Tag Archives: Sleep

Sleep-Talking – Psychological Insight, or Just Sheer Entertainment?

Maternity leave fast became a distant memory as Darling Wife returned to work two weeks ago, and I have been at home wrestling with my demons in the more literal sense.  With this sudden change in family dynamic, I wondered (dreaded?) if there would be any apparent effect on the kids…

I should not have been worried.  The answer, of course, is OF COURSE!  May as well just throw in a face-palm for good measure…

Bedtime has become something of a minefield, more so than usual.  Now that Darling Wife is at work for most of the day, the kids only really see her in the evenings and at weekends – It’s a bit like a Talk Plan from your selected mobile phone company, except with a bit less stress and a good deal more unintentional international calls (always made when one of your cherubs grabs your mobile phone).  With the children in my care for most of the day, when ‘Mummy’ comes home, she becomes something of a novelty.  If she happens to come into #1’s bedroom to say ‘Night night’, he starts to play up and won’t settle for anything less than ‘Mummymummymummymummy’…

During the nights, #2 has been waking up to 5 times a night, just for a little mummy-comfort.  Not exactly the best sleep solution for a woman who suffered with bouts of insomnia during pregnancy and has a job that can be both physically and emotionally exhausting.  Darling Wife does the best she can, and I help wherever and however I can, but she still ends up exhausted and running on empty.

However, one interesting side effect that has presented itself recently has been the increase in #1’s sleep-talking.  He frequently made noises during the night, and occasionally awoke and called out for me, but he rarely spoke in his sleep.  Certainly, the possibility of proper sleep-talking is increasing as his speech develops quicker and quicker, but last night was the first time that I understood exactly what was going on in his head.

The encounter went something like this:

03:00am – I hear a voice begin repeating a strange noise every few seconds, increasing in volume and frequency, and prompting me to get out of bed to investigate and subdue.

Upon entering #1’s bedroom, the floor creaked, and I’m not talking your subtle whispery creak.  Oh no, ladies and gentlemen.  I’m talking Haunted House of Horrors creaking of the sort usually reserved for waking even the most stubbornly dead!  But #1 didn’t even stir.  He just lay there, eyes closed, muttering in some strange language.

As I drew closer, I realised that he was in fact still asleep, and suddenly I could make out what he was saying.

#1: ‘Tair’

Me: ‘What’s the matter?’

#1: ”Tair’

Me: What’s that?

#1: ‘Ooh, tair.  High tair.

Me: ‘HIgh chair?’

#1: ‘Yeah.  High tair.  Fall.’

Me: ‘You fell out of your high chair?’

#1: ‘Yeah’.

Me: ‘Are you dreaming?’

#1: ‘Yeah’

I laugh and he smiles in his sleep.

Me: ‘Then roll over and go back to sleep’.

#1: ‘Yeth’.

He rolls over and cuddles into the duvet.

#1:  ‘Bye Bye, Daddy’.

[Heart melts].

I am trying to decide whether the things that children say in their sleep hold any indications as to their state of mind, or whether I should just assume insignificance and start recording these conversations for future entertainment value…

Answers on a postcard…

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A Father’s Duty

So. It’s 00:48am and Spawn #1 has just stirred and called out for attention.

Dilemma: Is he dreaming and crying out in his sleep or is he waking and genuinely in need of attention?

I lie here listening to him for a few seconds to see if the crying out gets any louder. Bugger! It does.

Dilemma 2: The children’s rooms are next to each other, their doors separated only by the geometric entity that is a right-angle.

It has been so hot in our hometown this week that the Grobag Eggs in their rooms have been constantly RED and unhappy (for anyone unfamiliar with a Grobag Egg, these are small plug-in room thermometers that change colour with the temperature: BLUE = Too cold. YELLOW = Just right. ORANGE = Slightly too warm. RED = Sauna from Hell).

So the doors to the children’s bedrooms have been open all week to try and help cool them down. It hasn’t worked. And whenever One Child makes a noise in their sleep, Other Child wakes and has a moan.

With Spawn #1 making screechy noises, I figure it won’t be long until #2 is dragged screaming from the realm of sleep. With this in mind, I climb out of bed and head to #1’s room to head this off at the pass.

I exit the bedroom I share with Dearest Wife and turn towards the Little Cherubs’ rooms. I start to pace towards #1’s door when I am cruelly tackled by a laundry basket. Thankfully my little toe takes the brunt of the impact and I swear silently into darkness of the house.

#1 is starting to get more upset so I enter his room, expecting to find him stuck in the cot with his arms and legs pinned between the mattress and the frame, or find he’s stuck a book up his nostril. But no. He’s just upset because he rolled over onto The Highway Rat and cannot get back to sleep.

I soothe #1 until he is once again unconscious and tiptoe back to my bed, avoiding any more ninja laundry baskets. On the way back to bed, I realised something.

in all of the books that we read while planning for children, nothing anywhere had prepared me for all the bits that parents actually go through: The Stress, The Emotional Turmoil, The Impacted Social Life, The Erratic Sex Life, and the almost constant edge-of-your-seat bedtime routines.

People with kids tell you how great being a parent is, and often they will tell you it’s tough. They may even regale you with a story or example of something that isn’t quite going to plan – but all these experiences are unique to each situation. Every parent is unique, as is every child. Some techniques will work, while others that people swear by (having seen them used to immediate effect on Supernanny) will fail spectacularly. But if you persevere, you can and will overcome almost anything.

Its now 01:33am, and I am bringing this, my first blog entry, to a close. I intend this to be the first in a series of posts intended to provide short snippets of my daily war with my children, and on occasion a nostalgic glance back to days gone by, when the children actually slept at night and England was a far more temperate, Grobag Egg friendly place to live.

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