Recently a ghost from our past has returned the house. I’m talking about “BAD DREAMS.” For at least a year, we’ve been able to sleep pretty well since both the boys would go down to bed and not wake up till morning. But those days are gone. Recently, at around 2-4 am, I’ve heard J’s semi stuck door, do a 1pull-2 pull and threeee to open, followed by racing foot steps scampering on the rug till our bedroom door bolts open and I hear, ” Mama, I had a bad dream!!” I had forgotten about “bad dream” nights. We dealt with it with Ry, but that seemed like so long ago. And now “IT”S BAACK!!!”
I think we are still in denial about it, so we let him come into bed for a few mintues and then put him back in bed till the next door pull, 1-2-3, scamper, “MAMA.” We’ve tried talking about the dream. We’ve used magic to erase the bad dreams, or if I’m very tired, perhaps I’ll call upon a pretend vacuum cleaner, or if I’m more refreshed, perhaps I’ll try a rhyme. “Bad dream go away and leave J alone today,” ( sang to the tune of rain, rain, go away.) Once a night, I can handle, but when there are multiple dreams, that can destroy your sleep and the next day.
It is my understanding that part of this has to do with his emerging sense of independence. It appears the more independent he feels, the more he becomes aware of how his independence can leave him vulnerable to new hurts. So it stirs up the mix of wanting independence, but still needing to be dependent on good old mom and dad. I think this is all preparation for what will later be called adolescence.