I play the saxophone in our Church’s praise band a few weeks out of the month. Tonight’s band practice was a little later than normal, but that was okay. I had everything worked out. I would get home around 9:30pm sit down at the computer and write out a post and go to bed. Lets just say it didn’t work that way.
I got home around 9:45pm (not bad) just to discover the wood-burner (we heat our house and water with wood) had gone out. I spend 30 minutes making sure it was all set so we can have warm showers in the morning and came in to write my post.
After being at the computer for about five minutes I hear Josiah start to cry loudly and call for momma. Well, momma was asleep in bed so I went to check on him. What followed was another 35 minute glimpse into our three year-old’s half-asleep thoughts. Brace yourself, it can be a little shocking, a little, unnerving, and a lot confusing. It can also be quite the ride…
After calming him down some and convincing him to use words and talk to me instead of moaning, we had the following conversation. Well, I am guessing you would call it a conversation. Anyway, I could be slightly off, but I think I have most of it word for word.
- ME: Josiah, what is wrong?
- JOSIAH: I need something.
- ME: What do you need?
- JOSIAH: I need something, why won’t you give me something? (starts to cry again)
- ME: What do you need? I have Elmo, do you need Elmo? (offers stuffed Elmo)
- JOSIAH: No, I need something bigger. Can I see something bigger? Is it red?
- ME: I don’t have anything bigger. It is almost 11pm you need to go back to sleep. Lay down and I will rub your back.
- JOSIAH: Your not helping! Why won’t you help? It has to be red! (sits back up and starts to cry)
- ME: Lay back down buddy, what is red? Are you awake? Do you need some water?
- JOSIAH: I am awake and I don’t want water. I want to see. Can I see the truck Mom uses?
- ME: We don’t have a truck Josiah, lay back down and go back to sleep. Let me tuck you back in.
- JOSIAH: I want to see mamma’s truck! Is it a raspberry? I think I need a raspberry. (starts to cry again)
- ME: We don’t eat our raspberries this late. We will have some for breakfast. Lay back down before we wake up your sister.
- JOSIAH: I can’t go back to sleep. You not helping! Why won’t you help? I can’t get it off.
- ME: Can’t get what off, how can I help?
- JOSIAH: My nose! I can’t go back to sleep if it won’t come off. Why won’t it come off? (rubs nose and starts to cry)
- ME: ……..
You get the picture. So, for 35 minutes I tried to calm a little boy down enough to go back to sleep, or at least let me leave the room without him screaming again. After a lot more random interactions (it is hard to reason, or argue, with a half-asleep three year-old) I finally got him quiet and I sneaked out. I am not sure I can really claim victory here though. I am pretty sure nothing I said to him made much of a difference. He just finally calmed back down.
So, instead of the amazing solution to all of your parenting problems, what I was going to write about, you get this; an expose on my son’s sleep ramblings. He has done this before. We do it once about every two weeks or so. The funny thing is that he remembers it. I can ask him in the morning and he will remember most of the conversation. He won’t be able to make any more sense of it than I can, but he will remember it. Josiah can’t be the only little boy that wakes up crying because he can’t fly in a pink dump truck or see the train papa parked in the living room. Does anyone else out there have a child that gets their logic wires crossed when they wake up in the middle of the night? If so I would love to hear. I know Josiah can’t be the only kid that does this. How do you handle it?