On Monday morning, le Petit woke up crying. This is rare. He only wanted Mommy to help him out of bed, and luckily I hadn't yet left for work. This is less rare: he's very, very Mommy at the moment. I hugged him for a long time, and then told him that he'd just had a bad dream. It, whatever it was, wasn't real, just a nightmare.
Then, as I was getting him dressed, he actually told me about his dream. "Il y a un chien !" he said. A dog. It made perfect sense, for we've cultivated a perhaps-more-than-healthy respect for the dogs we see at the park. It was the first time he'd explained one of his dreams to me, and I was pretty amazed, as I am with all his firsts.
He pointed at his crib, "Le chien, dans le lit."
"That must have been pretty scary, a dream about a dog in your bed," I agreed, "But it wasn't real. Mommy and Daddy would never let a real dog into the house. You're safe in your bed."
On Tuesday morning, le Petit woke up happy, but still early enough (groan) so that I had not only not yet left for work, but not yet even gotten out of bed. I was still genuinely happy to spend some time with him before heading off.
"Did you have a nice sleep?" I asked. He smiled as I fluffed up his hair. "Did you have nice dreams?" He looked at me, confused. "A dream is when your mind tells you stories in your head while you sleep," I explained, not terribly lucidly. Le Petit looked even more confused.
Then he ran over to a stack of books, picked one up, and tried to balance it on his head.
"On your head!" he said.
Makes perfect sense, of course.
(And if anyone has any tips on explaining such abstract concepts to an almost-three-year-old, please let me know.)