Maniacal Laughter In The Middle of the Night

In my last big boy bed update, I mentioned that the Beaner woke up screaming on nights two and three, and that Al was the designated soother for night four. Well, of course the Beaner didn't wake up on night four... and, in fact, has slept through every night since then until Monday.

On Monday night, he fell out of bed for the first time. I didn't hear the thud; I just heard the screams that followed it (and to which Al responded). [As I typed that last sentence, I heard his little toy Jeep fall over the side of the bed and hit the heating vent. :) ] When Al finally came back down after snuggling/sleeping with the Beaner for a couple hours, he said that the Beaner had fallen off the foot of the bed. It was hard to picture, given that he usually falls asleep stretched across the pillows at the head of the bed.

The next night I heard the thud; it happened just as I was "cueing up the Potter", as Al says. (We usually listen to the Harry Potter books on the iPod as we're going to sleep each night.) "What was THAT?" I said to Al. A few seconds later, my question was answered with toddler screams. Once again, Al responded. When he came back down, he said that the Beaner had apparently gotten thirsty and went in search of water... right off the end of the bed again.

Last night I tried a new strategy: I put a bottle of water next to the head of the bead, and I pointed it out to the Beaner as we were getting in for our nightly snuggle. "See this water bottle? I'm putting it right here, in case you get thirsty tonight." He seemed excited to have it nearby, and he went to sleep relatively quickly after I turned out the light.

At 3:30am, I awoke to screaming and assumed he'd fallen out of bed again, perhaps while reaching for the water bottle at the head of the bed this time. The instinct to fly up the stairs kicked in, and I raced up to the Beaner's room without waking Al. When I got to the door, I couldn't see anything in the room, so I swiveled my head blindly and said, "are you OK? Sweetie, are you OK?" There was a disconnect in my brain for a moment when it sounded like the crying was coming from the bed instead of the floor, and then I opened the gate and went inside, arms out and feeling around for the Beaner. He was indeed on the bed still, and as soon as I got near him, he threw his arms around my neck and dove for the pillows, dragging me down with him. I decided to go with the flow, and just said, "wait while Mommy gets under the covers." He was asleep in less than a minute.

I fell asleep, too, so I'm not sure how much later it was that the maniacal laughter started. It woke me, of course, and I think I said, "{Beaner}?" In response, he heeheeheed again. Er, OK. Quiet returned, and I dozed off again. Next I was awoken by crying. He didn't get completely worked up again; I think I was sleeping lightly enough that I heard the storm coming, so I was able to reassure him that I was still there and that there was no need to cry. When he started laughing again awhile later, I decided he was just having extremely vivid dreams, and that if I was going to be able to get up for court on time at 7:30am, I needed to go downstairs and get in my own bed. He ended up waking right as my alarm went off, no worse for wear.

I'm hoping tonight's a restful night for all of us, and that there's no falling or crying or laughing or snuggle-mugging. I don't have to be to court until 10am tomorrow, but it might be a long day—more on that once closing arguments and deliberations are over.

Posted by Lori in parenthood at 10:37 PM on January 25, 2007

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