I’m a sleep-walker and talker. Always have been, and my guess would be that I always will be. I’m sure my family hopes that it continues as it has provided SO much entertainment. I’ll share some of the highlights.
As a child my parents would find me perched on the side of the tub like a bird. Sound asleep. Or I would get out of bed and go into the den and talk nonsense to my parents.
As a teenager, I worked retail in the mall, at night I “worked stock” in my closet. I would awake the next morning and find all my clothing hung up, facing the same direction and grouped according to type. I know… sounds like the fantasy of every teenager’s mother, but it’s true. My own daughters did not inherit this propensity for hanging up clothes nocturnally, or during the day for that matter. (Before their protests begin, I will say in their defense they are better as adults.) During that same period I awoke several times some nights to find myself standing up “working the floor”, waiting to help non-existent customers.
In college, I would bathe and wash my hair while asleep and wake up while I was blow drying or rolling my hair with hot curlers. It was a weird feeling. I knew that I had washed my hair but couldn’t remember doing so. I’d check the time and find that it was 2 or 3 am. After a while if my father heard the water running during the night he would come knock on the bathroom door to make sure I really intended to be in the bathtub. You know…awake, the way conscious people do it. And yes, it happened way more than once.
As a new mother I dreamed one night that I was running a zoo for exotic animals. Trouble was I thought my 6 week old baby was a turtle, albeit an exotic one. My husband found me rocking, but not feeding a screaming baby. In my dream, I had agreed to let someone else run my zoo for a day and had promised not to interfere. Thus my dilemma with that hungry, screaming turtle baby, how could I feed her when I had promised I would not? As I was explaining this to Frank, I woke up. For some reason he insisted on me handing him the baby and decided that perhaps he should get up one night a week so that I could get more rest. (Who was I to argue?)
My husband travelled often when our children were young. One night when he was gone I awoke thinking that someone from my household was missing. But who? I decided “Mom” was missing. That would be Mom, as in myself. I got up and opened my daughters’ bedroom door and began quizzing the girls about “Mom’s” whereabouts. Sitting up in bed they began asking each other, “What? What is she talking about? What does she mean?” That’s when I woke up, realized I wasn’t missing after all, said, “Never mind” and closed their bedroom door. I could hear them still talking to each other about what had just happened. They sounded confused and disoriented (go figure!), so I re-opened the door and reassured them by saying, “It’s OK! I forgot I’m the Mom. Go back to sleep.”
I have a way with children.
Several years ago I began taking Ambien for insomnia, perhaps my body fears sleeping, heaven knows I’ve given it enough reason. As you might guess, I now have my own natural bizarre behavior as well as some induced by my sleep aid. My family feels this just adds to the fun.
One night in my altered state I serenaded my husband with Glen Campbell’s hit, “I am a Lineman for the County”. He might have found that disconcerting, if he hadn’t found it so funny. My daughters know to ask if I’ve had my med if I start to not make sense in a late night phone call. But so far I’ve still remembered I’m the Mom.
I’d call that progress.