We’ve had several discussions with Ali about dreams recently. Because if you want to get some random thoughts from a kid, there’s no better way to do it than to ask about their dreams. And it’s never too early to start, right?
A couple of weeks ago, right after she woke up from a nap, I decided to try for the first time. I randomly asked her what she had dreamed about (having no idea if she even knew what the word “dream” meant). She quickly responded with a smile, “Pop!!”. I said, “What about Pop?” She said, “Pop CANDY!!!” (in a very excitedly-greedy little voice). I told my dad this, and he said he’d never given her candy.
But – whenever a grandbaby dreams about their grandparent, you KNOW they’ll make it come true. Sure enough, next time we saw Pop, he had a little purple purse for her with candy inside. (Which, by the way, Lindsay was really sad that Dad wasn’t at lunch on Sunday after she found out that he had bought a purse for Ali. She was really hoping to even the score on sassing and tease him relentlessly about going purse shopping.)
Back to dreams. The first two nights of this week, Ali woke up screaming right after falling asleep. We went in there, picked her up, took her into a lit room, held her, talked to her, sang to her – none of it helped. After a few minutes, she would calm down, but this is very unusual for her – she is completely out of the I.S.B.P. (inconsolably screaming baby phase).
Anyway, on night two of these “episodes”, after using my Doctor-House-like mad skills in differential diagnosis, I finally decided that she must be having nightmares and is still scared because she doesn’t know that they aren’t real, even after we come get her.
So Chris had a talk with her and explained that when we fall asleep, we have dreams, which are kind of like “Sleepy TV”. She nodded and said, “OK, Daddy.” Of course we didn’t know how well she understood the concept, but although she has whimpered a little, she has not actually cried at night again. Last night, when we told her it was time for night-night, nodded knowingly and resolutely and said, “OK. Dreams. Sleepy TV.”
Yesterday morning, I asked her what she dreamed about again. Her eyes lit up and she said, “Papa!!!” (Chris’ Dad). I said “what about Papa?”
“What else did you dream about?”
“What about David?”
So, as far as I can tell, I’m supposing that she’s waking up screaming because somebody took her dream candy away.