House on Fire, Mommy Missing, Dinner with Zombies…

“It’s okay. It’s okay. Mommy’s here. You’re okay.” I’m standing dripping wrapped in a towel trying not to drip on her too much because I don’t want to change her p.j.’s. My late night – sneak-a-long-hot-shower has been interrupted by another bad dream.

I carried her to my bed and set her down while I hurried to dry off and add clothing. She started screaming when I tried to take her back to her own room, so in the interests of peace (and rest) she spent the rest of the night snuggled between mom and dad.

When I tried to turn out the light she screamed. She seems to be developing a fear of sleeping in the dark, though she’s just fine if she wakes up and it’s still dark out. Then the dark is cool, and “Wow! Amazing!”  Falling asleep and being vulnerable in the dark is scary.

For me, this is challenging. I’ve been suffering with insomnia for a couple of weeks. There’s nothing in the world to make a body decide that it doesn’t need sleep anymore as effective as waking it up every hour for several weeks. It becomes a habit and then your body decides that it’s not worth the trouble of falling asleep.

Add that I’m a in-the-dark sleeper, and we have a very restless night for Yours-Truly. I like the dark. I like the fact that there’s less random crap that I can see for me to think about. My brain is one that runs on when I lay down, so anything I can do to make a stimulus free world is a good idea.

By midnight they were both blissfully asleep. And snoring. A symphony of illness induced sound. Ah, a symphony of illness induced sound. Lovely. I eventually fell asleep enjoying the rhythmic sound.

So, last night I slept, interrupted and kicked, through noise and light and, oddly, I don’t feel all that rested.  If nightmares were infrequent, I probably wouldn’t mind much. They’re not.

We see at least one a night. Her two biggest fears are fire (a couple of kids movies, a Sonic video game, and a couple of firefighter books), and Mommy is missing. I can see where both fears come from, but I don’t see how to fix them. Apart from limiting the scary movies.

It’s a stage. Kind of. It will last from now until forever. It’s the curse of having a good imagination combined with a fairly anxious personality combined with vivid dreams. It’s genetic.

I get why she’s crying because Mommy is missing and everything is on fire. After all, the other day I had a dinner part with human eating zombies, while we all watched the news and were surprised that other people hadn’t come to similar peace treaties with their “local infected populace”.

Nightmares, bad dreams, are just a part of life. You learn to wake up, shake it off, and remind yourself that watching Being Human on Netflix just before bed is a bad idea. Then you check on your family, check the locks on the doors, and go back to sleep.

In her case, we walk through the house, and I tell her that “I’m right here” until she drifts back off. Eventually, she’ll be able to reassure herself. It’s just a stage and she’ll outgrow the terror that the bad dreams bring with them as she grows into a better sense of reality vs. fiction.

Right now though, the same imagination that lets her pretend to be a butterfly-stegosaurus, also causes me to be missing and the house to be on fire.  It’ll get better eventually. The only question is, will I get any sleep in the meantime?

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6 thoughts on “House on Fire, Mommy Missing, Dinner with Zombies…

  1. My 4 year old had nightmares multiple times a night for months. My husband and I only have a queen size bed and I need all the room and quiet I can get for good sleep. We ended up putting a crib mattress on the floor and she slept in our room every night for a good 6 months or so, with the closet light on so she wouldn’t be scared. That solved the issue of bed space. I also started sleeping with a pillow and my arm over my head to block out small noises…

    Any chance your daughter would sleep on a mattress or in a sleeping bag instead of in your bed? Once we made the bed into NOT an option our daughter was happy just to be in the same room with us. Eventually she let us know she was ready to sleep in her room again.

    I hope you get some good rest soon. ❤

    • Thank you for commenting and for the advice.

      So far, she needs to be touching me to calm down, though I really wish just being in the same room was enough. Maybe she’ll get to that point eventually. Right now I’m working on her not needing to be on top of me.

      I think eventually she’ll outgrow it. In a decade or so.

      • I’ve enjoyed your writing so much since I found you the other day that I’ve read almost ever post you made.

        What I really appreciate about your blog is how much your feelings about parenting seem to match mine. I feel so blessed to be at home and I love my children but more often than not I don’t really enjoy this parenting thing. It’s hard, it’s stressful, it makes me realize how selfish and immature I am! But what I love most is that even though your FEELINGS are the same as mine you do so much better at making better CHOICES and more appropriate actions despite how I feel. Maybe I’ll get there, I’m still a young(er) mom. Anyway, I find it inspiring and wanted to say thanks for putting your very real thoughts and emotions out here. I wish more people were honest about how it feels to be a parent. If we all shared our real issues and feelings maybe it wouldn’t be so scary and lonely being a mom.

        And sorry my advice won’t work in this case. Every kid is different that’s for sure. Sometimes I catch myself in the act of thinking about things as if they will NEVER change. I literally have to remind myself sometimes that they won’t act like (whatever the current stage/frustration is) forever. It makes me feel silly when I have to remind myself like that but it does help. Hang in there mama!

        Anyway, s

      • Thank you!
        One of my resolutions this year was to be more genuinely who I am and this blog is part of that for me. On the other hand, please don’t think that I make the right choices all the time. This morning, as my husband was leaving for work, I was bawling because I was so tired and felt like a failure as a parent, because I feel like I’m supposed to enjoy this more. I think that part of why I’m honest about the hard stuff here is that I hope it makes a difference to other people who are in the trenches of parenting to know that they’re not alone.

        You’re completely right about the fact that they will change. I find myself feeling convinced that “right now” will be “forever” and it leads me to feel very fatalistic about things. Thank you, I needed the reminder.

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