Most of you remember me writing about how Shlomo dealt with Operation Defensive Shield. Suffice it to say that now he is dealing with the situation much differently. Probably because of a combination of his age and the number of sirens. In Defensive Shield, he was younger and we only had two or three sirens. And still, if we forgot to warn him before a drill, he would sometimes get scared.
This time is different. Much different, much worse. And I can’t say I blame him.
Shlomo has woken up from nightmares almost every night this past week. He’s not sleeping well; he can’t sleep well. A few nights ago he woke up crying that the “shoshanim” (the lights in his room) hurt him. It’s a story for another post, but suffice it to say that I was extremely happy, because at least it was his normal three-year-old fear, and not another woo-woo (air-raid siren) dream. Every other nightmare he’s had has been about woo-woos. He wakes up crying, sleeptalking about woo-woos.
He sleeps with us. Either he comes to us in the middle of the night, or he insists on going to sleep in our room, or he wakes up in the middle of the night and won’t go back to sleep unless he’s with us. We let it be. Yitzchak feels better having Shlomo beside him, even though if you count the seconds, it takes about the same amount of time to pull Shlomo out of his spot by the wall as it takes to pick him up out of his own bed.
During the day, Shlomo goes back and forth between asking for another woo-woo and saying that he doesn’t want one because he’s scared. He tells me what he does when there is a woo-woo in gan and what we will do if there is a woo-woo at home. He told me that Friday’s woo-woo didn’t have a boom (the ones in the Iron Dome videos that we show him when he asks for a woo-woo do have booms, obviously, but if you’re in a shelter you don’t usually hear a boom).
Shlomo was sick these past few days. I think a big part of it – and why it wasn’t just a 24 hour bug – is because he’s not sleeping well. Which, obviously, is because of the sirens.
He doesn’t want Yitzchak to leave the house without him. We live on the fourth floor, and the shelter is all the way at the entrance level. Shlomo could walk down, true, but it would take two minutes and we only have one. Thank G-d he’s a pretty big kid (height and weight both) and I just can’t pick him up anymore. When we had an earthquake a few months ago I did, but I regretted it for a few days afterwards and just can’t chance having to run the day after hurting my back. Obviously, if I had to, I would pick Shlomo up and run, but we are doing everything possible to avoid me having to do that. So, Yitzchak carries Shlomo down to the shelter. And because of that, Shlomo is clinging to Yitzchak. And when I say clinging, I mean clinging – like you’ve never seen a three-year-old do.
I miss the days of Shlomo refusing to go to sleep because he was scared that the “shoshanim” would hurt him. Yes, it was annoying. But at least it’s a normal three-year-old irrational fear. When I go to the bathroom, Shlomo also points out that I don’t fall in the toilet, neither does Yitzchak, and neither does he. He insists on falling asleep with light. And it looks like the “shoshanim” fear is instead of the fear of the drain – probably because Shlomo likes to plunge the shower drain and therefore isn’t scared of it. But all in all, annoying as the “shoshanim” fear is (and sometimes it’s just an excuse to stay up), it’s normal.
Nightmares are not.
And nightmares about woo-woos (AKA air raid sirens) are certainly not.
It makes me mad that my kid is waking up from nightmares every night because of a stupid, inhumane, terrorist group that kills its own children, tries to kill ours, and then blames us for everything. It makes me mad that because of terrorists – who are murderers, by the way – my kid can’t sleep.
Hamas, and terrorists everywhere, I have a message for you:
אשרי שישלם לך את גמולך שגמלת לנו. אשרי שיאחז וניפץ את עולליך על הסלע.
This post was written on July 20, while we were waiting for the daily siren, which had not yet come. Thank G-d, it didn’t come, and hasn’t come – the two in a row on July 19 were the last two so far (watch me jinx myself by writing this . . .). However, Shlomo is still getting over the trauma, little by little. It’s going to be a long process, I think. And Yitzchak and I still jump at unexpected loud noises, especially engines starting up and ambulance sirens.