Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Peanut has been having nightmares every night for a couple of weeks now. Usually around 2am she’ll wake up crying. Sometimes she calls me right away, so I’ll go in, scoop up the sleepy thing, sing a quick song to her as she falls back asleep on my shoulder, then put her back to bed. But a few times, it’s been something else. She wakes up talking, saying “no” or “I don’t want…” in a sleepy voice, obviously winding up for a full cry as she does so. By the time I get into her room, her face is wet with tears and she’s fully crying, almost screaming, while thrashing violently, crashing her head and body against the bars of her crib. When I try to pick her up to comfort her, she starts kicking at me, screaming more, sometimes even calling “Mommy!” as if she doesn’t recognize me. I usually wrestle her out of bed then sit down with her on the never-used guest bed that’s in her room, letting her thrash it out in a safer place, talking to her until she settles down enough to allow me to comfort her. Sometimes these episodes last for ten minutes, sometimes for forty minutes. Often the next day she has no memory of it, or will only remember of a small part of it. At the cabin it happened, and the only thing she remembered was her baby cousin crying in the night, not that it was her own screams that woke the baby. I haven’t figured out what causes these night terrors, if that’s what they are, or the best way to get her through them. She seems fine the next day, maybe a little tired from the lost sleep. It’s just another one of those child mysteries that keeps us parents guessing. I’m hoping this particular phase is short-lived.