Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lucky girl.

Dear Lily,

Since you were about 2 years-old, you have suffered the occasional night terror. Suddenly, after an hour or so of sleep, you will wake up screaming and crying. Completely un-consolable, thrashing and kicking, you will sob and sob.

At first we couldn't understand. Is something wrong? Are you hurting? Tyler - is this some sort of seizure? Should we call 911? No - call Grandma Sharon. We listed off the symptoms one night at 11pm as you were freaking out in the background. Gigi, I think Lily's brain is about to explode. She is awake and screaming but won't listen to us. She's throwing a massive tantrum for no good reason... so I'm thinking this has got to be a brain tumor and my life and happiness are forever over as I know it. She patiently listened (as always), and quickly explained you were having a classic night terror. Slightly different from a "nightmare", night terrors are something children experience occasionally. They seem awake but are not, and a parent must simply have to wait for it to pass. They usually don't remember anything in the morning.

Yours are aggravated by lack of sleep. In fact, the quality of your sleep is inversely related to how tired you are: the more tired you are, the worse you sleep. And sometimes consequently, a night terror will strike. They usually pass within 20 to 30 minutes, but don't be fooled - they are still rather torturous to a tired parent. We will lie next to you and wait (you usually won't let us hold you)...and wait and wait and wait. Until finally, your little body succumbs to slumber.

It happened again two nights ago, after you had gone to bed. It had been a busy day, and you had been sneezy with allergies all day. Bedtime was late, and sure enough after an hour you awoke whoopin' and a hollerin'. Ironically, on this particular night, I had congratulated myself on crawling into bed a good hour early. I was tired, weary to the bone from a loooong pregnant day. We had a packed schedule for the upcoming day, and I was excited to catch up on my energy levels. When I heard you begin crying, just as I had entered a good state of shut-eye, I cringed.

Here we go again

Daddy and I pulled you into bed with us, trying to calm you down. To no avail. And I, being the ever perfect example of motherly patience, suggested that maybe we should just chain you to the fence in the backyard and return to bed. Okay, I didn't really say that. But part of me felt that way. I was frustrated and tired. Why can't she just sleep?!!!

Instead your Daddy - sensing my misery and woe, and your misery and woe - scooped you out of the bed and cuddled you up to his chest. Your arms were wrapped tightly around his big shoulders and you sobbed into his neck and shrieked into his ear. And he calmly walked around with you, gently whispering sweet things in your ear. At first it wasn't helping as you continued to fight his embrace, but then your body melted slightly more into his frame. It's okay Lu, Daddy's here... Everything's okay.... Just go sleep, Daddy's got you...I'm here with you....

It was a dear sight watching his strong arms hold your little body as he rocked you back and forth. He tickled your back and kissed your tear-stained cheeks. And not once cracking in irritation he held you until finally the cries gradually ceased, your breathing steadied, and you fell fast asleep.


Larissa said...

oh Rae it make me want to cry i feel like lily is scared but she doesn't realize it. i want to come over to you house and hug lily as much as i came tell lily i love her

love aunty larissa (rissa)

Joan said...

Such a good Daddy.
Thank goodness for Daddies :)

Alex said...

Oh my Rae, that is so heart warming!

Sarah Hansen said...

I still remember the feeling of crawling into mom and dad's bed after having a bad dream and how absolutely safe I felt. I love that feeling. Tyler is a good Daddy:)

Rae. said...

Funny you mention it Sarah, I think that is why I still show up on Mom and Dad's doorstep at midnight with my children when Tyler is out of town...