Sunday, April 1, 2012

What a mare!

I remember reading an article, once upon a time, which stated it was a fact that only young children and elderly folk are capable of experiencing real nightmares. I think it was something to do with the rational 'chip' being underdeveloped in bairns, and worn-out in the aged. I'd like to personally contest that theory and add pregnant women to the list.

Yesterday morning I awoke at 5am deeply affected by a particularly disturbing 'nightmare' - traumatic enough to abolish any further chance of sleep. Of course it involved my kids, what easier way could my twisted sub-conscience send me into a cold frantic sweat in the dead of the night?

It started (at least the part I remember) with Daddy handing me the wheel of the minivan - without warning - in order to climb through into the back to help the kids, just as we emerged from a tunnel onto a 'ribbon type' bridge (like a Mario Kart racetrack) spanning the sea. The bridge was only as wide as a single vehicle river overpass - akin to the ones they have here in Hill Country that are prone to flooding - and soaring hundreds of feet above the waves.

We didn't stand a chance, and succumbing to vertigo, I drove my wheels straight over the open edge. Daddy yelled at me to straighten up but it was too late, and we were nosediving downward to an imminent watery death. Instinct had me opening windows (winding old fashioned handles frantically) in order to create escape routes - my mind was racing through helicopter survival training and 'dream' fantasizing about how quickly I could unbuckle my babies - but a strangely calm Daddy kiboshed my rescue plan and urged me to steer toward the beach.

Oddly, I obeyed and - miraculously - the car floated safely to shore. Then Daddy and I were barefoot and alone on the beach, and we had to return to someplace unknown to collect the babies. We entered an indoor bunker that reminded me of offshore quarters and I could see my toddlers happily splashing in water far off down the corridor.

It took a lifetime to reach them, and horrifyingly we were too late. Baby had fallen over in the shallow bathing area, and he was lifelessly floating under less than a foot of water, his tummy and chest all bloated. I was suddenly alone, with my near drowned baby and there was no place to lay him in the dark water corridor. Balancing my precious angel precariously across my knees, I desperately thumped on his chest. Deathly eyes flew open looking straight through me.

The shock was sufficient to pull me out of the awful dream, and I awoke, immensely relieved to find my breathing baby, safely asleep beside me. Daddy wasn't there to soothe this freaked out Momma, and with my heart beating ten to the dozen, there wasn't a cat in hell's chance of me falling back to sleep.

Coincidentally, our two and a half year old has just, this week, embarked on his own 'night terror' caper. For two nights previously, he'd tossed and turned, and cried out frequently, so - with Mommy mandated to sleep beside an uncompromising baby - Daddy had set up camp in the empty train bed beside my poor sleep tortured toddler.

Fortunately, his 'hallucinations' have been somewhat limited to "No doggies!", "No baby no" and "OK, Daddy!". Although seemingly not so terrifying - in the relatively sheltered world of a toddler - I'm thankful this is as horrifying as it gets (at least for now) for the poor little fella.

So last night, we had a mutually beneficial 'Family Bed' reunion. Our 2 year old slept soundly in the midst of his clan, and Mommy rested much easier with her brood nestled close by and Daddy watching over us.

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