Monday, September 01, 2014

Sleep talking and (ALL NEW!) sleep walking

9:30 PM (a rather boring tale)

"Please-y, Mommy!" Benjamin called from his bed. "Please-y. More. Please-y."

I went into his room to see what the problem was.

"What's wrong, Benjamin?" I asked. "What do you need?"

He was huddled against the wall with his back to me, so I flipped him over to see what he was doing. He was fast asleep, sucking on two fingers of one hand, both hands held tightly up to his mouth.

"What are you doing, Benjamin?" I asked. "What's wrong?"

"More nurse-y, Mommy," he said when I pulled his fingers out of his mouth. He quickly—ravenously—put them back in his mouth as soon as I let go of them.

He might still develop a thumb-sucking habit. I'm not sure.

He's really been pretty good about being weaned, but every few weeks he has a moment of weakness when he'll ask to nurse again. Tonight's moment was when he was fast asleep.

10:45 PM (where it really gets good)

Rachel stumbled out of her bedroom with wild eyes, never a good sign.

"Hi, Rachel," I said casually. "What's up?"

She ignored me completely, turned around, and pulled her pants down, completely mooning me. She backed up against the entertainment armoire and began to squat down as if a toilet was there.

"Rachel!" I exclaimed. "Stop! What are you doing?!"

Confused—still with her wild sleep-talking eyes on—she looked around the room. Not seeing anything, she continued to attempt to settle onto the toilet that obviously wasn't there.

"Rachel—stop! Do you need to go to the bathroom? Let's go find the bathroom together," I suggested, leading her to the bathroom. "Here we are! Now you can go potty."

She stumbled to the sink and turned the tap on to wash her hands.

"Don't you need to go potty?" I asked. "I'm pretty sure you got up to go to the bathroom. Go ahead and go potty before getting back in bed."

Again she looked around, quite confused. By this time Andrew had joined me. He knows I hate her sleep talking.

"You're not awake yet, are you?" he asked her as he helped her find the toilet and sit down.

She sat down on the toilet and fixed her wild eyes on me.

"Rachel—stop it!" I commanded. "Stop staring at me!"

I love my daughter but I hate her sleep-talking (and apparently sleep-walking!) face. It creeps me out. I hate going in to check on her when she's in bed only to have her pop up in bed and mumble stuff at me with her face frozen and wild-eyed. It's awful. I guess it's better than the night terrors she had when she was a toddler but, uh, it's still pretty bad. Sometimes I go in to check on her (because she'll call out in the night) and then I just have to run out of the room before she scares me (and, I mean, I've already checked to make sure nothing was wrong so I did my parental duty, right?). Like, "What's wrong? Oh, you're just sleep talking? Okay, I'll be going then."

Anyway, it was about when I commanded her to stop staring at me that she shook her head and woke up a bit—enough to realize where she was.

All in all it was pretty funny. I remember my parents telling a similar story about my sister Kelli...I think. I'm not prone to sleep talking, though, I don't think. Andrew, however, is.

We were discussing sleep the other night and I asked Andrew if he remembers how painful it was to be tired when he was little. I was thinking back to when I was small and how physically terrible being tired was. I still don't feel well when I'm overtired but it's not as bad as when I was a kid. My legs would ache, I'd get wild headaches, I'd feel dizzy, I'd start to feel like I was going to throw up.

"Yeah, I don't remember ever feeling that way," Andrew said. "But maybe that explains why Miriam's such a willing sleeper."

I'd never thought of that because I hadn't ever tried to remember how awful being tired felt when I was little. I was reminded of it recently because during scriptures and prayer on Friday night Miriam was dying. She was sprawled out on the couch with her favourite blanket, crying, begging to be allowed to fall asleep during scripture study because she was sure she was going to throw up if she had to stay awake any longer.

"Are you sick?" I asked.

"No, I'm just tired!" she wailed.

I have a very similar memory—crying with my head on my mom's lap during evening scripture study because I was so tired my whole body hurt.

Like I said, I don't feel quite as awful when I'm tired now. I think motherhood has just about beaten that tendency out of me. But I still start to feel sick if I avoid sleep too long. Recently I've been battling a bought of insomnia and that's been brutal but I've finally started sleeping enough that my eyes have stopped twitching, so that's a bonus!

Anyway, let me sum up: Sleeping is hard. Sleep walking can be incredibly entertaining. Still-asleep faces are very unnerving.


  1. It was Kelli.. She was going to use the potty in her closet. I believe that Auntie Colleen once opened the outside door in her sleep on a very cold winter night...maybe it was Uncle Bruce, and Grandma freaked out thinking her sleepwalker had gone out into the cold, cold night. But actually, the child was asleep on a stool. Sitting on the stool in the kitchen asleep. Will have to ask who that was! I did not realize that being sleepy made you feel sick!

    1. I remember hearing that story. I want to say it was Auntie Colleen as well...

  2. I can't believe you just blogged this - last night I was in the majlis and I heard Magdalena wake up and go stumbling into the bathroom. She kept clattering around in there and I finally went in to see what was going on. She was squatting over the trash can!!! I could tell she wasn't really awake. She was so confused. So I guided her over to the toilet and everything went ok from there.

    And now I know why we woke up one morning in Germany and found a puddle of urine on the floor of the bathroom. It was such a mystery at the time. :-/

    1. Oh, Bridget! You've always been such a comrade when it comes to children and sleep issues. Not everyone understands that even when they're sleeping they're not sleeping. :)

  3. My sister once peed on my bed. That was nice. I was yelling, "No, No, No, Don't do it." She did it. Peach will sometimes wander around but somehow she always manages to get herself on the toilet....can we all just be grateful for that. Gigi is my best sleeper. She puts herself to bed all the time if we are running to far behind. Forget scriptures, or prayer, or whatever. When she's ready, she is ready. The worst sleep walker I ever saw was my brother Daniel. He would actually leave the house...this is when he was eight or nine and then finally wake up outside, cold, and locked out. It was lovely. My mom did all kinds of things to try and keep him in but after enough time had gone by that he'd memorized the change awake he be able to get out again in his sleep. I don't know what finally changed for him...maybe puberty but eventually he stopped sleep walking. J sleeped yelled at our kids to stop playing in the bathroom last night....I think these things probably happen more when you are overly exhausted. He was on call the day before and those 30 hours of being up really do his mind in...literally.