When my son was born I was informed of a number of ‘milestones’ and ‘phases’ to look out for.
The obvious ones were when my wobbly little snot-monster took his first steps, or his first full sleep through the night (nope, can’t remember that one), his first tooth cutting through and his first wee in a potty. But nowhere in these glossy, cheery parenting magazines do they tell you about toddler night terrors?!!!’ I’ll also tell you all about the car farts later (yes, I know, you can’t wait!) So these nightmares have been occurring with my son over the past couple of months and it makes me so sad to see my little boy upset like this, that and the fact that yet again he isn’t sleeping through – so it’s not nice for us all. So of course you start to question, why? Is it something he’s seen and I’ve not shielded him from? Why is he thinking nasty thoughts? What do these nightmares mean?
The majority of the time my son can’t remember the nightmares but there have been a few that were rather unpleasant, like when he woke screaming and shouting, “Mummy someone is sat on my chest!”. I remember going into his room at 3am, feeling torn between ‘I must protect my son’ and ‘I’m sh*itting myself – what the feck is in there?!?’
So I usually try to settle my son with a cuddle and a cup of milk, which normally does the trick. But sometimes he gets that upset that he has to come into my bed. Fortunately these nightmares seem to have subsided now, just in time to be replaced with a never-ending dry/croupy cough. But who needs sleep, eh?
Anyway, after one rare occasion where I had a little more sleep than usual, I suddenly thought rationally about this and I have come to the conclusion that it is just his little imagination fired up with questions and queries that get lost in translation. That this is just ANOTHER one of these bloody phases the little tykes go through and that you have to say strong and calm for them. You can secretly sh*t yourself on the inside (by all means) but they definitely need you to be their calm in the storm.
So, back to the car farts….Why are they SO God damn funny and why do they smell SO much more potent when you are travelling in your car? How the heck can a three year old deliver such a potent parp that it almost makes me physically gag whilst driving?!! It’s simply because he’s turning into a boy, that’s why, and boys are generally gross will always find farts funny. That and he eats lots of beans. That might have something to do with it.
So what has (made up) Phase No 17 taught me?
- 1. If your child’s night terror is monster-related, try spraying the room with a water spray, labelled ‘monster spray’, to help settle your child. This one works quite well.
- 2. Never underestimate the power of your child’s fart. If they let go in a car, it can often make your eyes water so always have your window slightly ajar, even in the winter. Stay vigilant.
- 3. Toddler morning breath is also SO RANK. I’m sure many of you are already aware of this, but during a night terror, when you go in for a cuddle and kiss, it seems to be amplified! Maybe it’s more potent because it’s mixed with ‘fear breath’ (which is a whole new blog-post), I don’t know but, nevertheless, one to watch out for!