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Bad dreams and sleep deprivation

For the first 4 years of Jensen’s young life, he did not sleep through the night.  There were many issues at hand, the least of which were his bouts of Atopic Dermatitis which kept him up due to all the scratching.

And screaming.  

It isn’t until I read back through old blog posts that I really grasp what we went through with him.  Thank goodness that what I lack in the ability to privately journal, I make up for in my quest to live my life out loud on the pages of this blog.  Without the documentation, I would blissfully forget, and chalk it up to the fact that my children sucked all the really good brain cells out during the breast feeding period.

So pretty much for the first 4 years, I was a walking zombie.  When we finally got a handle on his disease and treatment, he was able to get through the night without waking.  

And that meant some much needed beauty sleep for me.  Albeit less blog fodder, like this one which is perhaps my favorite.  But I’ll happily sacrifice a good post for REM sleep.

Last night Jensen crept into our room no fewer than 4 times.  And each time he would come to my side of the bed and I would feel the tap tap tap of his little pointer finger on my shoulder.  After I extricated myself from the ceiling fan, each time, he informed me that he had a bad dream.  And dutifully, his father escorted him back to bed each time.

And for the record, I blame myself for allowing the sisters to talk him into watching Spy Kids 3 with them earlier in the day.  I just thought it was a tender sibling moment to see all 3 of them hunkered down on Emme’s bottom bunk watching on the tiny DVD player.  Together.

A rare moment void of bickering, pinching, and insult hurling.

It now occurs to me that a movie of that type is far too intense for a sensitive little guy who generally enjoys the entertainment that only the Backyardigans can deliver.

So, pretty much, today was a mental wash for the adults in the household.

At one point the sisters were asking Jensen about his bad dreams.  While his father and I were trying to steer the conversation elsewhere.  He asked us if we were expecting any thunderstorms tonight, and we assured him that we were not.

Then he reported to us that his dreamed involved Mommy driving all of us in the car, wherein we were struck by lightning, and all died.

Fiddledaddy brightened and added that in that case, we would all be in heaven together and the story had a happy conclusion after all.  The end.  Time for bed.

Jensen looked up at him sternly, “Nope” he stated.  And with hand gestures used to guide a boeing 747 into a hanger, he continued, “We all went to hell.”


I surmised that since I was driving, the trip to hell was probably singularly due to my mental cuss jar.  And what luck, which is full to capacity especially when I’m awakened from a sound sleep.

Cailey went all scientific on everyone and explained that lightning cannot strike the car since we are protected by the rubber tires.  Which is not exactly true, as it has more to do with the framing, but whatever.  It didn’t matter, he wasn’t buying it.

This experience did make me frolic down memory lane a bit, and then bolt right back to the present, where I am thankful to have survived those first 4 years and all the sleep deprivation.  Which in itself, must be very much like hell.

Moms of newborns, can I hear an amen?

15 Responses to Bad dreams and sleep deprivation

  • When I got to the part about extricating yourself from the ceiling fan, I laughed til I wheezed. My daughter used to do that to me ALL THE TIME from the age of about 8 to 12. Only she was creep up on my side of the bed, get about 1/2 inch from my face and stage-whisper “Mamma!”. I blame my faulty mitral valve on those occasions.

  • If it makes you feel any better my entire family was in our van when it was struck by lightning and no one died. Except the van which was on its last leg/tire anyway.

    And my youngest child finally started sleeping through the night at about age 6. And that would be when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and they told me I needed to wake up every night around 2 or 3 AM to test her blood sugar. Now that I am in the throes of ‘the change’ I can’t go back to sleep after these checks… and why I am reading blogs at o’dark-thirty.

    I just realized it sounds like I am trying to one-up you in the misery department. That’s rude of me. But I am tired so I am going to hit publish and go make a pot of coffee.

  • Gotta love that boy. Too funny!

  • You made me laugh out loud again. It was the part about hell. Not funny at all, but just shows why we get along so well. I too laugh at inappropriate things. And I still have not forgotten the year that I did not sleep because I was breastfeeding twins and raising a strong willed older child. I start twitching just thinking about it.

  • Oh my Goodness, AMEN!

    It’s funny how easily we forget. Otherwise we’d have an only child instead of three. 😉

  • Oh my goodness. I’m at work and blog reading is technically against the rules. But it shouldn’t be outlawed on the second Monday of the week. Just sayin. So I rebel and read them anyway because that’s how I keep my sanity. I was okay, laughing quietly under my breath until I clicked through to the old post about Jensen. I laughed so loud my neighbors came to see what I was doing. Dang. I’m in trouble. Again.

  • Your post brings back memories of when my darling son only slept through the night three times in his first year. After I weaned him, he started sleeping through the night every stinkin’ night. If I had known that was the key, he would have been weaned a LOT earlier!

  • Isn’t Mommy Amnesia a wonderful thing? I blame my surprise each time my kids spring something on me that I should expect because their older sibs have already been there and sprung that, on Mommy Amnesia. And yes, Mommy Amnesia is how we got to four of them. I realised this while number four was still cooking and scheduled the tubal before that blissful state of ignorance could ambush me again.

  • That whole extricating oneself from the ceiling fan business is precisely why I resorted to wearing sleeping shades each night. My daughter would come in and just stand there until I either felt her presence (breath on my face), or until I woke up for some reason, greeted by her dark silhouette. Used to scare the bejeebers out of me…not anymore! I’m armed now!

  • I thought of you and Jensen at Target last night. Saw some really cool Mario “stuffed animal” type backpacks! 🙂

  • Just when mine finally got over all the assorted reasons to wake up in the night…..we got a puppy! Don’t get a puppy! 😉

  • Oh…you are my favorite blog writer! Thanks for the laughter this morning. We are officially snowed in thanks to the blizzard of 2011, otherwise being called Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse. A lot colder than hell no doubt. Although, with school canceled and our power still on, staying in pjs, sipping coffee, and watching netflix all day…that’s heaven my friend!

  • I spit coke out of mouth when I read his last line about hell. Oh my word what a funny fella he is. =)