Sunday, August 17, 2008

Olympics at 3 AM

On Friday night Owen had a nightmare. He has a history of these, going back to his having night terrors as a little baby. The night terrors were so traumatic for us - he would be wailing and wailing, screaming, with his eyes wide open, his little body completely stiff.

At first we thought we should wake him, but read about it and found that it's not really a good idea to wake him and that as far as the research can tell, kids who have night terrors have no recollection of it. The research also says that there is no apparent cause for night terrors, it's just something that happens. Of course, with his past, we are skeptical about there being no cause.

His night terrors have since gone away, but he still has nightmares from time to time. It will go for a few weeks with out having any, then he will have them a few nights in a row. Couple this with the fact that he hates going to bed, sleeping, or in anyway being out of the action and once he has a nightmare and wakes up, it's really tough to get him back into bed and going to sleep.

As the one mostly responsible for night-time childcare, I have long struggled with this. I don't have a lot of patience in the wee hours of the night (only saints do I think), but being impatient typically makes things worse. On the worst of nights, I'll be up with Owen for a couple or more hours. Fortunately, that does not happen too often!

On Friday night around 2 AM, Owen had a nightmare and I was up with him. While I was dealing with this, Heather got up and fed the baby. It could have been a little party! Heather suggested that instead of trying to get him to go back to sleep, that I change tactics (which she is much better at than I am) get up with him, and go watch the Olympics. I have been having trouble staying asleep, so this made good sense.

Owen and I went downstairs and turned on NBC. It was a recap of the women's all around gymnastics finals with Shawn Johnson and Nastia Lukin. Since the gymnastics has typically only been on in prime time, the boys have not really been able to see it. This was Owen's first extended exposure to it.

And he LOVED it. He loved sitting there and cuddling with me and having something to drink. He loved watching those amazing athletes do their floor exercises. Tumbling astounded him, with how high they could jump. He said on more than one occasion "Whoa!" When it came to the uneven bars he said "Papi! That looks fun!!!" Heather reported to me that she heard him saying Papi this and papi that many many many times. It was joyous for him.

And heaven for me.

The next summer Olympics, the boys will be eight years old; how time flies. I wonder if in the 2012 Olympics, will I be up at 3 AM watching highlights with Owen again, recovering from a nightmare.

I can only hope, insane as that might sound.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At the rate they're going, they'll be training for the Olympics by 2012!

Have you asked Owen what he remembers about his nightmares? That might be possible immediately after he wakes up.

Gail (Mom)