Thursday, January 21, 2010

Somnambulism

I am a big fan of sleep. In fact, I could do it almost anywhere, any time - no lying down required. When we first became parents, I accepted that my night time sleep would be interrupted, but that it was only going to be for a short while. All babies sleep through the night eventually, right?

Not so with wee Liam. By the time he was 9 months old we abandoned all preconceived sleep notions and brought him into our bed out of desperation. And that worked for awhile.

Then we went through a period of night terrors. There is nothing like being in a deep sleep and having a 30 pound whirling dervish start shrieking in you ear.

Then we transitioned him to his own bed. WOOHOO we thought! We would sleep again. Alas, it took over 2 years to fully transition him to going to sleep and staying asleep in his bed.

He's 7 now. I think we've had about 2 years of fairly decent sleep patterns. 28% of his life so far. Not bad..........

But will it last?

This past Saturday Liam had the treat of sleeping in the spare room bed so that he could watch a movie. With all of his sleep issues, one thing has always remained constant: He will NOT get out of bed unless someone is with him. Most parents think this is wonderful! And it is, till he drops his water bottle and it rolls 2 feet from the bed and he won't get up to get it. So he yells at the top of his lungs Mama! Mammmmaaa! MaaaaaaaaaMMMMMMMaaaaaaaaaaa! till you hear him from the other end of the house and have to drop all you are doing and go upstairs to pick up his water bottle. ( and yes, I could refuse and he could learn and yada, yada, but by that time of night I'm too tired to do battle or listen to him carry on, so I cave)

anyhoo...

On Saturday, I was almost asleep when I heard him get up. Odd. but then I didn't hear anything so I went back to my twillighty stage. Then I heard him come THUNDERING up the stairs. Before I could sit up, he was in our room, curled up in a fetal position in a chair sobbing hysterically.

I went over to him and tried to talk to him when I realized he was still asleep. Not knowing what to do, but needing to do something before I froze to death, I picked him up and put him in our bed between Hilary and I. He sobbed, then laughed like a maniac, then sobbed and thrashed and called out for about 15 minutes before he was out cold in my arms. He remembered nothing of it the next morning, and was very confused on how he ended up in bed with us.

His night terrors had never involved sleep walking before. We hoped this was a one time deal and quickly put it past us.

Till last night.

Again, just as I was falling asleep I heard footsteps on the stairs. Now, we have some pretty fat cats, and they can make an awful lot of noise on the wooden stairs, but this sounded like a lot for even them. So I called out to Liam and he answered from downstairs, clear as could be. By the time I got down there, he was curled up on a kitchen chair, crying and FAST ASLEEP. Great! So I carried 50+ pounds of dead weight back up stairs and had to show him how to get back into bed. Because of course, he sleeps in a bunkbed. And after the bruises I ended up with from having him in our bed on Saturday, I had no desire to try co-sleeping with him again. Luckily he climbed up and went right back to sleep.

I'm hoping this is not the start of a new phase. He scares me enough going up and down the stairs at break neck speeds when he's awake. I'll never get any sleep if I have to keep one ear cocked to listen for him getting out of bed in the middle of the night.
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