Night Moves

Linda Sharp - Author - Columnist - Media Guest - Event Speaker

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Night Moves

There are many unexplained phenomenon in this world of ours. The pyramids for example. Will we ever be able to figure out how those engineering marvels were constructed without our 21st century machinery? And what about all those crop circles? Made by aliens? Pranksters? A bored, yet artistic farmer on his John Deere? Who knows? (Although given a starry night, a bottle of Merlot, and those penetrating blue eyes, I would believe just about anything Mel Gibson would want to tell me about them . . . )

Ahem. Where was I? Ah, yes, the unexplained in this world.

As interesting as these things may be, I think we have spent far too much time contemplating occurrences that obviously took place long ago and/or out of our sight. What I would like is for someone, scientist or psychic, doctor or detective, shrink or shaman to figure out and explain to me the phenomenon of what happens in my bed when one of my children has had a bad dream.

There are several elements to this spectacle:

It begins when you are in a deep, restful sleep enjoying a dream about, letís say . . . oh heck, Mel Gibson. In your dream, you and Mel are just about to kiss when suddenly you begin to feel like someone is watching. And someone is. Your child. That is the first part of this eighth wonder I would like researched. Any parent knows what I am talking about. Somehow, through the murky depths of sleep, you can feel yourself being stared at. You open one eye, and VOILA!, there stands a short person in mismatched pajamas, clinging to a slobbered upon stuffed animal, expecting to be welcomed into your bed.

And welcome you do, right? Not because you would feel guilty about escorting your child back to their own bed, but because escorting means that you have to get up out of yours. Allowing them into the bed increases the chances that you can fall back asleep where Mel is surely waiting patiently for your lips.

The next stage is the actual climb into bed by the child. This same individual who cannot yet tie their shoes, proceeds to perform contortions worthy of a performer in the Cirque du Soleil. Up, down, back, forth, upside down, inside out. Every moment timed with precision to happen just as you are falling back to sleep. And we all know there is nothing like a knee to the kidney to kill the romance between you and Mel.

As the night winds on, the child finally settles into the last stage of the event: The classic "H" formation, created by you, your spouse and the child who has fallen into a deep, peaceful, movement free sleep - SIDEWAYS. Any sleep that is had by the adults, is now done with a pair of feet or a head lodged in their spine. Hardly orthopedic and hardly conducive to further romance with Mr. Gibson.

There are slight variations on this occurrence, however they all serve to rob you of sleep and make you believe that Hell is actually a place filled not with flames, but Sealy Posturepedics.

One variance is the Night Terror Chants that announce your childís arrival. We endured years of this with our oldest daughter. Without warning she would erupt in what can only be compared to the sound shrieking eels must make when eaten by shrieking seagulls. It is a language with no vowels, and makes you fear your two year old and her sudden ability to speak in tongues.

A second mutation, along the lines of a Murphyís Law is that a childís midnight bedside arrival will coincide with your spouseís noontime departure on an out of town business trip. The "H" formation still applies, although now in lower case form. The truly talented child will use your body to form the letter "D", whereby you are gifted with both their head in your coccyx and their feet in your hair.

The final variant is what can only be called, "Midnight Theater". In this form, you are sure to be entertained by your child who has decided to wander the house looking completely awake, but who is in actuality, totally asleep. The human subconscious is truly remarkable in that it allows the child to successfully navigate staircases, toys on the floor, and even hold conversations, while not robbing them of a single second of their beauty sleep. Notice I said, them. You on the other hand are treated to a show of sorts as you follow them throughout the house, the refrigerator, the closets, ensuring they will find their way safely back to bed. I once was enlisted by my daughter to help her find her "duck". She was quite persistent and became agitated when our quacking did not lead to finding her duck anywhere. Small wonder, as we do not own any waterfowl - stuffed or real.

The bottom line is this: Iím tired. So I implore the scientific community to please get to the bottom of this phenomenon. Find out the "whys" "hows" and "wherefores". Research, study, chart and hypothesize. And finally tell me how to make it stop. Just do it soon, ok? These dark areas under my eyes are beginning to look like crop circles and Mel is getting impatient.

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