Noises, Bugs and Nightmares

It’s 4am. I’m awake for the 4th night in a row because my almost 7 year old is all of a sudden terrified of literally everything. 

She won’t sleep all night. She won’t sleep without a light (and we talking something bright enough to see from space). She won’t play outside for fear of blood sucking bugs, even though she has known about mosquitoes now for awhile. It’s insane. Every little thing terrifies her. She is scared of the toad that creeps onto the porch at night. She is afraid that it’s too dark. She worried about dragons, monsters and people breaking in. She worried that a cougar will eat her in the yard after dark. Won’t walk near the woods because who knows what’s hiding.

She hears noises at random times in the night and goes into panic mode. She will wake up crying and run into our bedroom and after an hour or so of convincing her that there is no such thing as the big bad wolf with overalls, she finally goes back to sleep. 

Unfortunately, these interrupted nights of sleep are making it worse. She’s so tired when she gets up in the night. She ends up being very cranky by lunch and then it’s a struggle to get through the day. I’ve had to curb what she watches, what video games she plays, where she goes and who she hangs out with. 

My daughter has always kind of had a soft heart and been a little on the sensitive side, but I need my 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. She needs her 10 hours of sleep. Her Daddy needs his sleep and so does her sister.

So what is a Mom to do?  Do I wrap her in bubble wrap? Teach her to use a sword to scare away imaginary beings? Should I get Daddy to post up in her bedroom at night with a shotgun? No. No I shouldn’t. 

I can’t baby her. I’m just not that kind of Mom. It’s not fair, but at 4am after tucking her back in and arguing with her repeatedly about whether or not she heard something, I’m running out of patience. I try to be understanding, and loving but sometimes her outbursts are so dramatic that it wakes up everyone in the house. Once the toddler is awake and her Dad is up, she magically isn’t scared anymore and goes back to bed. It’s almost too perfect.

I understand that my little bundle of joy is going through a phase. It’s an exhausting, ridiculous mess of a phase… But a phase non-the-less. The only thing I can do is hug her, wipe her eyes and reassure her that I will protect her from all of the things she is scared of. Except spiders… That’s totally up to her Dad.

Finally after many weeks now of fighting off imaginary monsters, I made her clean all the stuff in her room. We dumped out toy boxes, moved curtains, cleaned the closet. Looking ever so intently for “scary things”. We searched for spiders, found one and smashed that sucker. We searched for other bugs, nothing. Searched for monsters, nothing (except the creepy baby doll she had in the bottom of her toy box.. but I suppose only I was fearful of it). We even pulled and pushed on her window to show her how hard it was to open. Explained to her that unless she got up in the middle of the night and let the scary things in on her own, that there was no way something was getting in. 

So after not finding a single thing, my daughter suddenly and almost magically realized that there was nothing that can harm her in her bedroom. No dragons or rabid racoons. No big bad wolf or slithering snakes. She went to bed last night with minimal complaint. She only woke in the night twice and when told to go back to bed didn’t even make a sound. 

Hopefully we are on the way to a peaceful night’s sleep around here. This Mama is running on fumes!

Hugs! -Kristy aka Mama Kuddo

photo credit: Alyssa L. Miller <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34701044@N06/3250804881″>The Safety of Fear</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

#RIPSloan

It happened. That dreadful evening when you are scrolling down through your Facebook feed and you see it. A post from a friend. A link to page. A story of a young life taken too soon. You jump to conclusions before you click. Thinking it was something common, an illness. Then you start reading. It’s so terrible and painful and unfathomable. But you can’t stop reading. You feel their pain. You have literal tears running down your face. You can’t breathe and you feel as though this person is your friend. You feel for them. You want to hug them. 

This is what happened tonight when I came across a link on a friend’s Facebook page. The link was about a young woman’s son who had died after being put to bed with a blanket. It was gut wrenching. I wanted to leave my house at midnight and go hug this woman. I wanted to tell her that she was such a strong woman to be able to share her story with the world. I wanted to take away her pain. Bring her baby back. Build a time machine. Anything to help this woman not have to say goodbye to her beautiful baby boy. 

My friend and I messaged back in forth for awhile after visiting her Facebook page and reading other posts and stories about this precious baby boy who passed much to young. It’s not fair. This mother, who tucked her small child into bed, only to wake to a nightmare she won’t be able to get away from. There are no words. 

We as moms, we protect our children. We feed them their vegetables, wash behind their ears, tuck them into bed. We do the important task of raising our beautiful babies into amazing adults. This woman won’t get to do that. 

I went and checked on my girls. I kissed their sleeping faces. I whispered into their ears that I loved them. I stood in the doorway and told myself “don’t go to that place”. And you can’t. 

When you read something like this online, a lot of people are quick to judge. Some people go as far as to speak out thoughts that they should have otherwise kept to themselves. Then some people with anxiety, like myself, and other parents…We panic. We start asking what if this happened to me? What should I do to protect them? How can I keep them safe?

The scary truth of the matter is, you can’t protect your children from everything. I mean sure you can make them a bubble and lock them in a room, but I’m positive some people at child services might have an issue. You can’t always stop pain and misery from coming into your life or the life of your child’s. I hope that no one ever has to go through what this woman and her husband will most definitely feel for the rest of their lives. But you can’t let yourself go there. You have to move forward. I don’t want too. I want to grieve with this mother who lost her baby. But I know that in the morning my day will begin and I will not take advantage. I will relish in every smile, every hug, every story. I will kiss every niece and every nephew. I will love with more of my heart. I will pray with more feeling. I will listen more. Every single day I will do what is necessary to make sure that I’ve done my best. Because at the end of the day that is all you can do. Don’t let yourself go there. The different types of unfathomable situations that your imagination can think up will haunt you. You would never sleep, eat or be able to enjoy life. I don’t think that’s what this mother would want. I don’t know her. She is a complete stranger. I don’t want to claim to know what she may or may not want. But I know her story will save other children. She is probably the strongest, most courageous woman I have ever seen. 

Rest in peace little one. 

-Kuddos and Kiddos

The link to the story that I read on Facebook can be found here. But I must warn you that it is a detailed account of events that lead up to the death of a mother’s small child. As a mother I will not have any bashing comments about these parents. The circumstances surrounding this child’s death we’re something millions of parents do everyday. I put my own children to bed with a blanket every night from the moment they came home from the hospital. That being said, the Facebook account associated with this story has very tragically detailed posts on it. Please read at your own risk. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

photo credit: marknenadov <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34157166@N08/34933313753″>Meadowhawk dragonfly (genus Sympetrum</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;