First Bad Dreams
I haven’t had to worry too much about bad dreams yet so far. At one point, when Siena was an infant we thought maybe she had had a nightmare, because she woke up screaming and after we snuggled her for a little while, she fell right back asleep. But that was the only time we had suspected anything.
Now that she is getting a little more imaginative and descriptive in her vocabulary, we are finding that maybe she is having some bad dreams every now and then. But this is the first time we have ever confirmed that we have positively identified what has been going on.
It was late at night. I was exhausted and I crawled into bed in a fog. I was asleep almost instantly, which never happens. My body felt like I weighed about twice as much as I actually do and sunk into my mattress like an anchor penetrates the ocean floor.
At some point I woke up, thinking I had heard a voice. I rolled over to face the doorway and the empty room. Nothing was there. I must have dreamed it. Or maybe the cat had let out a ‘meow’ to let us know he was bored or hungry. I rolled back over and fell instantly asleep.
Then I heard the voice again. This time adrenaline started pumping through my blood. I had just barely checked and the room was empty. I rolled over halfway, terrified that I was going to find a person in my room, illuminated by the LED Night Lights scattered throughout the house.
Still no one.
I finished my rotation so that I was now facing the door and closed my eyes again.
The pulsing, shrieking music from Psycho started echoing in my brain. My eyes searched the darkness and I finally located the source of the voice.
My toddler daughter sat criss-cross applesauce on the floor, next to our cat and was stroking him calmly while watching us sleep!
Yep. I don’t think I’ve ever been that close to peeing my pants out of fear before. (And in case you are wondering, I have peed my pants for other reasons. Different stories for different times.)
After regaining my composure and my racing blood rate I got up and took Siena back to her room. I wanted to tell her that it’s not okay to get out of bed, but instead had the impression that I needed to ask her a question instead.
“Why did you get out of bed, Siena?” I asked her.
She sat in her bed and pointed at something that wasn’t there. “Nigh-nigh… Rawr!” Her hands made little claws.
She pointed again and said, “Rawr!”
“Did you have some bad dreams? Did something scare you?”
She made her little ‘Mm’ noise that we have learned means yes.
“Okay. It’s not there anymore, sweet heart. It’s not real.”
“Rawr!” She made the claw gesture again.
Then I suddenly had a thought, or prompting. “Do you want to say a prayer so Heavenly Father can protect you?”
And in one of my sweetest memories, we said a little prayer together that she wouldn’t have bad dreams anymore and that she would be able to get lots of sleep.
What a wonderful moment I got to have with my daughter at 3:00 in the morning. I’m so glad I didn’t just get mad and tell her to get back in bed. I would have never known that she had bad dreams. She would have still been scared and also felt like she couldn’t even talk to her parents about it.
It just took a quick thought when I took her to bed to ask her a question instead of telling her what I expected her to do. I’m so glad I listened to the little feeling I had.
This was so much better!
Once I did let my anger get the better of me when Siena kept getting out of bed. I felt much worse after that interaction.