This Christmas, as with last Christmas, saw Alastair awake in the middle of the night.
But, unlike last Christmas, this isn't due to Daddy sneaking into his room in the middle of the night. Last year, we put him to bed and then realized we'd failed to turn on his little space-heater (it gets pretty cold in his room). I tried to creep in and turn it on, but Lucy (our black cat) thought that it was pretty funny to see me crawling, and wanted to talk about it. A lot. Her wailing in his room woke him up while I was crawling out, and we listened to him scream for an hour before we realized it wasn't going to stop. We repeated the bedtime ritual, and Christmas was saved.
On Monday night, though (Christmas Eve, in case anyone's reading this in 2042 and doesn't know that Christmas was on Tuesday), we didn't interfere. We put him to bed, ensured the heater was on, and crept out like any other night.
90 minutes later he started crying. I went and sat with him for a few minutes; we got him some water to drink; and we talked about why he was up. I asked him if he'd had a bad dream, and he said yes. So we cuddled for a bit, and then I asked him if he was ready to lay back down with his babies (stuffed animals). Again he said yes, and so we put him back to bed.
He pretty much made it through the night, with one little fit at around 3am that he got himself through, but was up at 6:57am. Christmas started a bit earlier than Mommy & Daddy could have wished.
Last night, though, was a chore.
We put him down as usual (a touch late at ~8:30pm), went downstairs and watched TV. We heard him shuffle about for a while, and then at 11:40pm he just started wailing. I heard him say "no!" at the beginning of his fit, so I thought maybe he'd had another bad dream. Boy had he ever. He was trembling, nearly inconsolable, and we had to completely repeat the bedtime ritual, from diaper to story to bed.
A few minutes later he started again. This time he told Amanda that it was too dark in his room. We installed a nightlight, he said that was better, and we left.
5 minutes after that we learned that the light was too bright: it was in his eyes. So I moved his space-heater in front of it.
10 minutes later it was too dark and too bright. I told him he had nothing to be afraid of and offered to leave the door open. He thought that sounded marvelous, so we tried it.
3 minutes later he wanted the door closed, and it was still too dark/bright.
Finally, I went and told him that the light was appropriate, not in his eyes, and that he needed to lay back down and go to sleep. Now.
That was around 1:15am. We didn't hear anything else until ~7am.
So I have 3 theories, all of which will remain plausible until I hear from Amanda:
1. He's sick. On Sunday we went to Foley Christmas where he ran around like a lunatic with his 5-year-old cousin Catherine. There were about 15 people in the house, any of whom might have been ill. Then on Monday morning, he threw up half of his breakfast. Then his right eye started watering profusely, as often happens when he's sick. Oh yeah, and he's been coughing a bit.
2. Christmas rush. This can be such an exciting sensory time of the year. I used to have nightmares a lot during the Christmas season, so it's possible he's having nightmares / night-terrors.
3. Sugar-high. We ate dinner with my in-laws, and pie was served around 7:30pm. He ate a fair amount of pie, then sucked down a cup of juice right before we left at 8:pm.
Oh, and Christmas? It was wonderful, thanks for asking! We each got lots of neat little goodies, including a new camera that saw lots of duty yesterday. My mom brought Alastair a stuffed horse that he can actually "ride" (it doesn't move, but will support the weight of an adult). He loves it. His maternal grandparents got him a trash truck (one of his favorite work-trucks), a leather bomber-jacket, and myriad toys & clothes. He collected almost half of the cast of Cars (Mater, Lightning McQueen, a cow-tractor, Lizzie, and Sheriff), rocked out in his bilibo, and made a fabulous mess of wrapping paper.
All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. But I hope this sleeping crap comes to an end pretty soon.