Friday, March 8, 2013

"Sleepy Time Gal"

After Mikey and I had been married about two years, he started to attend IIT to finish up his under-graduate degree.  He had about 2 years to go.  He had a full-time day job, so he attended classes in the evening.  Because he could only take 2 or 3 classes at a time, it took him several years to finish up that missing 2 years!    And that meant that I was home in the evenings with our toddler daughter.

One evening when she was between 3 and 4, I had already put Ratchlet to bed for the night, but Mikey had not gotten home yet.  I was sitting watching TV or reading in the living room.  I hadn't heard a peep out of her, but suddenly Ratchlet walked into the living room.  This was unusual.  When she woke up at night, she would cry until we went to her.  She didn't do that too often, generally once she was asleep, that was it, unless she was sick.  Getting her to go to sleep was always a struggle, she wanted to stay up where the action was (so to speak.)  Once down though, she stayed down.

Except for this particular night.

She walked right past me and straight into the kitchen.  I asked her what she wanted, but she pretty much ignored me.  I followed her into the kitchen and watched her walk straight to the table and try to pick up something that WASN'T THERE!!   It was the spookiest thing I had ever seen!  She was kind of whiny/crying and mumbling.  I couldn't understand anything she was saying, even though I asked her several times.  She just kept mumbling and kind of crying, and her hand continued to try to pick up something, but there was absolutely nothing there!

Can I say that I was seriously freaked out??  I felt her forehead and she didn't feel warm, so no fever.  She had been fine during the day and I didn't think she was sick.  I asked her several times what she was looking for but I couldn't get anything coherent our of her.  I finally was able to turn her around so I could get a better look at her face. Although her eyes were wide open, I could see that they were totally unfocused.  She was looking at something, but it surely wasn't the kitchen table!

It finally hit me....she was still sound asleep!  Relief flooded through me.  Thank goodness, she was walking in her sleep!  I had heard about sleep walking and knew it was a pretty normal thing, but I had never encountered it before.  It was sooooo weird!    I have to admit though, once I got past the being scared that there was something seriously wrong, it was pretty funny, too.  Watching this little tiny girl, getting very frustrated because she could see something that she wanted but she couldn't actually get it, because it wasn't there, was pretty darn cute.

I got her turned around and sort of set her in motion back toward her bedroom.  She climbed right back into bed and was back fully asleep in about 4 seconds!  And she slept through the rest of the night completely peacefully.

When Mikey got home about an hour later, I told him about our little night wanderer and he had never seen anybody actually walk in their sleep either!  He was sorry he missed it!   lol!

In the morning I asked Ratchlet if she remembered taking a walk during the night.   Of course, she not only didn't remember it, but she looked at me like I was a little bit crazy!   I later asked my mom about it, but she hadn't ever encountered it either.  I talked to the Pediatrician and he assured me that there wasn't anything to worry about.  It was a normal phenomenon as long as it didn't happen every night!  That was good news.

For quite some time after that, I was just waiting for the little sprite to come wandering out for another midnight stroll, but weeks and weeks went by and she stayed put.  She was back to being a regular "Sleepy Time Gal."

About  7 or 8 months later, it happened again.  This time I saw her walking toward the living room and I could see that same unfocused look, so I knew she was at it again!  I was able to turn her around and get her back to her bed.  She climbed in and was sound asleep almost instantly.

And that was the last time as far as I know.  Her nighttime adventures had come to an end.

I don't think, however, that I will ever forget her little hand, scrabbling  on the tabletop trying to pick up something only she could see!!   And I'll always wonder what my little "Sleepy Time Gal" saw!

Stole this from Facebook, forget the "like" part, just wanted to make it clear:
my little sleepwalker will always be my Baby Girl!


  1. One of my daughters was a sleep walker. It is frightening because they look right through you and do not focus.

  2. When my son was about three years old, he got out of his bed, came out of his room, then down the hall, passed us in the living room, turned into the kitchen, walked over to the trash can and peed into it. When he completed his mission, he walked out of the kitchen, passed us in the living room, went down the hall and into his bedroom and got into hs bed. He was sound asleep the whole time.

  3. Our youngest daughter was a sleep walker too. One evening we had guests for dinner and after the girls were put to bed, we all gathered in the den to chat. Katie was not quite three and she wandered into the den and went right to the rocker that we rocked and snuggled in each night. Only I wasn't sitting in it. One of our guests that Katie hardly knew was in it, but she climbed right up into her lap and went right back to sleep. That was the first of several incidents. After that, I made sure to install a latch that she couldn't reach on all the doors. I agree, the unfocused look is a little frightening. Cute stories here!

  4. Scary and very interesting...I was a big time sleep walker as a child. I out grew least I hope I have :-/


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