The Boom / by Susie Lubell

My son slept through the night when he was two months old but it was relatively short lived. So at four months we sleep trained him using a combo Ferber/Weissbluth method since he'd already proven he could physically do it and, frankly, I was really freaking tired of feeding him at night. It was only mildly traumatic and mostly for me. He cried his head off for ten minutes, went to sleep, woke up at 2 am, cried his head off for twenty minutes, went to sleep and that was about it. He is a champion sleeper. Or was, I should say.

About six months ago, after he had just turned two but before the baby was born, he started waking up at night. It was right about when we transitioned him to his toddler bed, perhaps too soon. We'd put him to bed and ten minutes later he'd come running out crying that he heard a boom.

Him: The boom!!
Me: There's no boom, honey. You need to go to sleep.
Him: I heard the boom.
(boom)
Me: Sweetie it's the water pipes expanding when the water runs through them in the ceiling.
Him: -
Me: It's the water.
Him: It's the water.

Then he started waking up in the middle of the night, something he hadn't done since he was an infant. The first time he padded into our room and refused to go back to his room so we let him sleep with us. Kiss of death. You give a toddler an inch...

Next night, he wanted to sleep with us again. I told him he had to sleep on the floor.

Next night I played hardball. I walked him back to his bed. He wasn't thrilled about that.
He came back an hour later. I walked him back. We did this about five times. My husband continued snoring.

As an aside: What is it about being a man that makes you biologically deaf when sleeping? From discussing this with girlfriends it seems universal.

The fourth night was better but he was still having trouble falling asleep. He'd come out three or four times after the evening ritual complaining of the boom at which point I'd ask if he wanted to sleep in his crib and he'd say yes. Love the crib.

So we've gone back and forth between the bed and the crib over the last six months. Now he's mostly in his bed. He still talks about the boom but he says, "the boom from the water."

One day, curious to know if nightmares were causing this night waking, I asked him if he sees pictures in his head while he's sleeping and he said yes.

Him: Of aba.
Me: You see aba when you're asleep.
Him: Ya, in the window.
Me: What's he doing?
Him: He has the knife...

Cue: scary music. Now, my son calls several things knives. A pair of scissors. The weed-whacker. Garden clippers... But it was definitely a Stephan King moment. Is my husband a knife-wielding psychopath? Probably not since he's sleeping and deaf in the next room.