If you talk to anyone who’s been with Jonah for any length of time, you know that sleep is not his problem. In fact, within a ten-minute buffer, we can pretty much tell when he’s “going down town.” So, we had a slight scare this month when he started waking up in the middle of the night screaming.
My younger brother, Luke, used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming. For a seven-year-old kid, seeing his younger brother wake up screaming and not waking up is pretty frightening, and I haven’t forgotten those nights. It was even worse because Luke didn’t say much, so his screaming was completely opposite the way he usually behaved. On top of that, Luke used to sleepwalk and sleeptalk. To be honest, those times were a little funnier than the terror dreams, mostly because he’d say stuff like, “I’m not gonna talk to that woman over there in the corner,” or “Where Am I?”
For a little boy like me, it was better than TV.
So I began thinking…
My first thought: He’s having terror nightmares like Luke used to have. I was having visions of Jonah coming into our room in the middle of the night, screaming his head off or telling me strange, sleep-induced riddles. While much entertainment can be had by Luke sleepwalking, I didn’t want to have to deal with Jonah in the middle of the night like that.
My second thought: Maybe he’s hungry. We all know that eating in the middle of the night runs in the family. I still don’t think Dad sleeps through the night without eating a bowl of cereal.
My third thought: If I stay still long enough, Sunday will get up and see what his problem is. We’ve all done it. Admit it. The old “frozen man” routine works from time to time. It’s a beautiful thing.
We did crack the code, though. As the summer began, we would turn off the air conditioning, leaving the apartment comfortable during the day. At night, though, Sunday likes to administer some light snuggling and it gets a little hot under the covers, in a manner of speaking. (Thinking of beach scenes or libraries will eliminate those visuals you’re getting right about now). Well, we would turn on the AC so that Sunday and I wouldn’t be so hot at night.
We didn’t realize that Jonah’s room was getting a little more AC than we were. On top of that, we had the humidifier cranking in the room, too. He was crying at night because he was cold. My man was like Chilly Willy up in there. He could have held glasses of ice tea in each hand, just to warm himself up. I have never felt so bad for a kid. We ended up dressing him in one of those pajama things that looks like a bag with arms in it. Then, we put those mittens on his hands. It’s rough when you gotta get Nanook of the North’s wardrobe to help your son sleep through the night.
On top of that, we really thought all that bragging about his sleep talent was catching up to us. Big relief when we figured it out.