Friday, April 08, 2005

Bad Mother Dream

In response to my friend Andi, who recently blogged about a terrible and real-seeming dream, I want to share a dream I had this week.

Due to my chronic inability to go to bed at a reasonable time and Ellie's natural ability to rise with the sun, I got something like 3-1/2 hours of sleep the other night and was exhausted the next morning. After I'd been up with Ellie for a couple of hours, I was so tired that I could hardly see straight. She still takes a morning nap most days, so I sat her in her crib with a few toys and books and lay down on my bed.

I told myself that I'd just rest my eyes for a few moments and I'd get Ellie right away if she started crying. I occupied my brain thinking about all the things we could do to pass the day today: when this nap fails, I'll change Ellie's diaper, pack a snack, and head out. We'll drop by Michael's on the way to the church, then after Bible study we'll stop off at the grocery. I hope the list is still in my pocket. It is. Good. Then we'll go home, I'll nurse Ellie, we'll have lunch . . .

10 minutes later, I jolted awake in a panic to silence. Ellie had stopped playing and at some level I noticed. I ran to her room and saw her peacefully asleep. Nirvana! I collapsed on my bed.

I dreamed that I woke up and decided to get a start on my chore list. Ellie was still sleeping peacefully – I checked! – and I decided to try a new grocery store in south county, and to take a bus to get there – how environmentally friendly! While I was shopping – and I really was picking out things from the grocery list in my pocket – I suddenly realized that I'd left Ellie at home asleep in her crib.

I checked my watch. It had been over an hour since I left home! She was sure to be awake by now! And hungry/thirsty/angry/confused at being left in her crib while she screamed. But I was trapped in south county! I had to wait for the bus to take me back home! Misery.

I woke up before Ellie did and didn't try to go back to sleep. That sort of nap is in no way restful. I've got to start getting to bed earlier!

Yeah, right. The next day I had another disturbing and hyper-realistic dream. I dreamt that Ellie learned to crawl and walk in the same day! Now, Ellie is mobile and has been for a long time. But she doesn't really crawl like most kids. She does this very unusual crawl/scoot maneuver that I've never seen another kid do. She wants to walk and loves practicing, but her legs just aren't quite strong enough to hold her yet without some support. In my dream, we were out somewhere fun with lots of other little kids, and she was suddenly able to crawl through the tubes and then a little later, to walk around with the other toddlers. I was so afraid that I was dreaming that I checked myself and asked my friends and was ecstatic to learn that it had really happened. It hadn't, and eventually I woke up.

I think Ellie's making great progress and am thrilled with how well she's doing. Still, it was a little disappointing to wake up and expect Ellie to be able to walk. For about an hour I was confused and trying to remember what was real and what was the dream.


none said...

Yup, I had dreams like that too about my child and don´t know what to make of it...

I heard this from other parents in similar situations too.

mypetrock said...

When we first had Oliver I would think that I had gone to sleep with him on my chest or at my side, wake up, realize that he wasn't there, and bolt from a sleeping position to a standing position, heart throbbing audibly, before realizing that Oliver was in fact sleeping peacefully next to my wife or was in another room of the house entirely. Four times a day.