Verona has always been a fabulous sleeper, epic even. She was the baby that parents pray for… until last week.
Last week almost every night, sometime around 11 or midnight, she would wake up in a crazy rage. She would flail this way and that, arch her back and claw at anyone who tried to pick her up, all while letting out this deep terrifying scream from deep in her gut the likes of which I have only heard in horror movies. We would change her diaper… she would scream harder; we would try and give her a pacifier or bottle… she would swat it out of our hands; we would try to walk her around and rock her… she would throw herself this way and that clawing at us and herself. Finally, with no way to make her happy but unable to stomach abandoning her in this state I would lay down in our bed with her and let her freak out while I slowly lost my mind from the stress of her wailing… sometimes for hours and hours on end.
It should be known that when I get tired I get crazy, all my logical thought processes and basic reasoning skills vanish leaving me with nothing but primal, superstitious, crazy. So after several days of this I could almost taste the sleep deprivation and after hours of watching her throw herself all across the bed wailing like a banshee my thought process went something like this. “If I was a superstitious person I would think she was possessed by a demon…. Oh no, maybe she is possessed by a demon!… What should I do? I don’t know any priests!” Armed with the hope that the fact that I am an ordained minister (I got ordained online in college when I was drunk) would give me some special God powers I decided to check for myself. The difference between what was going on in my extravagant head and what was going on in my very sleep deprived and stressed reality looked a little something like this.
I took Verona in my arms, placed my hand dramatically on her chest and recited the Lord’s prayer in the most authoritative voice I had in me. As soon as I started she let out an unearthly scream, tore at her tiny pink pajamas, clawed at everything around her, and writhed back and forth as if in excruciating pain. “Oh. My. God.” I thought. “The word of the Lord hurts it! She totally IS possessed! WTF!” but that thought was counteracted by a tiny voice of reason in my sleepy sleepy brain saying “Um… you should double check that before you go running out to David telling him that Beelzebub is in your child.” So I held her, put my hand on her chest again, but this time instead of the Lord’s prayer I rattled off a handful of quotes from the movie Highlander. She writhed and screamed and clawed just as before… it wasn’t the word of the Lord that hurt her, she was just pissed off that I was holding her. Go figure.
Anyway, the next day when I was less tired and frayed I realized how stupid that all was (and had a strange desire to watch Highlander) and made an appointment with the pediatrician who said that Verona is just having night terrors. Night terrors… not good, but totally better than demonic possession.
I don’t have to find a priest after all.