Friday, April 29, 2011

The stuff of nightmares

They say that the things that show up in our dreams are manifestations of our greatest worries, right? It seems to be true with E. When she cries out in her dream, it usually is to call out a friend's name with whom she had a disagreement earlier in the day. That kid didn't share, or E didn't want to color -- she wanted to hopscotch instead, or the other kid called E something awful like poopoo-head. E's nightmares are punctuated with don't say that to me! or I want a turn! and I feel comforted that her traumas are only these normal childhood sleights.

L's nightmares are more transparent in their interpretation. This week was Book Fair at school and she had her eye on a set of firefighter books in a little fire truck case. On the morning she noticed them, she begged me to buy them. I NEVER do book fair at the beginning of the day because I try not to be late to work. So I promised her that if she was good in school that day, we'd buy them at the end of the day.

The end of the day came and before L saw me, her teacher pulled me aside with a little story:
"L had really bad dreams at nap today. She was crying and thrashing. She was yelling so loudly she woke a few other kids. I had to take her out in the hall to calm her down. I was afraid she was going to wake the whole class."
"Eek. What was she yelling?"
"She kept yelling, over and over: Mama won't buy the firetruck books!"
And that's not the scariest. Lest you find yourself nodding solemnly to yourself, thinking that L does indeed carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, let me tell you what she screamed from her bad dreams on Wednesday night:

on that night, she woke the whole house yelling about ketchup. Pin It