My daughter has never been much of a sleeper, but these days she sleeps through the night the vast majority of the time. She'll wake us up about once a week due to a bad dream or some such issue. We've got a pretty good routine down for this. She'll open her bedroom door, sprint into our room, and either myself or my wife will take her back to her bed for some reassuring snuggles. It's generally a trauma-free experience.
Until last night.
So, last night, around 3:30am, my daughter wakes up, perhaps due to a bad dream, or maybe she heard a noise, or it's possible that the bogeyman finally popped out of her closet. Who knows. This time, however, as she left her room, she let out a shriek that set off an unfortunate sequence of events.
My wife, who had been sleeping soundly, was woken by her baby girl shrieking, and promptly screamed in response. My daughter, hearing her mother scream in terror, realized that there really was something to be frightened of, and shrieked again, louder this time. The wife, not one to be outdone, screamed again.
Meanwhile, I'm in bed, listening to my wife and daughter's call-and-response routine, muttering, "It's ok.... everything's ok", which is, apparently, what I ALWAYS say when I'm woken up in the middle of the night. I could actually be on fire, and I'd still stammer out a couple "It's ok"s. My wife, long used to my meaningless reassurances, was not reassured.
We eventually got everyone calmed down, but it took me a while to get back to sleep after all that screaming. Sleeping is hard, as it turns out.
The moral of the story is that the phrase "Sleeping like a baby" is a cruel cruel joke. Actually, that's probably not the moral of this story, but it's definitely the moral of one of my stories. Maybe one day I'll do a post where we match up my stories with the morals.