Jack is usually a very good sleeper. We put him to be at 7 and more often than not he’s asleep within an hour and will stay that way until around 6:30. Now, what might surprise you to hear is that he doesn’t actually sleep during this time. He dies. Nothing and I mean nothing will wake him up. Jack has a rail on the side of his bed to prevent him from falling out. Not because it would wake him up, but because he’s be grouchy all day after sleeping on a cold floor. If for any reason you attempt to wake Jack you’ll be at it for half an hour at least. The first 15 minutes or so you’ll spend just trying to get him to some state of consciousness, after than he’ll usually cry and tantrum for the next 15 minutes until he settles in a frowney grumble where he’ll stay until you show him is good reason you have for waking him up, and it had better be good.
Last night was a bit rough. Jack was restless and wouldn’t go to sleep. After several trips up the stairs to sort out what little problems he was having we resorted to the age old technique of ignoring him completely. We listen down stairs as he fumbled around him room trying doing whatever it is that he does up there. Finally around 9 o’clock with one last thump, there was silence. Helen and I sighed and resumed our evening. At 10:30 we headed for bed, true to our nightly ritual we check on Jack, usually it’s just to cover him up, he often falls asleep on top of his quilt or in other various positions. We right him, cover him, kiss him and leave. Last night we found out what that final thump had been when we saw him, the lower half of his body was on the bed, the upper half was dangling diagonally and his head was wedged against his wardrobe holding it all in place. I should have taken a picture. This is usually an indicator that we’re in for a rough morning as well.
This morning Jack woke up a little early, he’s scared to leave his room while it’s still dark so he just calls us from bed.
Jack it’s too early, wait until your sun comes up.
Mommy, I had a bad dream.
Having come across this tactic before Mommy stood her ground.
Go back to sleep honey, it was just a dream.
We didn’t hear anything else from him so we all went back to sleep. 7 o’clock passed, 7:30 passed and we heard nothing. His sun comes up at 7 and he never misses it. Conscious of time we decided we’d better rouse him. Helen went in his room to find him sat up in bed, looking like he’d just that second woke up and not looking very happy. She brought him into our room where he started sobbing about the bad dream.
I had a bad dream about nursery, and I was there, and then you showed up. And then you were gone and I was still there forever.
It was just a dream Jack, we’d never leave you anywhere.
After some cuddles and reassuring words Jack asked what day it was. At some point each morning Jack will ask what day it is, because he knows that certain days of the week means he’ll be doing certain things. We told him it was Thursday… He looked at me in hope and asked if that meant he went to Nanny’s. I shook my head and his little face fell. Thursday meant he was going to nursery.
It broke my heart to leave him there today. Jack was in tears, not his usually tantrum that we get until he sees the food and toys, but real tears, frightened tears. I told the staff about his dream and tried my best to calm him down but he was still sobbing when I left. Talk about your worst nightmares coming true. I know the girls at nursery will quickly have him calmed down, distracted and eating his second breakfast. I have no doubt that this all happened within five minutes of my departure but it’s been a long time since I left him in that kind of state. My only comfort is that not only are we both going to pick him up tonight and prove that dream wrong but we’re taking him to a Christmas evening to see Santa straight afterward.