super trendy around town. Or, at least, around here. That’s as much of the town as I see, anyway.
When Grey was a baby he had horrible nosebleeds. Like massacre quality, “Oh my God! Is he still alive?” nosebleeds. Then when he was a toddler he had night-terrors. EVERY.NIGHT. He’d “wake up” screaming and nothing we could do could calm him down. His whole body shook. After a few months, my whole body shook. Night terrors are not run of the mill bad dreams. They happen during a different cycle of sleep, a cycle it is very, very difficult to wake from. You basically have to sit there with your terrified, possessed child until they enter a different sleep pattern and then you can wake them up and calm them down.
Finally, after about a year of Googling (it would’ve gone faster if I wasn’t so dang tired) I discovered a link between excessive night terrors and sleep apnea. To my credit, I got from sleep apnea to allergies in one click. So, we took Grey to an allergist and yep. He’s basically allergic to air.
He’s been on medication for a few years (slightly scary, I know, but not nearly as scary as that, up there) and the night terrors have ceased. In fact, he doesn’t seem scared at all as he wanders our house in the middle of the night. Me, on the other hand, I’m terrified. Ok, sometimes I’m amused. Sometimes I even haul out my phone to capture the crazy,
as insurance against a crappy girlfriend so that I can share it as a Public Service Announcement.
Y’all. He’s ASLEEP. Creepy.
But seriously, our house is just chock full of things to kill yourself on if you aren’t paying attention. I think asleep definitely qualifies as distracted. There’s this, for example.
I know it doesn’t look like much now, but in the middle of the night, that thing turns into the stairway to hell. There’s even a few floor length windows at the bottom so you can slit your throat on broken glass in case you don’t just break your neck on the way down.
But that’s not the scariest thing. Oh no. This is the scariest thing:
See that balcony up there? That one WAY up there? It’s a good thirty feet off the ground. And it’s in my bedroom. The same bedroom where zombie sleeping boy shows up in the middle of the night. And you’d think, “Hey, no big deal. If he walks through your bedroom to your balcony doors, you’ll know it. You’ll wake up.” But you’d be wrong. Because, might I remind you that I haven’t slept through the night in FOUR YEARS. So I’m tired. Like really, really tired. I might not wake up. Ever.
But I think I’ve come up with a solution. Yes, indeedy. I’m going to trick out Grey’s door this weekend. I’ve found the perfect thing.
This should keep him busy for a while.