Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Night Terrors

Early Monday morning, around 12:30AM, I was awoken by the sounds of Mariel crying and Mommy trying to comfort her.

"Honey, what's the matter?" cooed Michelle. "Tell Mommy what's wrong."

Mariel just cried harder.

She didn't want to be held.

We took her downstairs to the living room.

"Mariel, does something hurt?" Mommy asked. "Tell Mommy what hurts."

(In her toddlerhood, Mariel would wake up, screaming and it would almost invariably be due to an ear-ache. Nuh-huh. Not this time.)

Mariel just flopped on the floor and started kicking and continued screaming. Her eyes were little, arched slits and tears rolled down her face. She could not be consoled.

Michelle kept asking her if something hurt or if something was wrong.

At one point, in between sobs, she staggered to the front door and croaked, "We... go... see... doctor?"

We hurriedly got dressed, put some clothes on Mariel and hustled out to the van.

Once she was strapped in her car seat and we were underway, she seemed to calm down.

No longer crying she asked, "We go to WAL*MART? See puppies?"

Relieved, we drove past the ER entrance and looped back home.

By the time the three of us snuggled into bed, Mariel was making up stories about Mister Puppy Puppet until she finally crashed, around 2:30AM.

Our conclusion is she was suffering from a condition known as "Night Terrors."

Apparently, when a youngster wakes up, screaming like this, the worst thing you can do is to try physically comforting them and communicating with them. Looks like the common wisdom is to try to safely guide them back to bed and make sure they do no harm until they fall back to sleep in ten or twenty minutes.

If I think back to when I was Mariel's age, I suffered the same sort of symptoms. I remember one time waking up, screaming like a banshee while clawing at my closed bedroom door.

This is very unnerving for the kid's parents!

Has anyone else out there experienced this with their own kids?



Blogger Sweet and Salty said...

Thankfully, I haven't had this experience with any of my three kids. I'm sorry she had to go through that, and you and your wife too...

October 10, 2007 1:22 PM  
Blogger furiousBall said...

Only a couple times with Bubs and Viv too. It's really frightening for the parents too. I found just talking in a calm voice works pretty well and letting them snuggle when they are ready to worked best.

October 10, 2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger Red Seven said...

Reason #3,472 why I will likely never have kids. But God love ya ...

October 10, 2007 2:43 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

that would scare seven varieties of whatsit out of me.

October 10, 2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

That sounds awful Craig. I hope it doesn't last long.

October 10, 2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Gale said...

Yes, very common at my house. But I still wouldn't let them back in. HA! I have a warped sense of humor. :)

October 10, 2007 10:04 PM  
Blogger whimsical brainpan said...

Oh poor Mariel! I hope for her sake (and yours) that this deosn't last long.

October 10, 2007 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That does sound scary. Never witnessed it, though.

October 11, 2007 4:38 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

No, not with the kids. But it sounds like something that happens to me around the end of every month, about the time the house payment is due.

October 14, 2007 5:26 AM  

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