Seems just when you work through teething, new big boy beds, and Pull-Ups, you've got another rite of passage before becoming a member of the Dubious Toddler Club. Nightmares.
Or Frightmares as I'm calling them in this case. Poor little Grayson can't catch a break lately. About twenty minutes after we tuck him into his bed (sleeping bag) at night, he sits up with eyes wide open and cries out mournfully until my brain registers what's going on.
The first time it happened, I thought it was an isolated incident. He cried out to his general public, then a more specific order: "Mommy, play!" My hair completely stood on end. Not sure why but those two words together at that time of night was more unsettling than if he had yelled, "Ahhhhh, German Shepherds!" By the time I reached him, (maybe 30 seconds later) he was a sweaty wavy little mess. I scooped him up into my arms and rocked us both until I felt his muscles unwind and heartbeat become less enthusiastic. He asked me something but I couldn't decipher the message. All real words but in some kind of foreign order that sounded like he had taken an interest in Latin or Portuguese. His eyes flashed open so I assumed he was wide awake. Not the case. Though his eyes were looking directly at mine, he was looking through me. Shiver. Kind of horror movie-ish to have your little boy speak crazy while not really seeing you at all.
Then it happened again the next night. And the next. Then the next.
Pretty much without fail, Grayson hops up yelling incoherently until I hold him in my arms. But it's not always the stuff of horror. Two nights ago he wakes up suddenly to ask me what we are building. I tell him we are building a new house and thankfully that is an acceptable response for him to lay back down and continue his dream without discussing the "snow pond" or "outside tree" into confused oblivion.
Last night was the best one yet. Again, about twenty minutes after drift-off we hear him crying that sorrowful plea for Mommy to be there NOW. I curl my body around his shaky frame until he grows still and quiet. A few seconds later he takes my face with his small hands and peers (totally asleep, SO weird.) right into my eyes. "Mommy? Will you make a bridge?"
Hmmm. This is new. Kind of metaphorical. Let's roll.
"Yes, baby. I'm making one right now. Everything's all right. I'm working on it as we speak. Don't worry."
"You're making a bridge now, Mommy?"
(not sure if I overdid it with the urgency of construction) "Yes, Grayson. Mommy is on it. Building it right this second. Consider it done."
"You're a good mommy, Mommy."
And then I died a million tiny lovely deaths inside while I kissed his sweet speck of nose over and over again until I couldn't see him through my watery eyes anymore.
I will make that bridge. I will make that bridge out of Q-tips and mascara if I have to but it will be made if it means helping him through this awful Frightmare phase that is robbing him of the sleep he has rightfully earned. Little kids shouldn't have it so rough. Their dreams, especially their innocent dreams, should be untouchable havens of puppies, gummy worms, and park slides. I will make that bridge to make it so for him if it kills me. Or I run out of mascara. Whichever happens first.