The Mother of Adventure


on January 14, 2014

DreamcatcherNothing motivates the creation of a poorly-made craft like the prospect of a good night’s sleep.

It’s 8:07 p.m., and my kids are eating a bedtime snack. The conversation goes something like this:

MOMMY: You have to stay in your own bed tonight, Lily. Daddy is pretty sick with a cold and we can’t have you coming in our bed again.

LILY: Well, can you at least put a sleeping bag down on the floor??!?

MOMMY: (*Sigh!*) Kiddo, you’re six years old…you need to be able to sleep in your own bed at night!

LILY: But last night there was a spider in my room!

MOMMY: But why were you even awake at 4 a.m. to SEE the spider in your room??

LILY: (Pouting) I get bad dreams…I need a dreamcatcher.

Moments later, I’ve sprung into action. I’m in the garage…rummaging around in the frigid recycling bin for a plastic lid (where the heck is the ricotta container from last week’s lasagne?). If the dreamcatcher works…if it makes her feel safe, thus preventing a middle-of-the-night wake-up call (*again!*) it’ll all be worth it.

Container lid located, washed and cut. I proceed to dig up some plastic string from the craft cupboard; our stuff might be a jumble, but at least I know exactly where to find it during these moments of dream catcher crisis!

I ask Lily to think up three things that she’s had bad dreams about; she comes up with: scary dinosaurs, vampires and zombies (she seems to have to think pretty darn hard to come up with vampires and zombies, but I let it go). We pick a different colour of string for each scary thing – red for dinos, yellow for vampires (she tells me it represents the garlic that repels them) and green for zombies (natch!).

Several frustrating minutes later, I have an ugly, tangled mass of string wrapped and taped around a piece of bendy red plastic. Perfect! I ceremoniously tie it up with a piece of gold Christmas ribbon, explaining that the good dreams will “slide down the sparkly ribbon, and sprinkle gently over her face in the night.” (Damn, I’m good!).

Two muskateersI can’t say this is totally off the top of my head…last year, Lily’s older sister studied Native culture and they made dreamcatchers as a project. I seem to recall Elissa’s dreamcatcher looking a lot better than this…but we’re closing in on 9 p.m. here, so this will have to do.

Miraculously, Elissa offers to help put Lily to bed – and tell her the full story of the dreamcatcher (hey…is it working its magic already??).

A few minutes later, I shoo Elissa to her own bed and snuggle in to say a final goodnight to Lily.

“Mommy, does the tooth fairy come to my room every night?” she asks, staring up at her new dreamcatcher.

“No sweetie – only when you’ve lost a tooth,” I reply, cuddling up to her.

“But Elissa says that all of the fairies will come into my room at night to take the bad dreams out of the dreamcatcher, so that means the tooth fairy would come, too.”

“Oh!” I say, clearly caught off guard. “I didn’t know about that part!” It seems the ability to extrapolate on the stuff of legends and dreams is being passed along quite nicely to my first-born child…perhaps we should compare notes next time we team up.

Moments later, Lily’s breathing deepens and her eyelids droop, as her dreamcatcher sways gently over her head. Sweet dreams, little one…sweet dreams.

6 responses to “Dreamcatcher

  1. Susan Sykes says:

    Our 6 year olds sound like they’d get along well! Regan had the exact same complaints a few weeks ago, right down to the spider detail and the dreamcatcher idea. Only difference is that my mom was visiting so I made her tackle the craft πŸ˜‰

    • Wow – parallel lives! πŸ˜‰ How did yours work for Regan? I hope it was a better model…Lily was back in our bed at 5 a.m. saying that a bad dream had slipped through the strings!

      • Meredith says:

        Sonia, I am in AWE of your quick-thinking (and awesome writing) to get that made before bedtime. Serious mom-kudos coming your way. It’s too bad you have such smart kids that can sneak between the strings of your logic. Sounds like it’s time for Ian to get over that cold and start threatening some cold dollhouse love again! πŸ˜‰

        But how the heck did Regan and Lily pull the same dreamcatcher scam?!?!

      • I know…stunning that our kids pulled the same scam!! Just shows you that we parents need to stick together…if we compare notes, we just might have a chance against the kids!! πŸ˜‰

  2. Ingrid says:

    Yeah for older siblings! Elissa reminds me of Tristan, always picking up signals of what needs to be done and stepping in to help.

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