A New Take on the Temper Tantrum

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 | Connecting the Dots

Last night was windy–and where we live, that means it sounds like a freight train is coming over the hill. We lay in bed, listening, and began to hear, periodically, another sound: BANG BANG BANG. Or sometimes BANG. Or BANG BANG.

It was not rhythmic, or constant, as you would expect of something the wind was blowing. And it not eventually result in the reappearance of a child, as you would expect from a kid-created noise. It just kept periodically coming. Eventually, and under some pressure (I was reading The Case for God and planning to comment on it for today’s DoubleX) I agreed to investigate.

I found Rory, in her bed, having what can only be called a temper tantrum in her sleep. She was writhing. She was shouting. She was kicking. She was one peeved, sleeping noodle. Because despite all the noise and fuss, Rory was pretty clearly asleep.

I put my arms around her, and eventually she quieted down, woke a little, snuggled a little, and eventually popped her thumb back in her mouth (hallelujah for that habit) and went back to sleep, but it was truly the craziest thing. It was not a nightmare–or if it was, it was the ever-determined, resolute and resilient Rory version of it, because she was NOT acting frightened. She was NOT shrieking in terror. Nope, that kid was pissed. I don’t know what she was dreaming about, but I hope it wasn’t me!

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4 Comments to A New Take on the Temper Tantrum

shirlee
Friday, October 23, 2009

I love your Rory. She is the kind of kid I always wanted to be but didn’t dare.

erica
Friday, October 23, 2009

It sounds like she was having a “night terror.” My oldest would have horrible night terrors. She’s be asleep but screaming and shrieking and her eyes would even be open but she wouldn’t wake up. The doctor said to clap loudly or turn the lights on…anything to wake her up. BTW, night terrors are more common in Asian adopted children, from what I’ve read. Not sure why.

Nancy
Saturday, October 24, 2009

I could tell when my daughter converted to thinking in English from Chinese because she started shouting at her sister in her sleep. “Don’t do that. Mine. Stay away. Mine. Mine”

She was big on Mine.

Misty
Saturday, October 24, 2009

I was just going to suggest what erica said. Night terror. My oldest had them and it was the exact same scenario. It was frustrating at first until I realized he was SOUND ASLEEP and could not help it.

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