A first nightmare


La Serpiente woke us up a few times last night/this morning. At about 4 I peeled myself off the floor of her room and went to bed, and was woken an hour later by noises of distress. I went next door.

Usually, La Serpiente will wake up, then shuffle out of her room and in to see me. Sometimes I can get her straight back to bed, and sometimes she’s unsettled and takes a while to go down, and occasionally I have no willpower and she ends up sleeping cuddled up to me in my bed. This morning I expected her to be up and shouting, but she was lying prostrate on her bed, making sad noises.

“Daaaaa” she moaned. “Burrrrr”.

It took me a few minutes to realise she was still asleep, having a nightmare. I’m quite conflicted about this. I don’t want my children to be afflicted by bad dreams, but I’m quite proud she has a sophisticated enough interior to her mind that it’s capable of sustaining them.

I did consider waking her up, but imagine if you’re having a bad dream and awake to find a bearded man with a crew cut looming over you, breathing wine fumes? I put my hand on La Serpiente’s back until she quietened, then stole back to my bed and failed to sleep until 7, when I had to get up and go out.


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