Tuesday, June 30, 2009

how far he's come

I know, I know......I still owe you parts 2, 3, maybe even 4, of the Orlando saga with pics. I'm still uploading them slowly, and onto various computers, so it's coming, I promise. It'll just be a bit more of a wait as life interferes with my blogging time!

Today's post, however, is about Mr. L and an amazing occurrence that happened at about 2 am this morning. He had fallen asleep next to his dad in the bed, as they watched sports together, and had neglected to go to the bathroom right at bedtime.....so you know what that means. He's nearly 8, he doesn't have nighttime accidents, but he did last night thanks to that big cup of lemonade he drank before bed. I'd been online, but was ready for bed myself and went in to check on him and see if there was room for me to actually sleep in my own bed. What I found was Mr. L sound asleep in a pair of soaking wet underwear, on a soaking wet mattress.

I called his name a couple of times, and he stirred and said "yes?" I explained that he was wet, I've got some new underwear to put on, so he needed to get up and let me help him. Calmly and quietly, he did that. He was probably about 25% awake, but followed me as I led him to the couch and set him up with pillow and blanket, etc to sleep there. Instantly it seemed, he was asleep again and that was that.

This morning, I started thinking about how absolutely freaking amazing this incident was, compared to the way things used to be for Mr. L and for us. When he was a year old, and until age 3 or even 4, he was the world's worst sleeper and night times were torturous for us. He would wake up multiple times almost every night, and since he insisted on sleeping with us, you can see the problem. Heaven forbid you should actually touch him, or try to move him/talk to him/breathe in his general direction. OMG the blood-curdling screams that would come out of that little body!

Looking back, we think it was autism-based, since this coincided basically with the time in which he was so delayed in language. But those oh-so-lovely parenting books like "What to expect the first year" (you know, the book I bought and hardly even opened because it had no connection to my reality? Yeah, that one) talk about something called "night terrors". Maybe this was that, I don't know, but it was horrible. He would cry, scream, twist and writhe around, and nothing you'd try to do would help. In fact, it would make it worse. Don't touch him, don't try to cuddle, nothing. Just let him scream it out as you die a little inside and wonder how he's managing NOT to hyperventilate.

Hard to imagine, looking back, but I remember being in mortal fear of accidentally touching my child while he slept in our bed.......because if you touched/jostled/moved him, even a little, you could set off what would become an hour or more of screaming, crying, waking the neighbors, shattering glassware and causing insomnia. Sometimes, cranking up "Blue's Clues Musical Movie" would calm him down and break the cycle, but often it would not. Those nights were the worst, and I remember feeling so despondent, so hopeless that we'd ever have a normal, real night's sleep. Embarrassing as it sounds, I remember having to decide whether it was better to try and wake him to change clothes when he'd wet them, or leave him wet so we don't risk what could happen if we disturb him.

Contrast that with last night, and they couldn't be more different. This is a hard thing to put into words and explain, but to me it's huge..........my baby sure is growing up!

1 comment:

K said...

that is a LOVELY milestone indeed !!!