Poor Rachel seems to have inherited her dreams from my side of the family. Occasionally she'll wake up screaming and won't quiet down unless I go in there and comfort her. I know all the "sleep" books say to let children comfort themselves, but those sleep "professionals" have never faced my nightmares.
Tonight was one of those nights. She was sleeping rather uneasily and I could hear her tossing and turning before the crying started. I gave her a few minutes before I caved and went in to check on her. I'm a sucker, what can I say.
She just wanted a hug and for me to sing to her, so I did, and then she went back to sleep.
I thought she was out for the night but she started crying about an hour after I had put her back down. This time she was screaming and I could tell she wasn't going to stop on her own, so I went in to check on her. I sat on her bed and she climbed onto my lap and curled up into a little ball around her favorite blankey. She just cried and cried and cried while I patted her back and tried to talk some sense into her.
She said "no" to everything I said while I asked if various body parts hurt and if she needed a drink of water or to go potty. When I asked her if she wanted her Daddy, however, she sobbed as loud and desperately as she could,
So he came and joined us and we all sat on the bed, rocking and talking.
Eventually we got her calmed down enough to want to sing some songs, so I started singing and Daddy left. He wanted to get back to playing Starcraft with Josh and the situation seemed to be under control. Unfortunately, however, the singing didn't last long. She started sobbing again soon after Daddy left and she had a death grip around my neck.
In an attempt to get her to let go of my neck so that I could breathe again, I started asking more questions. Talking to her is like playing 20 questions. Mostly she can say "yeah" and "no" and even those aren't necessarily reliable answers, but it's the only way to get her to talk.
"What's wrong, baby?"
"Are you sick?"
"No!" In fact she is feeling much better, but still has a runny nose and a slight cough.
"Are you scared?"
"Yeah," she whimpered.
"Do you want to tell me why?"
"Tell me, what scared you?"
"Come on! I can't make it better if I don't know what it is,"
"Fine. Don't tell me."
We sat in silence for a few minutes after that. Rachel and I have little arguments like that all the time. It's going to be a blast when she's a teenager, let me tell you. But usually she wants to tell me and I just have to stop pressuring her to communicate. This was one of those cases, so I just sat there, rocking her and patting her back, until she decided she wanted to tell me.
When she did she looked up at me with her wide eyes still brimming with tears. She waved "bye-bye" and said,
"Oo-oo! J-osh! Oo-oo!"
Roughly translated this means,
"Mom, I had a nightmare about the other day when Josh and Carolee stopped by and there was that big dog on a chain. Josh was holding it and it kept opening up its mouth and I was so scared! And every time I close my eyes I see the dog staring at me with its mouth wide open and I can see all of its teeth and I just can't sleep!"
At least, I think that's what it means. I did quite a lot of quesswork because all I got was, "Oo-oo! J-osh! Oo-oo!" But I'm pretty sure that's what it means.
After talking about the doggy and showing her that, although Josh and Carolee were over, the dog was no where to be found I put her back to bed.
She seems to be doing okay so far, but I understand her plight and I know Grammy/Naunie does, too!