Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Josefina Dreams of a Monster

I hope Josefina doesn't have prophetic dreams.

Today in the car she said, "I had a bad dream. There was a monster and it was chasing me. And then my Daddy came and tried to kill the monster, but the monster killed my Daddy!"

Oh dear. Her Daddy was driving the car as she was telling this to Lucia. It sounded like she had told this story already to her friends at school. I said, "What? What? If a monster ever attacked you, your Daddy would kill it for sure!" Gosh, I'm not about to let myself be killed by some monster. No way, I'll get that monster, I will!

"But this was in the dream!" she insisted. She was right, of course. If it was in the dream, then it was in the dream. I can't change that. So she continued, "The monster killed my Daddy, and then John Paul came and tried to kill the monster, but the monster killed John Paul!"

Yikes, I thought. Did we watch something recently with monsters in it? Or is it one of these books I keep reading her, like The Grouchy Ladybug or maybe a Maurice Sendak story. Monsters?

But there was more: "Then the killed! And my Daddy waked up, and John Paul waked up. They were only pretending to be dead. They were sleeping. It was very scary!"

We got home and I took her out of the car and carried her. She held onto me and said, "I don't like scary dreams!" But then, as soon as we got inside the house, she said, "I'm gonna draw a picture of the dream."

There is the picture, above. The monster is in the upper left corner, lashing out with his two long arms. Daddy can always be recognized by the hair sticking out of his chin. John Paul is on the lower left, getting killed with me while on the right the terrified Jojo watches. Wow, pretty intense! Now she doesn't want to look at the picture because "it's scary."

It often occurs to me that this little girl is the person that I spend more time with every day than any other person in the whole world. Except for her school, we are pretty much together all the time. She's often doing her own things, of course, but she's usually not very far away. My day is full of doing things for her, taking care of her, changing her clothes, making sure she eats (the girls make her lunch) and goes potty and washes her hands, putting on band-aids, and keeping a part of an eye on her always to make sure she's not getting into trouble. And we have little talks, and we read and read. Of course, she goes out to play and I run errands and things. Still, we're not separated for very long. Sometimes she just curls up in my big brown chair next to me while I'm working on the computer, and reads books to herself.

She gets into trouble all the time. She climbs on the furniture. In some ways, she still has some toddler characteristics (besides wearing toddler clothes). This is all normal for a pree-mie who went through what she had to endure in the first seven months of life. So, for example, she still has "accidents" (you know what I'm talking about)--that is definitely not fun. But we're working on that and making progress. She's smart...sometimes too smart for her own good! She has crying fits when she doesn't get her way. If I'm lucky, she'll do what I say after the third time I say it. I love Josefina and, yes, she's very cute, but she's also a pain in the neck. It's a pain I'm glad to have.

As I am writing this, I hear a little voice from behind another chair, "Daddy?" What, sweetie? "I'm still scared of the monster."