My two-year-old, Damian, has been having issues lately. And normally I can fix a lot of things for him. If he’s thirsty, I can get him water. If he wants to understand how something works, I can explain it to him. I can give him answers when he’s confused, I can physically carry him over obstacles he can’t traverse, I can protect him from the dangers of the world. But he’s got a problem now and I can’t protect him from it and it’s driving me up a wall. Nightmares.
For the last two or three months these have slowly been escalating. See, there’s this guy who lives in our neighbor and he’s got this big grey dog. Also, the man is an asshole. I’ll just get that out of the way ahead of time. But anywho. I want you to understand two things. He’s an asshole and he has a large grey dog. Sort of like a massive filthy sleeping bag and a Dalmatian had a baby.
So Damian was in the sun-room looking out the window. He was watching a rabbit hoping around and eating. That’s when the man walked his dog near by. Now, normally you walk your dog and you spy wildlife. A deer grazing, a duck asleep, a squirrel running around. You clutch the leash tightly in case it bolts. Not this fucking trail blazer though.
This man knelt down in our sidewalk, unhooked the dog’s leash, and issues some sort of command on the dog before sicking it on the rabbit my son loves watching. Luckily the rabbit got away. The dog and owner both were stunned and distracted as I leaned out the goddamn window screaming obscenities at them. But it still happened and it sucked.
I didn’t even realize it was a thing. We went about the day like any other day. It wasn’t even brought up again. But then the nightmares. He’s awake just horrified. His eyes would be so filled with tears they seemed to contain a million stars as he sniffled and made his way downstairs and into my arms. I kept asking him if he had bad dreams and he’s just let out a little “yes”. But then one day I asked him what was scaring him. He laid back in bed again, eyes closed, and just said, “the grey dog is grinding.”
The grey dog. The grey dog is grinding. First off, I don’t even know how he could have possibly picked up the word grinding as it’s not a word I use, ever. I have no reason. But damnit.
And now the nightmares are worse. Sometimes he’ll say something different but a lot of times it’s that dog. I’ll tell him that there’s nothing to worry about. That the dog can’t get to him. I tell him that me, his mother and the dog will keep him safe. I even lie a bit and say that the dog can’t hurt him. But the nightmares keep happening.
I love my son. I love him so fucking much it hurts some times and seeing him like this kills me. So much so that it’s ruined my view of the lake in my backyard because that man lives across the lake and sometimes I’ll see him and his stupid dog and I’ll just stare daggers at him so hard that I swear I see small blades skip the surface of the water.
I just absolutely hate it because while I can comfort him and be there whenever he wakes up screaming and running I can’t do anything to preemptively STOP the screaming and running. I can’t go in his head and get rid of these fears. I can’t enter his dream realm and beat the shit out this guy and his dog. I hate it.
Damian is awesome. He honestly is. He’s such a smart, clever, horribly deviant, but remarkably warm and cuddly fellow and he’s one of my best friends I’ve ever had and I want to fix this so badly. But I can only be there and it sucks.
Any of my fellow parents that read my blog deal with this? What have you done for your kids nightmares? Let me know. Or if you know how to enter someone’s subconscious and battle a mental image of a dog. That too.