Are you a dreamer? I don't mean in terms of tropical island getaways or a world where Kardashians don't exist, I mean literally. Do you dream a lot when you sleep?
I know some people who say they rarely dream, and when they do they don't remember much about it. I dream vividly and to the point of excessive exasperation and exhaustion. Seriously, some mornings I wake up with my head busting with the four hours I've just spent trying to remember my high school locker combination on the closet located in my old room at the Pi Phi house where the girls, who are currently in college, look at me like I shouldn't be walking into their room (which used to be my room). Well, except for Carrie Underwood. She's nice.
I'm pretty good at analyzing my dreams and the dreams of others, too. For instance, one recurring dream I have (other than the one above which obviously means that I didn't fulfill what I wanted to in high school and felt inadequate in my sorority. And that Carrie Underwood obviously wishes she was my friend) is that I go back to work at the elementary school where I taught (from 1991-1995) and my mailbox is just stuffed with mail. Like really crammed in there, as mail that has been piling up for the past 17 and a half years would be. Anyway, the secretary is the same woman (and magically, the past 17 and a half years haven't aged her a bit. Bitch) but sadly, I find out the principal is dead. I spend pretty much the whole night in a panic because I don't know what the hell I'm gonna teach and can't remember where I put all my teaching files. Thankfully, the other teachers (who also have remained ageless right down to the denim skirts and whimsical teacher sweaters they're wearing) welcome me back and give me lesson plans, but it doesn't really matter because the school has become a gigantic maze and no matter how hard I try, I can't find my way back to my old classroom.
Anyone wanna take a crack at that one?
Nah, I know it doesn't take a Freud or a Jung to tell me that the teacher part of me was left unfulfilled and without closure all those years ago (and that denim skirts and teacher sweaters will never go out of style), I just wish I could've said goodbye to that nice old principal.
But however many convoluted and bizarre dreams I may have in a given week, nobody dreams more vividly and in higher definition than my little Thing 2. And she has done so since practically birth. Sure, the poor thing did have quite the traumatic entrance into the world (which is an entirely different story for another time), but my god that child takes a wild ride - unbuckled - on Space Mountain while fighting rabid raccoons with moves that would make Mr. Miyagi proud every. single. night.
Let me break down an average night in her bed for you -
9:00 p.m. - tuck in. Arrange no less than 4 covers (1 fleece blanket, 1 flannel sheet, 1 blanket and 1 puffy duvet) over her.
9:30 p.m. - She comes downstairs telling us (with a sad, tragic face) that she can't sleep. We give her a hug and tell her to get her ass back in bed.
9:45 p.m. - Ditto, but this time, no hug. We're not enabling that shit.
*I realize that has nothing to do with her dreams, but I just needed to set the stage and be accurate in my timeline.
10:30 p.m. - Check on her before going to bed. See she has miraculously fallen asleep. Covers 1 and 2 already on floor. With pillow. Contemplate replacing covers, remember who I'm dealing with, walk away.
11:45 p.m. - The dreams begin.
What you need to know about Thing 2 is that she dreams out loud. And by that I mean that she twitches, thrashes, shouts out, chirps, yelps, kicks and flops all night long.
After 11+ years, you grow pretty immune to it, especially when her room is a good 25' from yours. Unless you are sharing a hotel room with her.
Or until she has a nightmare.
4:00 a.m. - Nightmare #1
About two nights a week I'm awakened by a sudden blood curdling scream that sends me shooting out of bed and stumbling into door frames while black spots dance in my eyes and shouting "SHIT!" as I step on Littlest Pets and forgotten barrettes. I rush to her bed, where she's laying completely free of the 4 layers of blankets, legs twisted, head usually hanging off the side of her bed, screaming, "MOMMY! MOMMY!". I grab her and hug her and whisper, "It's just a dream, baby....just a dream" while the lump on my head from the doorframe swells and she clutches me, shaking, for about eight seconds before she instantly drops back to sleep leaving me to blindly navigate my way back to my own bed without further injury.
No lie - this happens two, sometimes three nights a week.
You might be thinking, that poor little girl must have some crazy shit she's repressing or trying to make sense of in her head or wow, terrible things must happen to that child in her waking life.
6:00 a.m. - Nightmare #2
See above, but replace that "S" word with a much more inappropriate one. Whatever. She's like mostly asleep.
7:00 a.m. - Scene: breakfast.
Me: You had some pretty awful sounding nightmares last night, sweetie. Wanna tell me about it?
T2: They were so scary! They were horrible!
Me: What was going on? You seemed pretty scared.
T2: I dreamed you made me switch back to my old room and you were gonna paint it this ugly shade of orange!!!!
Me: crickets....crickets....*holding spatula over pancakes while I stare at her in disbelief*....Wait. What??
T2: And then the other one was that the principal put all the art supplies in my locker so I had to use a cat carrier to hold all my locker stuff!!!
Me: Um....ARE YOU &#@%* KIDDING ME? That's what made you give the bloodcurdling scream that is the direct cause of this bruise on my forehead and the reason I'm limping??
T2: laughing and eating pancakes happily....Yeah! It was horrible!
Which is when I usually use a few words she shouldn't hear while fully awake.
Another one of my "favorites" (quotations used because I'm being ironic) is the one where she was screaming so loud in the middle of the night I was sure she must have been getting chased by monsters or held trapped underwater only to find out she was dreaming that the cafeteria was out of the bagels she likes at lunch. Sigh.
And just so you don't think I am, in fact, an enabler, she does actually have a genuine nightmare about being lost or catching on fire or man-eating bats just often enough to make me keep running in there.
She just doesn't really understand why I smile so big when she tells me about those ones at breakfast.
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