Friday, March 3, 2000

The Archives: Dream A Little Dream Of Me

At about 3:30 this morning, I heard a squeal from baby Jacob's room. Giant mouse? No. Whimpering and crying that followed? No. Did he awaken? No. So if he didn't have a tummy ache (which would have awakened him) or some other pain that wouldn't let him sleep, then why would he cry out?

A dream. I'm sure of it. He must have been having a dream. I have no factual proof of this, yet I'm confident I'm right. This then begs the question: what do babies dream about? I'd love to sit down with Freud to talk about this one.

Everything I learned in my Child Psychology and Development classes indicated that dreams are symbolic representations of unresolved stresses, worries and fears. What stresses out a baby? Their needs are virtually all primal: hunger, thirst, sleep, and physical comfort. Perhaps then these dreams stem from worries and fears. My husband and I do our best to make sure Jacob gets everything he needs (I worry that we may spoil him!).

But sometimes, I can't get to him as soon as he starts to cry. Does he worry that I'll never come back? Does he fear being alone? Does he even understand these concepts? His little sponge-of-a-brain is soaking up information faster now than it will for the rest of his life. I can't imagine what is going through his mind at any given moment, or fathom how much he learns each day. But I hope I can teach him, as he grows, how to confront his fears and resolve his problems so he doesn't carry them to bed with him at night. I want to be the one to provide the magic broomstick that will sweep away all the monsters under the bed. If I can do that, I won't mind if he doesn't dream of me. I'll be happier knowing his dreams are sweet and filled with fun.

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