Tuesday, September 26, 2006

In the Land of Nod

Yesterday I had a bunch of great ideas for things to blog about. Then I fell asleep. Or, maybe I woke up and had only dreamt I had great blog ideas! Which leads me to… strange dreams.

My kids and I talk about our dreams if we remember them, and my husband looks at us as if we were discussing the best ways to dismember grandmothers. He is utterly shocked that we can remember them, and he appears to find it very weird that we would discuss them. I’m pretty sure his birth family didn’t. Although, and this is quite unrepentantly snarky of me, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with something his family DID talk about. As far as I can tell, they sat around, not talking, for the first 22 years of his life, and then he married me, and it’s been a real roller-coaster ride of conversation every since. I suppose I can’t blame him for looking dazed most of the time.

ANYWAY, we talk about our dreams. They are very rarely grandiose, having instead components of our daily lives juxtaposed into odd situations. Or sometimes not – one morning Doodle got up, came out into the dining area, looked me in the eye and said, “I dreamt I was eating a piece of ham.”

“Was it good ham?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Well, we have some in the fridge. Maybe you could eat a piece of ham for real.” I said.

“OK,” he said, and ate some ham. His dreams are usually kind of like that – he’ll dream of something he wants to do, and can do in real life, and then go do it. I’m hoping that one of these days he’ll dream of how to invent a teleporter and share the wealth with his parents. OK, that’s my DAYdream.

Bunny dreams of the pets and her friends, and when she tells me her dreams, she sometimes forgets to preface her narrations with the fact that they are dreams.

“Last night I wanted to go to Chicago, so you bleached my hair,” she said one morning.

“That doesn’t sound like me. I’d be more likely to want to come with you,” I replied.

“Then Whitney wanted to eat pizza over here, so you called her mother and told on her,” said Bunny, “and then Hawthorne said he’d drive both of us to Chicago in his bus.”

“Really, now,” I joked, “I’m just not that much of a fink, and Hawthorne’s a lousy driver!”

“Mom, I was just dreaming,” she said.

“Thank God,” I said, “I thought maybe menopause was affecting me more than I remembered!”

Spawn generally dreams about eating things. Since he’s gotten to be an older teen boy, this doesn’t surprise me because he seems to spend about 85% of his waking hours eating, anyway.

“I dreamt I was in a hot dog eating contest, except I was eating pie,” he said a weekend or two ago.

“Was it good pie?” asked Bunny.

“I’m not sure, but it must have been because I ate 28 of them and won,” he answered.

“Where were you when you were eating the pies?” asked Doodle.

“On a stage, and it was snowing everywhere except on the stage, and I was only wearing my pajama pants because I didn’t want to get pie on my Pizza Hut uniform shirt,” responded Spawn.

“Maybe you were cold and the pies were warm, and you were eating them to keep from shivering,” Bunny suggested.

“No, I think it was just because I like pie. Now I want some. Mom, do we have any pie?” asked the bottomless gullet.

“No pie. Toast and jam,” I told him.

“Oooh, toast!” he said.

I used to have much more interesting dreams, and when I was pregnant, they were in color, and I’d get very emotional and wake up either in tears, angry or needing to run off and check on something. In one particularly vivid dream, my spouse left me, on a Harley motorcycle, for an elderly bag lady wearing violent purple, drapey clothes and obnoxious red lipstick. I woke up and whacked him on the shoulder, waking him up, and asked him what he meant by running off with bag ladies when I was pregnant with his heir. He couldn’t decide whether he should be mad or laugh hysterically, so he settled for telling me I wasn’t quite awake yet, so I went back to sleep. I’m pretty sure I apologized to him later.

Before we had kids, we had a mutual moment of dream state stupidity. We were lying there, side by side, in our apartment, which was next to a creek. It was autumn, and the air was cool and moist, and we were both just dozing off, when, across what was left of my conscious mind, the word “quack” imprinted itself. I dozily pondered that for a moment, then lazily asked, “Did you quack?” My husband, also 9/10ths asleep, smacked his lips, drew in a slow breath and sleepily replied, “No. (pause) Did you?”

These days, menopause has made my dreams strangely consistent, yet anxiety producing. It seems that I dream mostly of trying to find somewhere to pee, and, no matter where I am, even if I find a bathroom, the toilets are stopped up, I have to run gauntlets of spiritual hauntings, labyrinthine, torturous, dank corridors designed to drive one insane, or figure out bizarre, extra-terrestrial potty designs to find somewhere to go. Right about the time I’m pretty sure I’ve found an item that will flush, it triggers something that wakes me up in a mad panic, and, sure enough, I have to run off to the real bathroom, lickety split. This is kind of annoying because, in order to wake me up, apparently my body decides to flood my system with adrenaline, so I can’t get back to sleep right away, seeing as I’m all set to run a sprint, even after I make a pit stop.

At least I seem to be past the hot flashes part of menopause, but there are nights when I wish the bag lady and the quack would come back, just for the sake of variety.

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