Monday, April 6, 2015

My Very Own Nightcrawler

Today has been a sleepy, rainy, back-to-school Monday in my world.  The kids were slow to wake up this morning and even slower to get moving.  After a week filled with warm, sunny days at the beach, and which culminated with a wonderfully busy Easter Sunday, we were desperate to get back into a routine - whether we realized it or not.

Speaking of being sleepy, I wanted to tell a few stories about my eldest child, Rob, on this blog. Partly because the stories are entertaining, but more than anything I want to be able to look back and remember these moments fondly.  For the past couple of years, Rob has been a fairly regular sleepwalker.  Sometimes it worries me and sometimes it creeps me out.  But usually it humors me! says that sleepwalking in children is actually very common.  (My own pediatrician agrees and reassures me not to worry. ) The most common reasons for children's sleepwalking behaviors include the following: 
  • lack of sleep or fatigue
  • irregular sleep schedules
  • illness or fever
  • certain medications
  • stress (sleepwalking is rarely caused by an underlying medical, emotional, or psychological problem)
I would like to believe Rob is not very stressed.  He also is not on any medications and is not ill.  But the first two factors?  Oh yes, you can check those right away.  

Below is a video I took of Rob about a year and half ago.  It shows Rob seemingly awake, but I assure you he is asleep.  The quality of the video isn't great, but in reality Rob has this glazed look in his eyes.  Also, Bobby and I always ask him some standard questions that he is never able to answer: "What is your daddy's name?", "What is your name?", "Where are you?", etc.  
Lately he often runs - literally runs - through the house while saying nothing.  He eventually will take himself back up to his room.  Sometimes he seems to be searching for something.  He'll come into my room and open up my closet doors, he'll turn the bathroom lights on and off, etc.  I always give him a minute or so to wander back up to his room before I go check.  I always find him sound asleep as if nothing ever happened.  

Well, last night was the mother of all sleepwalking nights.  There were two instances in one night!  First at around 11 PM I heard him tromping downstairs (he couldn't sneak up on ANYONE if stairs were ever involved).  Then he did a quick run through the hallway and soon hustled back upstairs.  Lest you think he slept the rest of the night, let me quickly fast forward to 1:00 AM.  I awoke to the sound of my shower running.  That's right, my shower!

I carefully entered the bathroom and gently asked Rob what he was doing.  I could tell by the look in his eyes he was still asleep.  I tried to talk him out of undressing, but he argued with me pretty angrily.  Here is where I remind you that I have seen one-too-many Lifetime movies about sleepwalkers who get violent.  The tiny creeped-out part of my brain activated, so I let him get in the shower.  I could hear him using the shampoo and rinsing body parts under the stream.  This was a legit shower.  However, at some point he must have really woken himself up, because as he was drying off I suggested he go back up stairs.  It was only then that he asked what time it was.

Me: Rob, it's one o'clock in the morning.
Rob: Then why did you wake me up and tell me to get in the shower?
Me: Rob, I didn't wake you up.
Rob: It's not time for the bus?!?
Me: Just let's go back to sleep, okay?

Much later this morning when I really did wake him up, and then stop him from taking shower #2, he first remembered nothing about the previous events.  Then as I retold the story he laughed a little and said, "Oh yeah, that was weird, huh?"

I don't know who originated this image of zombie-like sleepwalking pose, but I'm here to testify, that's not how it happens at our house.  Sometimes, even after all the episodes we've had, it still takes me a while to realize whether Rob is asleep or not. 
Luckily he has never ventured outside.  That doesn't seem to be his "nature".  I have also heard that sleepwalkers usually follow similar patterns each time.  However, this shower story really throws off that theory.  Therefore, next up should likely be high locks on the doors.

Until next time,

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