Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bad Dreams

A wise friend told me that sleep training never really ends. Just when things are going fantastically well in the sleep department, something happens. Like nightmares. Penny has a recurring bad dream that a baby giraffe is outside her window. She says it's a baby giraffe, not a mama, and he's cute and has spots and everything, but the thought of that giraffe peeking through her window is disturbing enough to her that she cries out a couple of times a week after going to bed. When I go in, she explains the whole thing to me, that it was a bad dream, that it was a baby giraffe, with spots, etc. And then she rolls over and goes back to sleep.

Another wise friend told me that when she was little, her mom used to tell her to think about happy things, so she wouldn't be troubled by the scary things. So I've been telling Penny to do just that:

Penny: AAaaaahhh! Mama! Mama!
Me: What's wrong?
Penny: I had bad dream. Baby giraffe out the window.
Me: It was just a dream. Think about happy things, ok?
Penny: Ok, I think happy things. Sigh.
Me: Goodnight, go to sleep.

I want a creative child, with a healthy imagination, but could the imagination maybe just take a break at night?

Another thing Penny detests is thunder, and with regular late-summer mid-afternoon thunderstorms rolling in, napping can be tricky sometimes. And how do you explain thunder in concrete terms to a two year old? I told her thunder comes from the clouds during a storm but that it's not scary. But sometimes I think thunder is scary too, so that pretty much makes me a liar.

Yet another thing is the ritualistic bed-time stalling, where suddenly Penny is extremely interested in picking up toys, anything to prevent bedtime. If only she would clean the house during the day! And sometimes I have to go in and put her blanket on her 5 times before she settles down. As I write this, she's supposed to be napping, but she keeps having blanket malfunctions. I finally had to tell her I wouldn't be coming back in to fix her blanket (after "fixing" it 4 times already). She likes to have her arms and her feet covered, but when she moves, she becomes uncovered. Apparently only I can solve her blanket dilemma. And WHY she has to be covered by her blanket in the heat of the summer is a mystery to me. But I need to stop deciphering toddler logic.

But here's whats funny/awesome/embarrassing depending on your point of view: It has never occurred to Penny to climb out of her crib. Sometimes I wonder if she should be in a toddler bed, since she's a toddler now and all. But other times I'm thrilled that she doesn't (or can't, or won't) climb out and has to stay put, even when she has a bad dream. Is that awful? I figure, the big girl bed will happen eventually. For now, she's not getting out of bed every time her blanket needs "fixing" and I'm fine with that.

I don't know what to do about that baby giraffe, though. I'm just grateful it's not a giant spider.


Sheree said...

Poor little dear.
I feel your pain. Jackson had a single bad dream about dragons last winter, and we're still not done hearing about it. Reminding him that the various robots and stuffed animals around his room are there to keep him safe and that I'm just down the hall helps. But now, he uses the "I'm scared" to stall whenever he doesn't want to get dressed or whatever. It's adorably infuriating.

Jeanette said...

A baby giraffe sounds so much better than the giant spiders that haunted me during my childhood dreams... :-)