Friday, January 17, 2014

So it turns out we have a sleepwalker on our hands after all....

Growing up my older sister sleep walked. I of course was way too young – or not thought of – to remember this. But what I do remember is my parents going on and on as they recalled her sleep walking escapades. From sitting in a bathtub in her nightgown, to roaming the house during the night, yes I have heard them all. And for the most part they still remain told for good laughs from time to time.

That was until we caught little man doing the very same thing. 

In the beginning, we thought nothing of this really; he was in the transitional stages from crib, to toddler railings, to the now big boy bed. And we laughed it off and told ourselves it would be a phase, and he would grow out of it. I reminded myself that months from now I would miss those special moments when my little man comes and snuggles with me. After all how often are we told they don’t last long as it is? I was lucky.  

Two years later, he still did it. It was getting so frequent we would find ourselves waking up and marching him back into his room four or five times a night to show him this is what the big kids do. We would exhaust him to the point we hoped he would stay. I prayed, Dear Lord please just one night let him stay. I read to him, we turned on soft music and we blacked out the room. We gave him extra blankets and then took them away. We set up a chart to monitor his improvement and would treat him with small things we picked up along the way.

We researched how to deal with kids that wouldn’t stay in their own bed. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I hate to admit after so many times of marching back to bed, you get to the point where it is just easier to leave them there. Isn’t it better to get an hour of good sleep over waking up every half hour to return him? And so he would remain his little body curled up around and against my own, envying my husband who slept soundly on the other side of the bed once more.

 In the morning we would rise and he would look around, confused saying. “Mommy how did I get here?” Or “I didn’t sleep in my own bed?” He would seem perplexed by the revelation that he was in our bed. He would then promise us he would do better, and that he would stay in his bed all night and sometimes it would work, but more often than not, he would be back in our room. It was all back to square one.

But then over the holidays, my sister was up visiting. The very one who sleep walked herself as a child. And wouldn’t you know one night while she was watching my son; he started roaming the halls, making his way down the stairs. He was out to the world, but was roaming as if he was fully awake. 

“You have a sleep walker” she said.

I had never thought of this, but the moment she said it, it made sense. How he couldn’t remember being there or even how he got there. And you want to talk freaky? Try having a kid stare you down with his wide-open eyes and yet be zonked out. That is something movies are made of.  Knowing this makes things a little easier to deal with, though a little scarier at the same time. We now make sure to check things are out of reach and put away a little more. I was told it runs in families as well as the fact it is usually outgrown by the time they reach teenage years.

Though with a good number of years before that happens, I surely hope it is sooner than that.

I do however welcome any advice from anyone who may have had experience with this, and welcome any thoughts on the subject.

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