November 12, 2008

Sleepwalking Chaos

I have a family of sleepwalkers. Two of them are not ‘heavy’ sleepwalkers- but my oldest is. MANY times I have found her sleepwalking through the house in the middle of the night. You can turn on lights, you can shake her, and it doesn’t wake her.
I once found her going from room to room in the middle of the night saying, “Here kitty, kitty!” Another time saying, “Mom! Mom! Where are you?” I woke up and found her standing in the dark living room. I walked behind her as she continued to search through the family room, searching under the couch and couch cushions.
“I’m right here kiddo,” I told her.
“I’m right here.”
“No you’re not.”


I can tell she’s calm and relaxed so I play along. “Am I under the couch?”
She looks at me and shakes her head, confused. You can tell she is thinking really hard.
Playing with her some more, I begin a game of Marco Polo. “Marco,” I say. She doesn’t know the game and stares at me confused. Okay, how about this one…
She’s scratching her head furiously, clearly flustered. Alright, I’m done playing. “Come on kiddo, let’s get you back in bed.”
“I am in bed.”
“You’re standing on the couch.”

She begins mumbling things incoherently in her sleep, things I can’t understand. I guide her back to her room like a shopping cart and tuck her in, expecting her to stay…ha.
Shopping carts leave their designated isles too…

9 pm- My husband and I are up watching a movie, but our oldest comes shuffling out of her room, yet again. She’s patting down the walls as she moves down the hall- sleepwalking and mumbling. When the wall ends and she has to cross the kitchen to get to the family room, her arms begin flailing like she’s falling off a cliff.
It looks like she’s having a vertical seizure.

My husband and I stop the movie to watch her. “Whatcha doing honey?”
“hmm hmm mmmnmshg.” (okay- whatever that was...)

“What are you doing?” I ask again.
Her hands are searching the walls of the family room- her fingers raking down the light switch panel. “Looking for the light,” she answers sleepily.
We’re intrigued to know what she’s looking for. We’re smiling and entertained by her sleepwalking show.
My intrigue shatters, my face pale’s to the color of primer as she replies matter-of-factly, “I’m going to go potty.” And she begins to bend, her hands on the elastic rim of her pajamas….
“Holy Kilimanjaro!” I shriek. (That’s not really what I said…it’s was more of a scream…but I thought the ‘Kilimanjaro’ added a nice, dorky touch.)

I race across the living room. A cheetah couldn’t have kept up. “Not on the family room floor you’re not!” I grab her hands and pry them off her pants. I stick her hands straight out in front of her as if she were a Gumby doll, tweaking and bending her arms in the shape I want them to go. All good, she’s set! I pat her head like a good doggie and guide her down the hall to the bathroom.
The last thing I want to clean up is an ‘8 year old’s mess’. Gag. Gag. Gag.

I quickly guide her down the hall and direct her to the ‘real’ potty, handing her a roll of T.P. for good measure and give her directions, saying, “Use this.” I make sure she has a firm grasp on it so she doesn’t end up using an article of clothing near the laundry basket. Double gag.

10:00 pm- the 8 year old is back in bed, but now it’s the 5 year old’s turn. She is stumbling through the hall, looking disoriented and sick.
We stop our movie. Again. “What’s going on kiddo?”
She doesn’t answer me. She has come to a dead halt in the hallway and she is doubled over and whimpering.
I begin to wonder if the hallway has magical powers- like some strange twilight zone that is making my kids cry. I proceed to the hall cautiously, fearing I may be walking into ‘another realm’ where I may be overtaken with a severe case of hysterics. (I don’t need ‘another realm’ to enter this place…raising kids gives it to me just fine, thank you.)

I walk toward her, thinking she may be sick. “Honey, what’s wrong?” My husband reaches her first. She is sobbing and she says, “I don’t want to play this game anymore!”
I couldn’t help but laugh. She is clearly sleepwalking. As sad as it seems- it is kind of funny. Daddy scoops her up and walks her down the hall to her bedroom- “You can be done,” he assures her. “Next time, mommy will be 'it'.”
Thanks, sweetie.
The next sleepwalker I see, I’ll be sending her straight to you, love.
10:30 pm- we get ready for bed. I’m asleep in 5 minutes.

