Mike and I both had sleep “issues” when we were growing up…and it appears we’ve passed this trait on to at least one of our children.
Mike sleepwalked when he was a kid. Sometimes he’d wake up in different places in the house (like the living room couch or the dining room floor) and have no idea how he got there. Other times he’d walk into his sister’s room or parents’ room and scare the bejesus out of everyone. His parents used to try waking him up, but that always ended with Mike completely freaking out, confused. Luckily, I’ve only seen Mike sleepwalk once in the twelve years we’ve been together, so I think he’s pretty much outgrown this.
I, on the other hand, started talking in my sleep when I was a child, and I haven’t stopped. Occasionally it’s random words, but most of the time it’s full-on conversations. When I was little, my parents would constantly go into my room in the middle of the night, convinced someone was in there with me. My friends LOVED sleepovers because they said I was hilarious. My college roommates delighted in having conversations with me when I was unconscious. Mike cannot stand it – he says it’s freaky because I always sound completely awake, but my eyes are closed. I have never once remembered a conversation I’ve had while sleeping. Kind of a rip off.
Annabel talks in her sleep. It makes sense – she’s exactly like me on the inside, and the girl loves talking more than life itself (when I asked her to stop talking while I was on the phone, she replied, “Mommy, I can’t stop talking, I have too much to say.”). She hasn’t graduated to full conversations yet and mostly just shouts out words and phrases. So far my favorite is, “GET OFF THE SWINGS!”
The shouting at night segues into her more recent nighttime activity: night terrors. At least, I think they’re night terrors…is screaming for thirty-plus minutes for no reason while thrashing about with your eyes closed night terrors? I feel so bad for Annie when she’s in the middle of one because there’s no getting to her. I’ve tried gently patting her cheeks and talking to her in a soothing voice, but nothing seems to calm her down. Unfortunately, she almost always wakes up James, so then Mike has to get up to help calm Annie while I get James back to sleep. The next morning, Annie remembers nothing but the rest of us are zombies. It’s no fun at all but I feel powerless to stop the terrors.
It remains to be seen if James will inherit any of our weird sleep quirks. I’m hoping he doesn’t get any of them, but if he has to get one I certainly know which one I hope he does not get. I can’t imagine two kids with this! I think Rigby would seriously move out.