Day terrors, and how they terrify ME.

Ever since Holden got to the age of where I had read that he was old enough to begin dreaming, i’ve basically been harassing him to tell me what he dreamed about. He would always look at me like I had 3 eyes, so I tried to explain the process the best I could to him.
“When you close your eyes and fall asleep, sometimes you can see things happening like you’re awake. I bet you could even dream about Lightning McQueen and candy”
I guessed that this would encourage him to tell me what was going on once his eyes were closed, as those were (and still are) his two favorite things in the entire world. Typical.

Try all I might, I could still never get him to tell me about his dreams, even to this day. And I fear my suggesting those two things as subjects to dream about has confused him for life, because now each and every time I ask him what he dreamed about, that is his answer. That, and only that. And I am pretty damn positive he is NOT dreaming about Lightning McQueen and candy every day of the friggin’ week.

For all I know, the kid doesn’t dream at all… and what I wouldn’t give to know what’s going on in that wacky brain of his while he sleeps.

All that being said, I was not prepared for Parker to start dreaming so early, and not even to start dreaming, but it to start effecting him in negative ways.

The most Holden ever did late at night was to wake up just to annoy us, not because he had a bad dream and wanted to snuggle up with us because he was too scared to go back into his own bed (which I did countless times as a child).

Much to my dismay, Parker still refuses to nap in his bed during the day. There was ONE day where he slept in there for 3 hours, and since then we’ve had no luck. I’ve just sort of gotten into the routine of having him sleep next to me and using my lap as a footrest for his bony little heels to dig into.
A blissful existence? Maybe not, but it is what it is, and if he’s going to sleep… i’m going to take it however I can get it. I NEED and CRAVE those few hours of peaceful slumber during the day (not for me, but for them).

Typically he sleeps pretty well other than the kicking of my pelvic bone, but he rarely if ever wakes up from nap time until it’s time to wake up.
Today, on the other hand, didn’t go the way it usually does.

There I was, fiddling around on the computer and watching my soaps as I usually do when he popped up from his nap, screeching and reaching out for me, eyes only half open.
I jumped the fuck out of my seat. He’s lucky I didn’t drop the computer or there would have been hell to pay.
Thinking it was a one time rare and random occurrence, I placed him back down and rubbed his stomach until he rolled over and went back to sleep again.
Not long later, it happened again- terrifying screeches and arms outreached, but eyes never really opening. And then again not long after that.


After consulting with some friends, they informed me that Parker is probably having night terrors… during the day.

And he woke up none-too-pleased. Like a prude after sex “DON’T YOU TOUCH ME!” kind of mad.

I know this is a normal thing for small children to experience, but like a lot of other things, I am new to it. I enjoy my sleep, especially now with both kids sleeping through the night- I am not going to be pleased if the kid wakes up shrieking like a banshee at 3am. Yes, DUH, I will feel bad for him- but as a mom we all know it’s always about US.

My question when it comes to things like this is: what in the hell could they be dreaming about that is SO scary? What exactly have they been through that they could find terrifying enough to have terrors in their sleep? They have someone to feed them, bathe them, clothe them, and even wipe their asses for them. If they shit themselves, THEY don’t have to clean it up, WE do. If they vomit all over the place, it’s not their problem, it’s OURS.

So what, pray tell, could he possibly be having nightmares about? Spilling sippy cups that never stop spilling and no one picks up? Killer vacuum cleaners? Toothbrushes made of chicken nuggets (he hates nuggets)?

These are the times where I wish I could crawl inside their tiny yet gigantically proportioned heads and figure out what the fuck is going on in there.
Penny for your thoughts never seemed like such a good deal.

Posted on December 13, 2011 by Holdin' Holden 11 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • LMAO–fuc*ing hilarious.

  • OMG that is too funny! Although I’m pretty sure that I’ve had nightmares about spilling sippy cups….

  • LOL love it… and you’re right… it would be nice to know what goes on in those heads o.O

  • I live actual night terrors. I have no clue either. Sometimes he yells out and its random. I hope its just sippy cups too! 🙂

  • HAHAHA sippy cups. Maybe I need to get those out of my own kids head for his night issues! LOL!

  • *cries*
    That’s hysterical.


  • Night terrors and nightmares are very different things.
    If your little guy is indeed having terrors, he’s not going to remember them when he wakes up, and it’s kind of a bad thing to disrupt him when he’s having one. My son had them almost nightly for almost a year when he was 2-ish. I’d wake up to the sounds of blood-curdling screams, and he’d be sitting up in bed, eyes seemingly open, and screaming his little head off. At first, I’d try to calm him and ask him what was wrong, but eventually did my research and realized what was going on.
    As long as he doesn’t seem affected by them and doesn’t remember them once he’s awake, then it’s just terrors, and he’ll grow out of them.

    On the other hand, if he remembers them and seems scared or troubled by them, then they’re probably nightmares.

    I do hope for your sake that he grows out of them sooner than later. They can be mentally and emotionally hard to take for us parents, since it’s our instinct to help and calm them, but nothing can be done for night terrors.
    All you can do is sit there and ride it out with them, and soothe them back to a deeper sleep.
    Good luck!

  • Here’s a link to a good explanation of the difference between the two. Hope it helps clarify and ease the stress of the terrors. 🙂

  • Thanks for the info, I had LONG discussions last night (after having my throat jumped down on FB) about the differences. Who knows what he had, certainly hasn’t been fazed by it, and it didn’t happen last night *WHEW!*
    Only time will tell I suppose!

  • When I was little I use to have night terrors all the time my dad always tells me i use to wake up in the middle of the night screaming and sobbing, and this was when i was 3 maybe younger all the way till I was 11 and still do at times I just know what it is and how to control them, but that doesn’t make them any less terrifying. Its not just about spilling sippy cups or or killer vacum cleaners, its much worse

  • I’ve had night terrors when I was little, my dad told me that I use to wake up screaming and sobbing. His/hers dreams are much worse then what your thinking… Yes, even as a little kid.