At 7.15pm Childe was fast asleep. The routine was like clockwork – from who held her hand up the stairs, to toothbrushing to the favourite yellow blanket, to the ungainly position mummeh must sit on the bed to tell the particularly paraphrased bed time story with the particularly particular character voices. Childe was fast asleep.
At 9.45, Childe was still fast asleep, but she was sitting up. Shaking, sweating, screaming. Because I have no life, I was actually in bed at this point, so I leapt up in alarm before realising what it was – a night terror. Childe suffers from these when she’s over-tired or going through a growth spurt: they are not actually nightmares (she has those too, mainly due to a love of Disney villain scenes and unsuitable Norse mythology via Daddeh), but they are a nightmare to live with.
On this occasion we had a bad time of it: unfortunately children suffering from night terrors sometimes don’t present as ‘asleep’ and might interact with you in a rudimentary way, which presents a bit of a gamble when the golden rule is don’t wake them up and let them ride it out. Childe ended up waking after she spoke to my husband and he answered: suddenly confused, soaking with sweat and sat up when she should have been lying down. Wanting to re-assert her control over the universe she did what she does best and unleashed one of the highest grade, purest threenager tantrums I have ever witnessed in my entire life. It took 30 minutes to ride out (quite a lot longer than the terror).
After she’d made her point in a strident and clear manner, she decided she would like to go back to sleep … with human-Tetris mummeh nestled awkwardly between the Ikea cushion and the spikiest of her plastic dolls. Mummeh also fell asleep. Mummeh ached at 6am. A lot.
The good news is she’s absolutely fine: children don’t remember their terrors and the causes are not psychological. She forgot it to the extend to which she looked accusingly at Daddeh this morning and declared he was not her best friend today, he ‘woked her up’. Yes darling, we sort of worked that one out, thanks for the feedback though, we’ll bear it in mind.
Heres the NHS advice on Night Terrors which makes them sound a hell of a lot less freaky than they feel in the middle of the night.
Oh. And a growth spurt? That’s going to mean trouser shopping. I don’t know which is worse – at least I can wear my PJs for one…