Today, Jack asked me: “Mommy, where does snot come from?”
I’m sure it is meaningful that he is observant enough to wonder, and curious enough to ask.
Last night, I turned off my computer and went to kiss Aimee goodnight. She was sleeping peacefully. She has never been a solid sleeper. She was four before she slept all night. For about two years, from age three to about five, she spent most of the night on a crib mattress next to our bed. Anyway, last night, I tucked her in and went upstairs (she sleeps downstairs) to brush my teeth. All of a sudden I heard her crying, hard. Hysterically, like some stranger had come in through her window and tried to kidnap her. I went back downstairs and found her in the bathroom. I asked her what was wrong.
“I don’t know!” she wailed. Her eyes were open but she was very confused.
“Did you have a bad dream?”
“No!” she cried.
“Are you sick?”
“Do you have to pee?”
“No! I don’t know!”
She paced and cried. She’s done this before but never this frantically. I have learned when she is like this to step back and let her go, and just watch to make sure she is safe.
She went upstairs and went to Jack’s room, then ours, then the bathroom. She stopped by the toilet and then carried on. No amount of soothing would calm her down. Trevor picked her up and held her like a baby, but she was down again in 10 seconds wandering and scratching her belly and crying. We made her a little bed on the couch because sometimes when she has a bad dream she likes to sleep closer to us. She laid down for not even 10 seconds and resumed her pacing. Finally, Trevor convinced her to sit on the toilet and she peed, and kind of woke up. She calmed considerably, and she and Trevor decided she was hot and needed cooler jammies. They went downstairs to her dresser, on top of which is the hamster cage. He turned on the light, and there was little Aloysius, sitting on the open door of his cage, looking as if he was about to make a break for it.
I think we dodged a bullet there. Five minutes in the wilds of our house and he would have been cat food. My theory is that Aimee was overtired and the hamster was being noisy, and he disturbed her sleep, a problem compounded by the discomfort of her full bladder. She woke up enough to know that something was really wrong, but not enough to know what to do about it. I think she tried to fix the problem by addressing the hamster situation (how, and to what end, I’m not sure). In any case, once she peed, and we secured Hammie’s house, she slept the rest of the night, on the couch, like the proverbial baby.
So now, in addition to the concerns I have about teenaged sex, and the drugs being dealt behind their elementary school, and pedophiles, and the sorry state of her education fund, and the damage I am doing by working full-time instead of parenting, and the risk of leukemia and brain tumours, now, I am worried that she sleepwalks and will wander out to the road in the middle of the night, or fall down the stairs, or release the hamster, whose tiny little head I will find, say, on the breakfast table one morning, a present from the evil cat. I have no doubt that the cat’s just biding her time, waiting for an opportunity to mangle any or all of us.
Anyway, welcome to parenthood. I hear she comes by it honestly… her father has been known to do strange things in his sleep. Hopefully tonight is better. I sleep with one ear to the door now. Poor kid.