Last night I put the kids to bed at their usual hour. About 2 hours later, my 7-year-old son came wandering out to the living room and sat down next to me on the sofa. He appeared to be watching TV, but when I asked him questions, he didn’t respond. I also noticed he wouldn’t look at me when I spoke to him. Normally he doesn’t say much when questioned, but this was a bit extreme, even for him.
I turned off the TV and stood right in front of him. I asked him several times, “Are you awake?”. No response. “Are you ok?”. No response. “It’s time to go back to bed. Come on, Let’s go!” I said as I started walking toward his bedroom. Then I realized he wasn’t following me. I went back to the sofa and he seemed to be staring into space like he was watching a movie. His eyes were moving, but the television was off. What was he looking at? Then I realized the movie was in his brain. Clearly he was sleepwalking, or in this case sleep-sitting.
Usually sleepwalkers are ‘highly suggestible”, and by telling them what to do, they will follow. I guess tonight this was not the case. I stood right in front of him (his eyes would not meet mine) and kept repeating my questions, “Are you awake?” and followed-up with, “Time for bed, Let’s go!”. Finally after numerous iterations, he gave me one of his funny looks (making me wonder again if he was awake). Then he got up and headed back to his room where he still never said a word, but fortunately he did climb back into bed.
Today I asked my son about getting up the night before, he just said, “What?”, because he had no recollection of getting up. It wasn’t the first time I had seen him sleepwalking, but for some reason he acted a little different from last time. He is unpredictable, but then again, so are dreams, which is probably what he thought he was experiencing during this late-night jaunt. Today I read that sleep-walkers may ‘walk’ for 30 seconds or up to 30 minutes. I was glad he didn’t sit there for 30 minutes, that is a long time! Maybe this is some strange sort of revenge for all the times as a child I wandered into the living room startling my parents at the same odd evening hour. What goes around, comes around.