Saturday, January 3, 2009


Ben has started to be able to describe his dreams.

It feels like a significant development, and I'm surprised that he's often able (willing?) to tell me more about his dreams than about what happens at school each day.

This morning he called me into his room to tell me this:

"Mommy, in the middle of my good dreams, I had a bad dream."

"What happened in your bad dream?" I asked.

"You went to a party and forgot me. I was yelling to you but you were driving away and you weren't listening to me."

I hug him and say, "That sounds like a really scary dream. I would never, ever forget you in real life."

We snuggle for a few minutes.

"Mommy, why weren't you listening to me?"

"It wasn't really me. It was just the mommy in the dream. I will never leave you like that in real life."

A few more minutes elapse.

"Why did you forget me?"

I struggle more to explain about dreams, about the fact that it didn't really happen, but I remember that bad dreams do feel as if they have happened.

It's interesting how emotions that arise from dreams are so real that they continue to resonate even after waking. This must be terribly disconcerting to him.

Then he says, "I need to tell Dora and Boots about my dream. I need to tell Kai Lan and all the Backyardigans. I need to go into the TV and talk to all my friends."

This is a frequent request these days - to go into the TV and play with friends from shows. For some reason, he also believes that a cookie sheet is involved in this endeavor.

The resulting conversation is always a frustrating one for him. He does not want to hear that it's not possible. After all, the commercials show real kids dancing with Dora and the Backyardigans. Why can't he?

I struggle to explain cartoons. He's insistent. He whines and rails against my rejection of his ideas. I feel awful.

Then after a few minutes, it all evaporates - like a dream - and he saunters happily out of bed.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see a post from you.

Talking about dreams does feel like an important milestone. Yay for Ben!

jaki said...

Even recognizing a dream as a dream is a milestone too. Good for you for talking it out with him...I loved "the dream mommy" comment! And I love the need for a cookie sheet...the imagination of small kids amazes me!!

Anonymous said...

Jen wanted her dad to come out of the tape recorder. She could hear his voice so why wasn't he listening to her when she said to come out of there. He was overseas at the time. We hurt for our kids and it feels awful when we can't fix things for them. Christa, you are an awesome mom!