Another Novel Nightmare Treatment

Parents of small children are no strangers to the effects of nightmares. We in the Wilcox family are no strangers to unorthodox approaches to treating them. (For example, see this post, which describes how letting David watch Jurassic Park at age 3 cured his dinosaur-laden nightmares.)

NaNi had bad dreams or night terrors of some sort last night. She started crying around 1:00, and wouldn’t wake up enough to stop, in addition to putting a stranglehold on Nichelle.

We’ve been through this before. It never ends well, because Naomi ends up restless or crying in our bed for a number of hours, and none of us gets the sleep we need.

Remarkably, probably because I’d left work a little earlier and taken a long nap before dinner last night, I was more clearheaded than usual, and came up with a plan that would give us all enough sleep, if a bit strangely distributed.

I said to NaNi, “Want to play some World of WarCraft?” She agreed, so we marched off to the family room, and within a few minutes of her sitting on my lap while I played, she had woken up enough to shake off the fear, and demand that she play using her character, so I ran the mouse while she ran the keyboard, which worked very well.

I’m not used to playing a lower-level character (my Gnome is now at level 38), so at first I kept getting us into situations that led to a rapid death. At one point we were outnumbered, and nearly dead, so we ran from the bandits we were fighting—not something that always works. When the last one stopped following us, I had her turn around and I ran the “/taunt” emote, which does a chicken imitation with arms flapping and clucking sounds.

Nichelle, rather than having to try to tend to NaNi, got her own much-needed sleep.

After about 40 minutes, I let NaNi continue playing—she definitely wasn’t ready to go back to bed—and I retired on the couch. I woke up at 4:45 a.m., to find she’d stopped playing, apparently also after spending some time coloring, and crawled onto the couch with me to go to sleep. So I got up and went back to bed, leaving NaNi sleeping peacefully.

Nichelle got enough sleep to pull off our morning preparations on time; she let me sleep a little bit extra to catch up enough for me to take the kids to school and drive to work, and rather than listen to NaNi cry while trying to comfort her, we had some great father-daughter time killing Defias bandits around Goldshire.

I suppose one would have to describe that as a win-win-win.

5 Replies to “Another Novel Nightmare Treatment”

  1. Ryan had a problem with nightmares too and we couldn’t figure out what to do until we went to see the Indian Pow Wow enactment. One of the people there suggested we get a dream catcher to hang above the bed….. worked EXTREMELY well……. maybe it’ll work for her too??!!

  2. I drop by your place occassionally by way of MJ’s blog. As Parents, we do quirky things at times don’t we? I love that you saw it as a daddy & daughter bonding time!

  3. Isaac had a “noodle saber” (a perfect-for-light-saber-battling PVC construction I invented that has a blade of a foam “noodle”) that he insisted, at around age 3 or 4 and beyond, prevented him from having nightmares. It didn’t really work at eliminating nightmares, but it certainly made it easier for him to get to sleep.

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