2 nights ago, while we were in bed, Ashley sat up on her bed and stared into space. I asked her why she wasn’t lying down and she replied,
Ashley : I am thinking whether I will have bad dreams tonight….
On a few occassions, she complained that she didn’t like to sleep at night because she didn’t want to have bad dreams. I reckon it’s due to her being too hyper before bedtime. That night however, the kids had ample time to wind down before bedtime. I asked her to tell me about her bad dreams and she said she only remembered 2.
The first bad dream was when she lost got lost in the shopping mall. She said she asked everyone whether she saw ‘her mommy’ but everyone said that they didn’t. She said as she was going to give someone my mobile number (Yes she knows my mobile number by heart. I helped her to memorize it to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’) so that the person could call me, she woke up.
The second bad dream was set in the playground. She said hubs and Aidan left the playground to buy ice cream and I was sitting by the bench. She then rode her bicycle and without realizing it, she went on a different path and turned around and I was out of sight.
I could tell that she was pretty freaked out and disturbed by it. I think deep down in her heart, she is afraid of getting lost. I reminded her that that was the reason why I didn’t want Aidan and her running ahead of us when we are out. I always remind the kids to stay close and hold our hands and also to make sure that they are holding our hand instead of a stranger’s hand!
She then posed different scenarios to me and went through the things that they should and should not do. e.g.
1. what to do if you get separated from the rest in or outside of a lift? – Stay put.
2. What to do if a stranger approaches them with sweets/ice cream and claims to be friends? – Do not talk to strangers. Period.
3. What to do if they get stuck in a car alone for whatever reason (And NO! Kids should not be left attended in a car. Period!) – unfasten the seat belt and sound the horn.
It breaks my heart to have to tell the kids about the harsh realities of life but it’s inevitable.
Back when I was a kid, I went out to play with the neighbourhood friends every evenings – unsupervised. I took the public transport on my own (in Singapore) when I was 8 years old!
Today, it’s unheard of to let the kids play unsupervised at the playground or in the neighbourhood (unless you live in a gated and guarded community).
Times have changed.
Bad dreams bad dreams go away.
Good dreams good dreams here to stay.