I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
This girl of mine isn’t sleeping. She is terrified at night and once she does finally get to sleep (around midnight!) she wakes with nightmares. Its a problem that has surfaced in the past couple of weeks, since going back to school. Actually, since the second week when her ‘friend’ flanked by her mother came into her classroom during morning quiet reading time and handed out invitations to almost every girl in the room, except our M. At the time I was gobsmacked. What a passive aggressive act! It was also an a-ha moment when it became so blatantly clear where this young child has learnt her relational aggressive behaviours from. (Don’t misunderstand me, I have no issue with M. not being invited. People are not required to like everyone, nor can parents afford to invite all – my issue is with the process. Surely invitations can be given outside the classroom in a subtle manner?) I didn’t make a big deal of it though. I waited to see how M reacted to it. Initially she was admirably philosophical about it, but I think it is bothering her deeper than she’ll admit.
Perhaps the sleep terror is not linked. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that it has started at the same time. Regardless M’s sleep issues have been incredibly disruptive. Last night was another shocker. She is so anxious and so worked up that her body shakes. She is hysterical. Dave or I take turns to lie with her, talk to her, sing to her but she is so wired it takes forever for her to unwind enough for sleep to take over. Later she wakes with nightmares. Today I gave her and her overtired brother the day of school.
Desperately searching for a circuit breaker, and with forecasts for a day over 40°C, I took my precious mob to one of the most beautiful places in Australia, Cottesloe Beach.
We had a fantastic morning. It was just what we all needed – bucket loads of joy inspiring activities. Swimming. Running away from waves. Playing in the sand. Collecting shells. Snacking on sandy rice crackers. The best reprieve from our worries and anxieties.
Then in the afternoon we collected her beloved Dada from work and had a picnic dinner on Heirisson Island. It didn’t take long to see why island isn’t a renowned picnic destination – so many many ants! Even though dinner was a stand-up and rushed affair we all had a wonderful time exploring, kangaroo spotting, stick collecting and throwing large rocks into the river. The sunset was pretty magical too.
The distraction worked a bit. Our darling girl was asleep just after 9 o’clock, not without tears – but the hugs and consoling words calmed her down. We’re making progress.
So proud of her brothers. We’re all on a mission to make our girl feel mega-loved, and today despite being very overtired themselves (due to the evening disruptions) they all stepped up to look after her.
Wishing you sweet dreams my precious girl.
Just in case you too are experiencing difficulty with nighttime fears I found this webpage reassuring.