I'm feeling kinda sick and spent yesterday doing nothing of value. Since I was so uncomfortable hubby decided the couch would give him a better night sleep. Sleeping with me last night was like sleeping with maracas. Yes you have my permission to feel sorry for him. You can feel sorry for me too but I actually got sleep last night....
So round about 2:30 AM L gets up scared... her head itches so it must be lice! NOT! So she crawls in A's bed. (what a reason to crawl into bed with your sister, "I think I have lice lets spread it around!!!") L sleeps without covers and A sleeps under 3 blankets. Can you guess what happened next? L strips the bed of covers because she's hot. Poor A she's asleep fumbling around for her covers pulling them back up but they are stuck... Nothing like a sleeping fist fight (you have heard of sleep walking and sleep eating now its sleep fighting) to wake Daddy Up. Then Daddy makes mistake Number 1, he tried to find out what happened. he asked "Why are you scared?" a few to many times. And mistake Number 2 allows L to cuddle till she is asleep on the couch with him. This doesn't work with L, if she is the least bit uncomfortable she wakes up. She also blames you for waking her up, when she does wake up. Oi Poor Daddy every time he got some shut eye L is checking to see if he is awake and that she is safe.
I have found it is best to put a time limit on the cuddly wuddly time. Taking care of yourself is the best choice. When your kid keeps you up all night, your totally useless for them the next day. Being a totally useless half asleep growly parent doesn't breed confidence in your children.
I have had this happen the all night I'm scared, and I don't know why nights. I'm so glad L is 6 and is a reasonable child. When I set out a reasonable argument as to why Mama needs her sleep she accepts it. Typically I use the If Mama bear doesn't get enough sleep she is a grrrowly bear in the morning argument. Then I give her 15 min cuddly wuddly time and tuck her back in bed, with a prayer and a song and a strong stuffed animal, like the big bear or the lion. Then we talk about how the animal will protect her from the imaginary monsters of the night. It is the silliest of ideas but to a child it is perfectly reasonable. The monsters aren't real and the stuffed animal isn't really real so one can protect you from the other.
So now we have a grumpy cries at the slightest perception of unrightousness (is that a word?) child and a hubby who has had 3 cups of Komoto Dragon coffee this morning to wake up. I'm really tempted to drop a big dictionary just to make them both jump. Where as A and I are chipper and ready to face the day! Woo hoo!
The one thing I have the hardest time dealing with is remembering that these children are traumatized and some times their fear is inarticulatable (is that a word too?). They cannot express what makes them afraid. They don't want to re-live those horrible moments of being abandoned, or explore those feelings. I'm sure my illness and being sick brought about the fear in the night. The loss these children have felt is a constant worry, no matter how well behaved and secure they seem there is a deep loss that only can be filled with the secure knowledge of the love of Jesus. The trust issues in these children run deep.
When L and I were talking this morning. I would not assure her I would always be "OK" because anything can happen and wreck our plans for our lives. She can be sure that I will do my very best to be "OK" and be her Mom for ever after. Lets face it this kid most likely was told Daddy will be right back, just wait here for me, and he never came back. Saying I will always be OK, sets up a paradigm for loss again and a lack of trust to be built. Our lives are always on the edge of a knife. How many times a day does God protect me from a poor driver or my own stupidity. The smell of gas last week could have been an explosion, it wasn't and it was fleeting but accidents happen every day. I try not to make a promise I'm not sure I can keep.