Seven Quick Takes: Sleepwalking Edition

Last night Carl sat bolt upright with a gasp, threw back the blanket, and frantically patted the sheets.

“What’s wrong?”

“We….we lost Rick Santorum’s baby somewhere in the bed.”

“No we didn’t.”

“Oh. She’s not here?” And back to sleep he went. That’s what one gets for reading political news before bed.


Neither of us realized until marriage that we’re both prone to sleepwalking (and talking). Shortly after our wedding I screamed, vaulted out of bed, ran across the room, then snuggled contentedly back under the covers. I’m not sure wide-eyed Carl drifted off quite so easily.


A few weeks after we moved here, I woke to Carl staring into the darkness.


He scanned the floor with alarm and deep suspicion: “There’s a puppy in our room.”


This January I blinked my eyes open in that groggy borderland between sleep and waking to see a small dark shape moving around at the head of the bed. A possum? In our bed? How did it get in? It might bite Carl! I’d just hauled my arm back to punch it as hard as I could when I realized it was Carl. His head, to be exact.

That’s not the first time a sudden awakening aroused fight-or-flight instincts. My punches usually get tangled in the covers. For us, a king-sized bed is not so much a luxury as a defensive mechanism.


The blackout shades made our apartment bedroom very dark, but I could just make out my husband moving from window to window.

“What are you doing?”

“I was making sure….I just….” Foggy confusion blurred his voice. He turned to the bed, took my hand, and carefully inspected my fingers. “….I guess if your nails are fine it’s okay.” 

Neither of us ever figured out what that one was about.


This gives me much more sympathy for the way my mother always gasped and clutched her heart when I had bad dreams, scurried past the lurking wolves in the hall, and hissed “MOM!” into her peacefully sleeping face.


There’s no family record that either of us sleepwalked in childhood. Either we didn’t, or everyone else slept through it. Any nighttime oddballs in your household?

Image source here. You can view other writers’ Friday quick takes over at Betty’s site.


One thought on “Seven Quick Takes: Sleepwalking Edition

  1. Pingback: Dream Babies | Yellow Pencil Stub

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