What did you dream about last night?

Sometimes, if (my only just three year old) Tilly wakes up early, I go and lie next to her on the futon that we keep next to her bed (for exactly this scenario), and we chat for a while before I let her get up – in the hope that her sister and mother can get just a little bit more sleep.

This morning I asked her, as I often do, if she had had any dreams, and what she had dreamt about. Now she is becoming increasingly expert at lengthy, stream-of-consciousness responses to such questions, but on this particular occasion she really outdid herself. Halfway through her answer, I decided that it was such a winner that I should try to remember it, and write down as much as I could once we were up. What follows is what I scribbled down of her response as I sat with her at the breakfast table. I didn’t remember it all, and it was hard to concentrate on the task, since the artist herself continued to gush gems, such as:

‘Papa! Papa! Why are you drinking coffee and eating honey toast and writing at the same time? Why don’t you talk to me? When I grow up I’m going to eat two pieces of honey toast and drink coffee and wined [sic], and mama will be little and I can give her so many cuddles, and she’ll be a tiny baby….’

You can see how hard it would be to ‘transcribe’ under such circumstances. Anyway, this is what I recalled:

‘Me: Did you have any dreams last night, Sweetheart?’

T: Yes I did, Papa?

Me: What did you dream about?

T: I dreamed about an aeroplane, but the aeroplane was my bed, and I was flying, and there was thunder, but it didn’t come. I just dreamed about it. At the library there was thunder and there was lightning. And I dreamed about colours and elephants and yak (she doesn’t yet know that there is more than one yak in the world) and animals and shelves. I dreamed about shelves, Papa. I dreamed about mans and ladies and other mans.

I dreamed about a growling thing that was lonely and I picked it up and it didn’t scratched [sic] me and I put it in bed with Kitty and Mama because it was tired, and then I put it outside.

And I dreamed about a little girl. I dreamed about a little girl called Jesus, whose mama was called Netti, and whose daddy was called Papa, like your name Papa, and his baby was Charlotte, a little girl Charlotte, my little baby Jesus Charlotte girl (I’ll write to you about her ongoing ‘religious’ education at another time, but you see from the above how well it is going).

And I dreamed about trees and leaves and my pink light and the bottom of my bed. This bottom of my bed. And the holes up there. Those holes up there (She indicates the ventilation holes high up on the wall, and stares at them for a while, before turning to me). Can we get up now?

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4 Responses to What did you dream about last night?

  1. Dani says:

    Wow, she’ll be a great analysand one day :) How lovely to capture this, Rod. It’s a wonderful insight into the imagination of a three year-old

    • rodbie says:

      I wish I’d been able to record and transcribe, because much of the best stuff was in subtle word order choices and repetitions that I couldn’t capture/remember. Oh well. Once we get the whole house wired up with CCTV, it will be easier.

  2. Jeanette Tamplin says:

    Seems that I have a high place in the religous order of Tilly’s mind. Mother of Jesus in fact! Albeit a feminist baby girl Jesus. Bless… Give her a kiss from aunty netti xxx

    • rodbie says:

      Yes indeed, Netti. I meant to email this to you directly, but forgot. Glad you got to read it and see your place is Tilly’s theology.

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