Friday, February 13, 2015

Night Terrors

Life with a toddler is all about routine. Nap times, dinner times, bed times, we stick tight to that schedule, and sometimes if feels like our routine stretches the week (and weekends) into one long, continuous cycle.

Come home, play, dinner, play, bath, play, read, sleep.

I'm okay with a routine. As a kid I loved that my house was stable and steady. My teenage years were filled with routine practices. Ugh, my twenties were a routine of mistakes. But now, I get to chase my kid around the house, play with his toys, read him some books and get to bed early. At this stage in my life, I’m perfectly content knowing that I will be up at around six every morning.

And last night I was doing just that. Bath time was all sorts of wacky because, well, you see the silly fish was pulling a train and that was just a riot because—okay wait, I’m off track here. But things were humming along just like any other night. My wife got our son all tucked in and he was out like a lump.

Now because this blog is based in reality I’ll admit that my wife and I were asleep soon after. Long ago was the day I felt shame for whatever time the clock read when I hit the pillow. But then something went bump in the night. At first we only heard, Water. Water, water, water, water!
I hopped out of bed to console my son while my wife headed for the water our son so urgently needed..

His room was awash in this eerie blue tint from the night light on his fish tank. It was like I was wearing night vision goggles when I saw my kid standing up in his crib with a vacant stare.

“You okay, buddy?” I said, just a little creeped out. 


I went to pick him up. And that's when the diaper sludge hit the fan.

He flung himself back, taking a blanket with him as he crashed into his crib, flailing and kicking. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the blue so I wasn’t all together sure that it was in fact my son instead of some kind of horrid creature of the night.

He screamed and moaned, and when I heard him call Mommy I was all too eager to step aside.

The screaming continued. And for the next ten minutes I questioned my sanity, my wife’s sanity, my son’s sanity—if any sanity existed in the world. He was inconsolable. But my wife stuck with him, and received a fat lip for her efforts. But she was able to ask him questions about his bad dream. Here’s what we found out:

Water was involved.  

Eventually she coaxed him back to sleep. By morning my cute, cheery little son had been returned. He didn’t seem recall last night, which I found strange. I think I'd remember morphing into a monster overnight. But nope, he just said, “Sit Daddy.”

And I gladly did. We ate breakfast together, getting back to our normal routine.

To be continued...

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