WHY DO I HAVE BAD DREAMS?
AND OTHER QUESTIONS FROM THE 3 YEAR OLD
I don't have answers to a lot of life's questions, and I certainly don't have any answers at 2AM.
Young Ella got me up early over the weekend... coming in our room late at night/early in the morning upset over a bad dream. It appears this is a fairly new phenomenon, recalling the dreams.
Here's the conversation as I remember it:
DAD: Ella, what's wrong?
ELLA: I had a bad dream.
DAD: Oh no.
ELLA: A wizard was chasing me. And Barney. And Nana (wife's mother).
DAD: (what the heck is going on in this kid's head? A wizard... and Barney?) Okay. I'll take you back to bed. It's okay now. Everything is okay now.
ELLA: That was really scary. He was chasing me and chasing me.
ELLA: The wizard.
DAD: What wizard?
ELLA: In my dream.
DAD: I know. I mean, where do you remember seeing a wizard (dreams often seem to be grounded in reality)?
ELLA: In my bad dream.
DAD: Right. (Okay... she doesn't get that) You know that dreams aren't real, right?
ELLA: It is real. He was chasing me.
DAD: Right... no... I mean. He wasn't really chasing you.
ELLA: He was... in my dream, and I was running and running.
DAD: What I mean is... when you woke up, there wasn't a wizard. It was like a story in your brain.
ELLA: Yeah. Why do I have bad dreams?
DAD: (Why couldn't your mother who has a degree in psychology have gotten this question?) Well, it's like when you watch a movie. When something scary happens, you know, we say... it's just a movie. So when you wake up from your dream, everything is okay. It's just a dream.
ELLA: Yeah. It's scary.
DAD: Okay... go to bed now.
Ella came in at 1:00 this morning to inform me that she had a good dream.
I failed to recall any dreams from the past several years for failure to ever enter REM sleep.