In Feb. 21 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
I don’t know what it is about my family and sleep…or lack thereof.
I can’t seem to sleep and my kids don’t want to sleep.
The other night, Izzy, our youngest, didn’t even attempt to go to sleep until 2:30 a.m. (The problem was part illness/part teething.)
But it was Kate, the first-born, Daffron Daughter, who provided the entertainment that evening...and morning…and beyond.
Around 4 a.m., two-year-old Kate woke up screaming.
Wait, let me correct that. S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G!
Sure, sometimes kids wake in the night, but Kate was near hysterics.
It was beyond manic, and we were in a panic.
For several minutes her screams were so loud and so shrill we couldn’t figure out what she was trying to say.
She kept clawing at her clothes, and wouldn’t even let anyone hold her.
Kate would drop to the floor-swatting at some “unseen” threat.
I sat helplessly on the edge of the bed as she would run screaming from one end of the house to the other.
The high-pitched “Doppler effect” as she would pass by the bedroom door made me think of a watching jets take off at an airport.
It wasn’t long before everyone in the house (and probably the neighborhood) was awake.
We tried everything to comfort Kate.
My wife finally said “BUGS! That’s what she’s saying!”
I didn’t see any bugs.
My wife didn’t see any bugs.
I stripped the sheets from the bed…no bugs.
I looked under the bed…no bugs.
I looked around the bed…no bugs.
But still, she screamed, “BUGS! Go away! Shoo!”
“Kate, would you like to take a bath?” (Always a sure-fire, problem solver)
“NOOOOOOOO! Bugs, bugs!”
“Kate, would like a bowl of cereal?” (That would do it!)
“BUGS! Go away!”
“Kate, would you like to go for a ride in the car?” (How many of us have used that one?)
“NO, NO, NO! BUGS!”
So, we flip on the TV, and, of course there’s nothing on but the bling, bling of “specially-priced tanzanite” or “the exercise machine that will change your life.”
Our four-year-old son, Drake, wanted to stop on a fishing show, but mom and dad thought the huge school of “bait fish” on the screen would make things worse for Kate.
Of course, Drake not getting to watch the fishing show made HIM mad, and he started screaming and crying.
Which made Izzy, who wants to do whatever her older brother and sister does, start crying, also.
Which made mommy and daddy want to cry-but honestly, I believe we were too tired, and too shocked and confused by Kate’s behavior to do anything but stare blankly at the wall.
After three hours, I got the bright idea (speaking of “bright,” the sun was coming up by then) to get Kate a pacifier.
Slowly, but surely, she (and the other children) drifted off to sleep…and it was time to start getting ready for work.
My wife, bless her heart, pleaded for a “real quick, 15 or 20 minute power nap.”
“Well,” I said, “I was kinda thinking…”
Before I could finish my sentence the baby let out a cry, and I swear I think I heard my wife tell her “Good girl.”
I zombied through the day, and later that night, at bedtime, Drake and I were sitting on the bed-reading to Kate and Izzy, when Kate pointed to a sippy-cup on the night stand.
“BUG! BUG!” she screamed.
“No, Kate, not again!” I screamed.
“Uh, dad?” Drake said, “Look.”
Sure enough, there was a lady bug on the edge of the cup.
Drake and I looked at each other.
“Let’s just act like we didn’t see that,” I said to him, “It’ll be our little secret.
We don’t want Kate to be up all night again screaming.”
“Yeah,” Drake said. “A secret.”
Later, when Kate and Drake were laying down, watching a “night-night” video, Drake leaned over and patted his sister on the head.
“Kate,” he said, “I’m sorry there was a lady bug on that cup over there.”
Kate looked at her brother, then the cup, then at me.
I saw her lip quiver, and her body begin to shake.
“BUGS?! GO AWAY! AHHHHH!!!”