Night Terrors

I was sound asleep in bed one night recently when my somnolent self suddenly sensed something standing by my bed.

My eyes jolted open and standing there right in front of my face was a dark figure–admittedly, a small dark figure or was it a small figure in the dark.

Nevertheless, it scared me awake so much so that I shot up in bed and let out a muffled yelp, “WHO’S THERE???”

Then, I heard Kenzie whisper, “Dad, I just threw up!”

My frightened yell suddenly turned into an agitated grumble. “Why did you sneak up on me like that?” I demanded.

“I didn’t want to scare you,” she explained.

As I started to regain my wits–at least to the extent possible after my near death experience–my attention was focused on her claim of sickness.

“Do you feel better or does your stomach still hurt?” I asked her.

“It still hurts a little,” she confided.

I cast a glance over my shoulder at Tami to see what she wanted to do, since she generally handles illness in our home. Amazingly, she appeared to be sleeping soundly though I wondered how she could be after all the commotion I had caused.

Apparently, my night terror had not awakened her.

So, I dragged myself out of bed and escorted Kenzie to the kitchen and found a bubble-gum flavored antacid and gave it to her along with a drink of water and a hug. She seemed to feel better.

“Where did you throw up?” I asked, assuming she had gone into her bathroom to heave.

“In my bed and on the carpet,” she confessed.

“Why didn’t you go into the bathroom? It’s right there close by your bed.” I asked resentfully as I began to realize that I wouldn’t be going back to bed as quickly as I had hoped for.

“Because I needed to tell you first,” she responded–an explanation that, I’m sure, seemed perfectly logical to her from her ten-year-old, middle-of-the-night perspective.

So, I drowsily headed up the stairs to her bedroom and proceeded to change the sheets and clean the spot in carpet.

I got her back in bed and sat with her for awhile until I thought she was falling back to sleep. Then I scooped up the dirty sheets and pillowcases and dropped them in the laundry room and headed back to bed.

As I slid into the bed, Tami stirred and sleepily mumbled, “Is everything all right?”

“Yes, dear,” I said. “I just had a bad dream. Go back to sleep….”

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