11:00 pm- 3 year old comes in. “Daddy,” she says sleepily, “I wa…want my blankie. Where is it?”
She’s on his side of the bed. Daddy didn’t answer fast enough and she’s directly in front of his sleeping face.
“Huh?” he said.
“My blankie, Daddy.” Her eyes are closed and she’s sleepwalking. “Where...where is it?”
“I think…it’s…in…the...the car,” he answers, eyes closed and he falls back asleep.
“GO GET IT!!!!!” she screams in his ear.

You would have thought he was Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment who was just zapped by lightning. “It’s alive!!!”
okay- in this case, it would be, “He’s awake!!!”

12-3 am- I'm too tired to care about the ‘bumps’ in the night. It’s just my kiddos probably running into each other as they meet somewhere down the hall. “Go where you will,” I mumble, sleep deprived, “just be careful. Don’t make any phone calls while you’re up.”

5am- I’m dreaming of being 17 again…sleeping through the night, and sleeping in on a Saturday. I dream of those lazy high school weekends where I could go where and when I wanted without a diaper bag and a check list 150 items long....

Mom, I don’t want to eat beans!”
I open my eyes to discover my oldest standing over me. “I don’t want TO EAT my b-e-a-n-s.” she emphasizes loudly- because I didn’t answer right away.
Wait a minute, if you have the energy to get out of bed and walk down the hall and roll-play with the dreams in your head, why do I have to play along? Why do I have to be awake for this?

“Sweetheart,” I grumble, (Inside I’m wailing hysterically and gnashing my teeth.) “It’s 5:30 in the morning. No one has to eat beans right now. Go to bed.”
“But I don’t want beans!”
“You don’t have to have beans. Go. To. Bed.”
“But I don’t want beans!”
YOU don’t HAVE to have ANY BEANS right NOW. Go To BED!!”
“But I don’t even like beans!”
I’m sobbing and wondering why I have to be awake to argue with my sleeping daughter! WHY!!!???

“I hate beans!” she wails.
“Fine,” I reply in my dark Gollum voice. “Honey, give me a second.” I let a few seconds pass in silence. “There!” I say. “Mommy burned the pantry. You don’t have to worry about beans bothering you any more! Mommy made it all better. The beans are gone. Go to sleep!”
“The beans are gone?”
“Burned to high heaven. Go to sleep.”
With a smile she walks back down the hall to her room. I get out of bed to make sure she gets to her room and I tuck her back in bed…I wouldn’t want her to walk to the panty, shut herself in and have a nightmare when she discovers the panty is still full of black beans.

I go back to bed and wait for sleep to come.
5:40- I’m wide awake.
5:41- still awake.
5:47- yep…still wide eyed and exhausted.
5:58- you know where I’m going with this, but I notice I need to dust the corners of my ceilings…

6am- “FINE!” I throw the sheets back. “I’m AWAKE!” I rant. “WHY DO PARENTS NEED SLEEP ANYHOW??” I look like Medusa and act like Cruella.
I’m going to be the world's best mommy today!

6:30am- everyone is still asleep. But me. Sigh. I hate life.
It’s Saturday. I’m tired. (I’m on a pity trip, give me a second) Oh, look! I have dark circles under my eyes. I wanted to be ‘raccoon girl’ today. Let me go grab some red lipstick and I’ll paint war stripes on my face, stick a feather in my crumpled hair and I’ll be ready to tackle the day. I look stellar.
I look like a woman who tried applying lipstick on an airplane during heavy turbulence...
In fact, to complete my disastrous ‘Bettie Boop’ make-up look, why put a bra on today? (She obviously never did.) It might match the bags under my droopy eyes.

I observe my make-up, the red lipstick in particular, and then I eye the feather jutting out of my hair.
Pocahontas, Sacagawea, watch out. They call me: SacaL’Orealweahontya
I pat my mouth and give an Indian holler.
Oh, but waiteveryone’s asleep.
No one can hear me.
Oh well, I shrug. Let’s give them some wild dreams!


tina said...

I can't believe your funny stories. Sleepwalkers?? poor thing. But they do make for funny stories.

Nate and Jilleen said...

I can now add one more thing to my "count your many blessings" list... No sleepwalkers!

Heather said...

I love it! you passed out when you got mad as a kid, now your kids sleepwalk, you did know you came from a family of sleepwalkers right? *evil grin*