I remember the first time I realized that Avery had started dreaming. One morning I was standing in the kitchen making breakfast when Avery toddled out from bed, her tiny little 3 year-old body hunched over from an obvious fretful night of sleep.
“What’s up little lady?” I asked.
“Where’s all my bayoons?” Avery asked,looking around thekitchen.
“What balloons, sweetie?” Iasked. She looked very serious and slightly troubled.
“I had wots of dem. Wots and wots. Dey was allover da place. Where dey go?”Avery asked.
Ahh.She had a dream, apparently having taken place at Chuck E. Cheese given theplethora of latex to which she was referring. Luckily, Avery has always been easily distracted so I was able to talk her down from her balloon dream with the promise of Cocoa Pebbles for breakfast. (It works for Jer, too.)
Dreams can be so vivid and real. Which, in the case of flying unicorns, candy-coated rainbows anda room full of balloonsis a really good thing. But applying that realism and vividness to a not-so-fairy tale dream can be a little disappointing and sometimes even disturbing.
Now, obviously, in my 33 years I have had my share of dreams but there are two that stand out very clearly in my mind. I once dreamt that I had stuffed a bunch of chewing gum into my coat pockets. It was so real I could even smell the mingling bouquet of Wrigley. Imagine my disappointment when I woke up the next morning, with an urgent hankering for Juicy Fruit, only to discover that the only thing filling my coat pockets was one lint-covered Mento and a bunch of ATM receipts. A real bummer. (I feel compelled to add that I did eat the Mento. Not one of my better moments.)
The second dream which stands foremost in my mind is one which plagued a very uncomfortable pregnant night’s sleep. In my dream I was at the hospital in labor, actively attempting to push my baby out. Everyone was so encouraging. Jeremy was standing right beside me, holding my hand, whispering positive affirmations in my ear. I was so happy because the joyous moment I had been working towards was finally coming to fruition. The nurse informed me that I would probably deliver my baby with the next push and I remember bearing down with all my might. The doctor reached down, smiling at the sudden appearance of my newlittle bundle.She wrapped her in a receiving blanket and set the tiny package into my arms. Witnessing everyone’s smiling faces around me I looked down to finally see my beautiful baby….kitten.
I had given birth to a kitten. A kitten baby. With a furry head. A furry little kitten baby head.
And not a single person in that delivery room found this fact the least bit strange. I was the only one who thought that things had gone a little awry. And, thankfully, I woke up from that dream with such relief that my big ol’ baby belly was still in tact and not a mewling kitten in sight.
Thank God.No new mother dreams of cuddling up with herbouncing baby kitten. Unless you’re a cat.
Yes, dreams can be extremely vivid.
But the dreams of a child are a horse of a completely different color.
On our way to the dentist this afternoon the kids and I were talking about dreams. Jack piped in to inform me of his most recent nighttime woolgathering.
“Mom, I has a dream wast night,” he said.
“Oh, you did? What was that buddy?”
“I has a hand dat comes out my tummy and grabs a bunch of fings in my room,” he explains.
“Um, a hand was coming out of your stomach?” I ask.
“Yeah. And it was grabbing stuff.” He smiles at me, proud of his bionic appendage.
“I had a dream one time, too,” Avery said. “And it made me kind of sad,” she said.
“Sometimes dreams can be sad, Ave. What was it?” I asked.
“I had a dream that daddy got attacked by those little blue guys on T.V.” she answered.
“Little blue guys on TV? You mean Smurfs?” I said.
“Yeah, those little Smurfs. Except these were medium-sized ones,” she explained.
“Ahh,” I said. “Avery, I’m pretty sure your daddy could hold his own in a throwdown with a Smurf. You have nothing to worry about.”
And then Jack has to add, “Hey…I fink my tummy hand could grab dose medium Smurf guys. I sure wish I had a tummy hand.”
P.S. I’m fully aware that it’s a little disturbing my children are dreaming of medium-sized blue mushroom dwellers with a vicious streak and a protruding stomach hand with a mind of its own. Too much TV? Perhaps. Bad parenting? It’s a possibility. High on the creep-factor? You betcha.