Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Calvin. Oh, Calvin.

Here's what we've been up to for the last hour:

Our children were sleeping soundly and peacefully after a pretty magical and perfect afternoon/evening where I got to spend high quality, enjoyable alone time with each of them, thanks to an alternating nap schedule.  All of a sudden, Calvin goes from being completely asleep to complete freaking out screaming at the top of his lungs.  I go to see what the problem is.  He is sobbing and shaking and screaming all at the same time.  It was something along these lines:

"That mean dog bit me!  Where is he? Where is that big big dog?  Is he under my bed?  Is he outside?  I'm scared of that dog!"

Poor little Calvin was having a nightmare about a great big frightening dog.  So I calmed him down and he went back to sleep.

Fast forward 10 minutes.

More sobbing/shaking/screaming.  This time Michael goes in and I am listening in from the couch.

"It bit me!  The dog!  There's a dog under my bed!  It's German!  There are Germans!  The Germans bit me!"

At this point I am laughing hysterically at my poor crazy son while trying to conceal it because he is clearly very upset.  So, we bring him in the living room with us.  Here's his stream of consciousness:

"The Germans bit me. We don't have any tomatoes. I don't like coffee. I'm afraid of the Germans. The big bad wolf doesn't like Germans. I don't like Germans.  I'm going to tell mommy there's no Germans. Mommy there's no dogs and no Germans.  Jesus said "Go away Germans".  And I don't like them.  That dog was mean.  And then I said hi to the dog.  He's not a German any more.  He got nationalized.  Now he's nice.  He's Lucy.  I like to pet him.  He's black and he doesn't bite me.  There's a bug in my pants. I've gotta get that bug outta my pants.  It's a squito.  And I smashed him with my pants.  (Michael gets out a pita and hummus snack and offers one to Calvin) Did you make one for Lucy (Grandma and Grandpa Walton's dog)? I don't like sharks biting me.  And I'd say, shark, you are naughty.  The shark is on time out. (Michael tells him "Quick take a bite") Before the German does??  I'm gonna keep it so the German can't eat it."

We have absolutely no idea where he even heard about Germans, let alone where all this hostility came from.  We can only fathom that somewhere he learned about German Shepherds, so Michael showed Calvin some pictures of nice cute German Shepherds doing things like wearing sunglasses and standing up on their hind legs next to a lawnmower so they look like they are mowing the lawn.  Calvin's only response is, "There's a German pepper on my cuter (Calvin speak for 'There's a German Shepard on my Computer")."

We try to send him to bed again.  He reluctantly starts heading--very very slowly--in the direction of his room.  He is muttering "Daddy, we do like Germans. I don't like Germans.  I don't want them in my low bunk..."

I tuck him in, sing him a song, check all over his room for possible Germans or German Shepherds and leave the door open at his request when I leave.  For the next 10 minutes we hear a fairly happy Calvin repeating "There' no German in my low bunk!  There's no German in my low bunk!"  But all of a sudden this turns once again into complete sobbing/shaking/screaming about the German in his low bunk, even with the door open.

So, I go in and tell him that he can just go get in my bed.  And little slowpoke Calvin bolted like lightening to my bed and climbed in chanting that there we no Germans in Mommy's room.  I've seriously never seen him move that fast.  Michael tells him "Close your eyes, honey." to which he replies, "So the Germans can't see me?"

We tuck him in and come back to the living room.  Before I even sit down he is begging to have the lights on.  So I left them on.  That was about a half hour ago.  He's as quiet as can be, laying flat on his back with the covers pulled up to his chin and his two little hands just sticking out to clutch the top of the blanket, eyes wide open.

This could be a very long night.


Elizabeth said...

I am sorry in advance... I used to have night terrors from when I was about Calvin's age until probably kindergarten. Same deal, the screaming and crying and not really being able to separate the nightmare from reality. :( Poor little guy.
And poor you guys. I hope you got at least a little sleep!

AnnaMarie Ferrell said...

That is hilarious. And crazy. Um, he said they were nationalized? You might not know, but I've been teaching them about WWII every time they come over, so that's probably where he gets it from. (Kidding.) Katie also woke up from a nightmare last night, yelling, "He got me! The Big Bad Wolf got me! He got me!" I tried to get it out of her what the Big Bad Wolf was doing to her, and all she would say is that she was playing the piano for the other pigs to dance to.

Michael said...

On the nationalized comment :

While Calvin was rambling, he said at one point "They're not German anymore" and so I asked "Were they naturalized?" to which he replied "They were nationalized".

Ben and Anna said...

Sounds like a night terror to me...I would bet that he never really woke up. James use to do it. We would talk to him for 30 min, and he was never really awake, and never remembered a thing of it the next day.

Janelle Dobson said...

Hysterical! And sad. One of my brother's used to get night terrors a lot and I remember being quite afraid of them. He grew out of them, though. I don't know if this will work for night terrors, but I remember in child psychology a teacher saying if your child is afraid of something, say, snakes in their bed- go get a bat or something and whack at it for a while, telling the snakes to get out. They tel the child the snakes are all gone and won't come back. Play into it and conquer their fear for them. Just a suggestion- I've never tried it myself.