Dreams are hard for young children to understand. Experts tell us that children under five years old can’t tell the difference between reality and dreams or nightmares.
Years ago my Aunt Clare shared a humorous dream that my cousin Nikki had when she was about three years old:
“She awoke in the middle of the night, crying. I rushed to her room. She’d had a bad dream. I inquired what the dream was about, and she replied that Jeff’s (her 5-year-old brother) cowboy boots were chasing her–minus Jeff in them. I had to chuckle when I pictured it in my mind.”
My sister Cindy told me about one night when her daughter Ballerina was two years old and was “crying and freaking out.” Cindy rushed into Ballerina’s bedroom and found her kicking and trying to push at something as she yelled, “Get them off! Get them off!”
Cindy didn’t see anything. “Get what off?”
“Joker (nickname) put lizards all in my bed,” Ballerina said, now sobbing.
Cindy laughed and told her, “Joker didn’t put lizards in your bed.”
“Yes, he did,” Ballerina said. Cindy tried to explain that it was only a dream, but Ballerina couldn’t be convinced that there wasn’t anything in her bed.
“So, I ended up sleeping with Ballerina and the lizards the rest of the night,” Cindy said.