Every time, I mean every time, I let Elise out from her room in the morning or after nap she says, “I am sad. I had bad dream.”
First of all, HURRAY! for her actually talking now and not just pointing and grunting like a two-year-old cave-toddler. She was barely putting together two word phrases six months ago when she started speech therapy, and now she is talking all the time. I swear all her teachers did was play toys with her and a few puzzles, but they were able to get her talking and since she started she hasn’t stopped.
I don’t remember exactly when it started, two or three months ago maybe, but it was consistent for quite some time. She would wake up at 11 pm and cry. Not a “I woke up and think I should get out of bed but it is still night and I am bored so I could use some attention cry“, it was a sudden and fearful cry. Both Tim and I would go into her room and check on her. It usually took some rocking and singing to get her back to sleep. It always took a lot of back rubbing, but she would always go back to sleep after we comforted her. It broke my heart when she said that she had bad dreams. She would rush into my arms and hold me tight and say “It was scary” over and over. There is nothing I can or could do to make the bad dreams go away so I would just hold her until she was ready to be let go or until she went back to sleep.
I am sure the 11pm cries were bad dreams. But the 11pm cries haves stopped and she is sleeping through the night again. Now I am beginning to suspect that she is practising her fibbing and story telling skills. When I let her out of the room she is happy and excited when I open the door and she exclaims “ITS WAKE UP TIME!” and then the minute I take the baby gate down from the door frame her smile turns to a pouty frown and she says “I had bad dream. It was scary.” She then pulls on my leg until I pick her up and let her snuggle into me. Tricky tricky girl.
Recently, I have started to ask her what her dreams are about and here are some of the more common answers (again: this happens every time I let her out of her room)
Me: What was your bad dream about?
Her: There were monsters.
Me: Really. What kind of monsters?
Her: Scary monsters.
Me: What did they look like?
Her: They were happy. They had happy face.
Me: Really? There were happy monsters in your bad dream? What did they do?
Her. They ride on horse and they and they and they were (she opens her eyes really big and smiles) and they were PRINCESS MONSTERS!
Here is another frequent “bad dream”
Me: Who was in your bad dream?
Her: (looks around the room and sees her quilt with horses) Horses. Scary horses.
Me: Oh yeah? What did they do?
Her: Horses like to smell flowers.
Me: The scary horses smelled the flowers in your dream?
Her: (Big eyes and smiles) YES! THEY LIKE THE PINK FLOWERS! So yeah… I think we made it through the nightmare phase will little to no permanent scaring. One less thing for her to complain to her therapist about when she is twenty.