Last night Johnny had a bad dream and was able to share that with us. Was it only two years ago that he would wake up really upset and crying, leaving us guessing and wondering is he sick, is he scared or was it a nightmare? Sometimes he would cry and cry for what seemed forever while we held him unable to share with us what upset him and probably very frustrated by this.
Last night he woke up and feeling fearful telling us “I had a bad dream.” We soothed him and reassured him but we unable to get him to actually tell us what he saw in his dreams that made him so upset. He would just look at us with big round eyes and say “bad dream” and then say our names over and over.
I have been sick with a cold and fever so I have been trying to be careful with the language I use and instead say “I have a cold with the sniffles and I’m hot in the head like your were honey” so that Johnny doesn’t try to link it to what happened to his Grandpa’s terminal illness. We have noticed that since Grandpa passed away during the nightime that ever since Johnny wakes up in the middle of the night to check on us. If we say “I’m sick” he gets this worried look on his face.
So several times during one hour he kept getting up and coming in to our room wanting me so I let him cuddle with me in for awhile. It was hard because I had a fever but I could tell he needed this. Later he cuddled his Daddy but he kept waking up and checking to see if I was okay. He finally settled down and at some point in the night he ended up in his own bed.
In the morning I tried to ask Johnny about his bad dream but he seemed shocked that I was asking him about it and didn’t want to talk about it. He’s starting to draw and paint representationally so maybe we can help him express himself this way and share.
You know what? In the end that’s okay because when you have gone for 4-1/2 years not knowing what the wake ups and crying meant and were reading the “tea leaves” just letting me know is enough for now.