October 6, 2017- After bedtime

*We’ve been reading Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. We’re just getting to the part (spoiler alert) where Dumbledore and Harry are in the cave, about to get the Horcrux. I’m a bit concerned reading this part before Isobel goes to sleep. I stop right before Harry puts the goblet in the water.*

“We’ll finish this part tomorrow, I told you, these books get scarier now. We can read it in the afternoon, we’ll do some Eloise or something else before bed, okay?”
“I think I’m going to have bad dreams anyway!”
“I hope not. Let’s do our good dreams on the monitor.”

*I hug her and stroke her nose a few times, like I’ve done since she was an infant, then go grab the monitor.*

“Want me to go first?”
“Yes!”
“Okay, um, it’s a three day weekend! So, no school on Monday!”
“Ooh! Really?”
“Yep. Your turn.”
“I’m too tired, you just do the good dreams.”
“All right. Let’s see. We got to see Grandma for dinner, that was nice.”
“Yes… …”
“And maybe we’ll go to the beach on Monday, it’s supposed to be good weather.”
“The beach! We can go to the beach, instead of school! I can play in the sand?”
“Sure, baby, it’ll be fun. So, dream about that, okay?”
“Mommy, I think we just came up with the medicine for bad dreams.”
“I sure hope so.”

P.S. She had GOOD DREAMS last night! Not one nightmare. The medicine works!

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February 10, 2017 (first thing in the morning)

*Last night, past her bedtime, Isobel was beside herself- crying and upset over the possibility that she might have a bad dream. She just couldn’t settle herself and it was getting later and later. I tried to assure her that there was no reason to get upset; that if she had a bad dream she could handle it, that there was no real way to control what dreams you have, and then I gave her some suggestions of things to think about in case she did have a bad dream, so she would have something happy to put in her mind. But she was overtired, and there was no reasoning with her. When I had finally calmed her down and left her room, she fell asleep instantly.

First thing this morning, our alarms go off, Is bounces out of her room; on her way to the bathroom, she calls in to me…*

“Mommy, it was totally not worth crying and all last night. I slept and didn’t have any bad dreams!”

“Told you so.”

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September 17, 2014

*3:43 AM, Is is screaming in her sleep – she’s having a nightmare*

“Is, Is, I’m here, you’re okay…”
“Mom! I want to rock in the rockin’ chair…”
“Okay, come on… let’s rock…”

**We snuggle up in the rocking chair and rock slowly**

“You had a bad dream, huh?”
“Yeah…”
“You’re okay now, see? You’re in your room, and there’s nothing bad here.”
“I don’t like bad dreams.”
“Me, neither.”
“Mom? Why did I have a bad dream?”
“I don’t know, Is… nobody really does.”
“But why?”
“Nobody’s figured out bad dreams, or good dreams either, but I’ll tell you something… you can choose what you want to dream about before you go to sleep, and you’ll probably have a good dream. Want to try it?”
“Yes.”
“Okay, how about dreaming about going for ice cream with Daddy, or going down the twisty green slide?”
“The green slide!”

***Now I tuck her back in***

“Okay, Is, get cozy and dream about the green slide…”
“Thanks, Mommy. I’m gonna sleep now.”

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