Some type of unholy alliance was forged at our condo during the early morning hours. Everyone was blissfully asleep when the screenplay for Paranormal Activity played itself out just before 3am. A sharp and distinct clattering sound jarred both the parents and baby from their much needed slumber.
With an over aggressive fight instinct, I popped out of ready for God-only-knows-what. My wife started to follow me when I snapped, “Stay here!” I silently quick-stepped into the hall, all senses straining to pick up any foreign sounds around the house. I slipped into the bathroom quickly checking behind the shower curtain – Empty!
No one was in the kitchen so I stopped in the hall again, straining to hear anything out of the ordinary – Nothing. Now I’m scanning the living room in the darkness looking for things out of place. I look over towards the stairwell and see a slat from the window lying on the floor. Mystery solved, the wood on wood clatter noise came from some faulty glue that had come undone in the middle of the night.
I still complete a quick search to make sure nothing else is amiss and head back the to the bedroom to tell my wife that all is well in Mudville. The only problem is that with all that adrenaline coursing through my system, I’m starving to death. English muffin time!
I stick one in the toaster and smoke comes pouring out of the infernal device. With a terribly over-sensitive smoke detector, I have about 30 seconds before the smoke alarm goes off and wakes up not only my family, but everyone else in the building as well.
I scrambled over to that stupid window that caused this entire ruckus in the first place and threw it open. Then I dashed into the bedroom to grab a fan. I fired the fan directly at the smoke detector praying that I was quick enough to head off the ensuing high-pitched scream of the alarm.
Seconds tick by, the smell of smoke still permeates the air, but the alarm is silent and Maddie is still sleeping peacefully.
My adrenaline is completely spent now and I head off to bed for some well-deserved rest. I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. The sleep washed over me for a full ten minutes before Maddie announced her presence with authority. Now that the house had settled down, the baby was losing it!
As I prepared her bottle, it slowly dawned on me that the evil house had obviously made some anti-parental sleep pact with the baby. Maybe tonight I will be treated to a plague of locusts topped off with a few scorpion bites – Hey, you never know!
In the movie the Hangover, it was Stu who first posed the question, “What do tigers dream of, when they take a little tiger snooze?” Sadly, Stu never discovered the answer to that age-old question, but he did learn that “Tigers love pepper and hate cinnamon.”
Maddie’s first bad dream didn’t come in the middle on the night; it actually hit her during a nap in the early evening. Gina was talking on the phone and had the sleeping baby on her lap when all the sudden Maddie jerked awake in terror.
One look at her face and you could tell she not a happy camper. She started howling immediately and was completely out of sorts. I scooped her up and pulled her close to my chest while gently talking to her. Maddie scanned the surrounding area and gave me a look that said, “How did you manage to let that happen?”
We went downstairs where I sank into the couch and kept holding the baby tightly. I dried her tears and she literally fell right back asleep as if nothing had ever happened. Her total time awake probably equaled less than 90 seconds.
This begs the question, what do babies dream about and what could be that frightening? Experts say that the brain development from 3 to 6 month olds is off the charts, but of course they have no way of knowing what the baby might be dreaming about.
What was equally interesting was Maddie’s rapid recovery time. No sooner had she been assured that there was nothing to be afraid of or worried about when she picked up right where she left off.
Maddie has been sleeping more and more at night, but this incident DID NOT seem to throw her off at all – though it was quite alarming for her parents. It’s also interesting to note many of the things that trouble us as parents, don’t seem to worry Maddie one bit. It seems that our little munchkin is on that never-ending quest to keep her parents engaged and guessing at all times.
Stu Price: So, uh, are you sure you’re qualified to be taking care of that baby?
Alan Garner: What are you talking about? I’ve found a baby before.
Stu Price: You found a baby before? Where?
Alan Garner: Coffee Bean.