It's been a while since I've mentioned nightmares on here, but that doesn't mean I haven't been having them. Every Single Night. They don't fail me. Since we moved to this house last April, I've been imagining that animals from the zoo down the street have broken out and stormed into my house in the middle of the night. Every night, my job is to figure out how to save my family. I always manage to be so courageous and spry in my dreams; I'd sprint out of bed and grab my phone while slamming the bedroom door (because it gets stuck) and run into Oliver's room, also slamming that door (because it also gets stuck). I would then call Shane, and tell him not to open the door because there is a tiger in our house and to please climb out the window and meet Oliver and me. It's ridiculous, I know. What would you do? It's almost been a year since these nightmares have started. They don't always end happily. Sometimes, the animals make it into Oliver's room first and I wake up to him screaming through the monitor. Those nights are the hardest and I rarely am able to fall back asleep. Sometimes, I hear the growl but forget that I have a baby and just lock myself and Shane in our bedroom and again, we hear the animals tearing our baby apart. I'm shaking just thinking about it. I've gotten used to them, mostly. I can recognize right away that they are nightmares and that when I wake up, all will be dandy and Oliver will be sleeping either in between us in our bed, or he will be the one waking me up by sweetly talking to himself in his crib.
A few years ago, when I would religiously read The Walking Dead and wait so impatiently for the next comic to come out, I started to play Zombie Survival. It was the same idea: What Would Norma Do? I was working overnight at a hotel during these games so it was a matter of getting to the basement where the food and water were sitting (vending machines, telephone, couch). I imagine that's why I am planning out the attack of a violent feline. Zombie Survival helped train me for my nightmares.
My nightmares don't always involve zoo animals; they have been more realistic. Our car raging down the side of a mountain on our way to visit family in Mexico, Oliver and I getting struck by a truck on one of our walks, Oliver's curtains getting a ray of sunshine that starts a fire... In every nightmare I lose my baby.
Last night was different. Last night's nightmare involved the supernatural, of which I used to believe in but have recently made peace with apathy. The idea is still horrific, but I don't have that stress anymore. Not really.
In this dream, I hear Oliver screaming and crying so I run over to him only to find him scratching himself so hard and so slow that he is gushing out blood. I move his hand away from him and take him to clean him up and he starts doing it again. I realize that he isn't doing it, that something else is taking his hand and doing it. What the hell am I supposed to do with this? He is being sliced up before my eyes and I can't stop it. So I call my mom - because she is Mexican and I am extremely racist in my dreams - all Mexicans believe in spirits and have little tricks to get rid of them. My mom tells me to take my ogre hair (WHAT) and bake it in the oven (WHAT). So I do, and Oliver's wounds disappear. He is still crying, because it happened, but now the proof is gone. I woke up to him hitting me in the face and saying, "aw draw draw draw draw." I couldn't go back to sleep.
Dreams don't mean anything. I won't get money if I dream about fish. Nobody is going to die if I dream about teeth. But they can make you lose sleep and slowly go crazy from the lack of.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Oliver, man, you are really wearing me out. You crawl everywhere, which you learned to do (rather well) within one week. You are pulling yourself up onto anything within reach and guiding yourself along said "anything." You always seem to end up in places you aren't supposed to be, playing with things you really shouldn't be playing with. These days, I’m lucky to get a brush through my hair which is not even close to the amount of “doing” that my hair requires. Speaking of, I'm glad you've got my curly hair and not your dad's feathery flow because despite boys getting a near pass in the grooming department, you still gotta do something and some days there’s just no option but copious bobby pins and a bun. Technically an option for you, but to be honest, not one I would necessarily encourage.
Also, on the dad front: I am beginning to forget what it’s like to have a fluid talk with him. One that isn’t interrupted with baby-juggling and redirection and trailing off, having forgotten what the next conversational turn was to be. Please, kid, don’t misunderstand. Usually one of us is sidetracked by your cuteness. And even when we’re not, it’s okay, because you’re a baby and you’re fun to be around most of the time and when you’re not, well… nobody’s always pleasant company. Including me. In fact, I’m probably pleasant company less often than most. But when my life is so consumed by the baby-related, I’d really kill for a start-to-finish conversation about that article about a new book by that recently deceased author I read while you were sleeping, or what I should do about my mother's failed search for life insurance or my brothers and their incessant need to not grow up? Anything other than what kind of diapers I now prefer, when you're going to have more bowel movements on the reg and what your diapers look like when we feed you solids. I swear, I used to be a reasonably interesting person.
I made no apologies this year; I made no resolutions, but as with most things, time may sort that out. My hope for this year (and on and on), my 28th, is that I'll reclaim a little of my adultness. Adultness that may never have been fully realized to begin with. Reading and writing will start again, I will have time and hands enough to keep a tidy house. Maybe. I will eat breakfast again, and work. Deadlines will loom and I'll meet them. Conversations will begin and they'll end in one full breath.
You are the burden of my generation
I sure do love you, but let’s get that straight.
(Paul Simon lovingly quoted with abandon and no permission)