Sunday, September 2

Crying Out

Wriggles used to be an excellent sleeper.

I mean that in toddler terms. She used to want to go down far later and get up far earlier than I intended, and is a keen cot-bar rattler and has discovered that scraping nails down a wall is an excellent way of kickstarting sluggish mummies. 

Also, she snores and fidgets. If you didn't look, you may well believe I am keeping a drunkard chap with nasal issues in my cupboard. But no, on inspection, it is one peacefully restless toddler with the blanket over her head. I have shared a bed with her and it is not as relaxing or reassuring as I had hoped. She took up the vast majority of it and I was in danger of being under attack all night.

Still, for a person of her age, she has been a pretty standard sleeper. I would give her at least 8/10 and a silver star with room for improvement especially on weekend mornings and naptime. 

Frankly, I am blaming hospital for an abrupt change. Now, bedtime appears to have moved back to nearly quarter to nine in line with the nurses changeover of staff and any last ward rounds and obs. Fine, I can handle changes in bedtime. Something moved once can be moved twice. Naptime appears to be negotiable (it is not negotiable, Wriggles. Not yet) which is less than pleasing. But what rankles most is the crying out. The sudden cries of distress that pierce the night, a sobbing inconsolable Wriggles screaming in her cot. Most nights and nap times, my fiercely independent cheeky chops will only let go and nod off if I rock her to sleep like tiny little baby. Sometimes, it does seem like pain (gastronomy, I'm looking at you) but mostly like pure fear. And that tears at my heart. Is she crying because she is scared she is alone? Is she crying because she thinks someone is going to hurt her-again? How can you placate a small child who doesn't understand some pain, like necessary procedures, are for good even though they hurt? Does she remember and fear? Does she wake up, find no immediate mummy and think she has been left? Does she remember being put to sleep with the anaesthetic gas; she was clearly scared rigid, thrashing and screaming as she was lulled under? Or is it standard child nightmares of monsters and witches? 

Give me the monsters any day. I have both a broom, mop and whole pair of slippers to chase monsters away and coax them from under the beds, but doctors? Sorry Wriggles, I can't get rid of them.


  1. not sure if my first one got through. ugh.

    I am so admiring of the courage of both you and Wriggles. When my Amy was four and again when she was six, she had to have surgery on an arm damaged in a race up a climbing frame. At six, it was two ops in two days. And when she was told she had to have a second one (and it was a painful op) her main concern was that they didn't put a mask over her face to put her to sleep. Much preferred a needle in her hand. I think she has a deep subconscious memory of masks and ventilators as a baby. and I remember so well my panic as the alarms and monitors were attached. The beeping of the oxygen analyser freaked me out - took me straight back to NICU. Wriggles is a brave girl.

  2. I wish we could just see inside their minds and know what's effecting them and what they can remember. It's the not knowing and the wondering that sets my mind swirling.