Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Skeletons in the Closet

We've had a few "traumatic" days around here. Saturday night, Beth had a nightmare. Evidently, it was pretty scarry to her because it totally freaked her out. I've never seen the child this scared of anything. It took me almost 24 hours just to get out of her what the dream was the top of the stairs...and the man came and tried to kill them. And she said she sang scarry songs about skeletons in music class last week. WTH? Of course, I have no way of knowing what images she saw in her head, but they were evidently so bad, she refused to sleep (because she was scared to have that dream again) and refused to do anything or go anywhere by herself...which included going to to the bathroom, to her bedroom, outside, etc...she has been everyone's shadow for 2 days. Beth has a tendency to fake being scared of the dark (or whatever other tactic might work to delay going to bed), but the last two days, she has been seriously scared of something. When I lose my patience with her, I tend to give consequences for whatever behavior she is doing (i.e. "if you don't stop whining, I'm going to take the ____ toy."). In general, consequences will make her stop whatever behavior she is exhibiting, but not these last few days. She told me I could take all her toys, she didn't care, she just wanted me to stay with her until she fell asleep (and that comment came at 2 a.m.). UGH!

SO, out of desperation for answers, I called the Pediatrician yesterday. He indicated it was perfectly normal for children this age to have nightmares, especially this time of year. He did, however, think that her anxiety about the dream was lasting too long, and the fact that she was refusing to sleep was probably making it worse. So, he prescribed Anarax (sp?), which is a drug used as an antihistamine, as well as a sleep-inducing drug and can also be used for anxiety. He suggested I crush it up and put it in applesauce or whatever, right before bedtime. So, at bedtime, I gave her a yogurt with the Anarax crushed up in it. She ate it all..and was in dreamland within about an hour. She slept from 7:15p-5:30a. YEAH! At 5:30, she woke screaming that she was scared, so I went in and patted her back for about 5 seconds and she was asleep until 7:15. She seems to be doing a little bit better today. I asked her to go let the dog outside, which means going from one end of the house to the other, and she did it without a problem. However, 5 minutes later she refused to get dressed in her room by herself and brought all her clothes into Sarah's room, where I was, and proceeded to get dressed there. So, baby steps. She also waited for Grammy to come get her...outside by herself.

So, I think a good nights sleep was very healing, but I think TWO good nights sleeps will better. Hopefully by the end of the week, she'll be back to normal, for everyone's sake!


Lanny said...

Oh no! Poor Beth (and Mommy!). I hope things return to normal around your house soon.