On touch

October 18, 2007 · 0 comments

Matt wakes sometimes in the night with nightmares or night-terrors or for no apparent reason at all. When he does, there is much crying and screaming and moaning and groaning.  Anything we ask him results in a shriek of NO! regardless of whether he agrees / wants it or not.

Last night was one of those nights (again).  Lest you think I am some evil shrew, I have no problem at all soothing him after a nightmare or random waking.  Where I run into issues is the 20 minutes visit with continued crying, moaning, screaming and demands that are absurd. (Isn’t everything absurd at 2am?).  For instance, last night he cried out and I went up there.  He complained he was wet, so I changed his diaper and offered to put a blanket down over his sheet so he wouldn’t sleep in wetness.  He immediately screamed at me that there was no wet on his bed and that he did NOT want a blanket.  Uh…ok…I’m just trying to help here…so I quick soothe – no problem, blah blah blah.  I discover, after much moaning and tears that yes, there was a nightmare, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Okedokee.

The whining then turns to his legs “feeling weird”.  So he wants them scratched.  Not rubbed. Not touched. Scratched.  It’s 2am – seriously? Scratch your own damn legs!  But, I’m the mommy, so I do. Sort of.   I scratch, he moves around so I can’t anymore.  He whines and cries.  I scratch some more.  This little evil cycle repeats about 10 times, during which at one point I am physically scratching his legs and he starts screaming and crying and yelling that he wants me to scratch his legs! OK. See, I AM!!  Finally he screams for daddy and I run from the room, intent on simply ignoring him and going back to sleep.

See, I get the whole human touch thing. People need to be touched.  I need to be touched.  My mom was the best back scratcher in the world and I would beg her to scratch my back every night.  And she would.  I do it to my husband, too.  For me, I like my back scratched, lightly touched or tickled and I love my feet tickled.  Mike likes his head rubbed and legs and feet tickled. So I totally understood when Matt started asking for his back to be scratched.  And on those nights when he wakes suffering from growing pains, I certainly  understand and appreciate his desire to have them rubbed.  Touch is comforting (with this caveat…sometimes we all feel like screaming don’t touch me!! but that is an entirely different post).

But to scream at me to scratch while I am scratching? Rubbed me the wrong way (HA! No pun intended there). I was so angry at him at that moment. I was actually thankful that he screamed for daddy so that I could just leave the room.  I am so not a good enough mama when I am exhausted – and add the relentless ache, puffy cheeks and sore jaw to being tired and I just plain suck.

In the morning though? He wakes happy. Not fully rested, but happy.  And in the end, that’s the most important, right?

RIGHT?   🙂

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