Remember when I admitted to doing all kinds of crazy things in my sleep? Night terrors. Nightmares. Dreams so vivid I can recount entire conversations. Sleep walking. Sleep singing. You name it, I’ve probably done it. Though most people outgrow things like night terrors by adolescence, I am one of the lucky few who still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night to find myself mid-scream or standing in the middle of the room for no reason. Lucky me!
This morning I woke up standing in the middle of my room, but for a different reason.
At first when I opened my eyes I was confused — was I dreaming? I looked around and it was dark. The clock said 4:30am. I listened and it was silent, except for the hum of the sound machine we use in our bedroom. Then I heard it. Owen screamed a scream so loud and pained that my stomach dropped to the floor and I sprinted into his room. Those who have been reading for awhile know that generally I leave Owen alone when he fusses at night. He doesn’t do it very often anymore, but I found early on that when I went in to soothe him or rock him, he would wake up fully and cry even harder. However, if I gave him the opportunity to self-soothe, he went back to sleep very quickly. But these days when he wakes and cries, something is actually wrong. That scream was not a normal fuss-yourself-back-to-sleep sound. I put my hand on his back and he stopped screaming immediately. Without looking at me, he closed his eyes and popped his lovey’s foot back in his mouth. I rubbed his back while his breathing slowed. I said, “It’s still night-night time” and left the room quietly.
It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I realized that he might be following in his mother’s footsteps. I have read that some studies have found a genetic link to night terrors and other night craziness, so given my history, it’s likely that Owen will deal with some of these things at some point too. This morning’s early wakeup may have been a night terror. Or maybe just a bad dream. Or Owen is sick and I haven’t figured it out yet. Or a developmental milestone is looming. Or maybe something else entirely. Who knows.
Yesterday he woke crying very early in the morning also. Both mornings we have started our day early and he’s been playing hard at daycare, so he’s probably a little worn out. Prior to this, he has been sleeping soundly and waking late (6:45am is late for us!), so I do wonder if there is another issue at play here, like an ear infection I haven’t picked up on yet. Whenever we find an ear infection I often look back at the nights leading up to it and see the signs in hindsight. Only time will tell on that one.
In any case, I think Owen inherited my crazy sleep. Now I get to experience the joy of rushing to my child’s bedroom and listening to his blood-curdling screams only to find him totally asleep, just like my mother did for me!
In other Like Mother, Like Son news… I know everyone used to mention how much Owen looked like Benjamin as a newborn, but I have been realizing more and more that Owen looks JUST like his Mama.