It was about this time Charlie went through a time of bad dreams. He would wake up crying and scared. I’d go into his room and sit with him until he could relax and go back to sleep. This went on for several nights in a row and I began to feel the effects of not getting an uninterrupted rest. One night while I was rubbing his tummy and soothing him with some silly story, I came up with an idea. I told Charlie I had learned a way to change what he would dream. I told him I had found a way to turn his dream channel as I gently poked my finger into his belly button and twisted it back and forth.
"Let's try here," I said rubbing the left side of his belly button. "This is the channel to help you dream about cows and this is the spot to dream of rabbits and over here is the spot to dream of dogs." I kept rubbing his tummy and poking his belly button as I named every animal we had on our farm. “There,” I said, “Let’s try a new channel and see if the dreams are better.”
As luck would have it he believed me, turned over, and quickly went to sleep. He was convinced mom had come up with a solution. He had fewer and fewer bad dreams. A few weeks later I heard whimpering coming from Charlie's room. When I went to check on him I found his hand laid across his tummy with his index finger circling his belly button. I took his hand in mine for a moment before laying it back on his bed. He settled back into a comfortable sleep. The next morning he told me he'd had a bad dream and couldn't think of what animal he should to dream about.
There was nothing Charlie loved more than animals. I went to work the next day making him an animal quilt to hang on his wall. Every day I made two or three blocks to add to the quilt. On the last day I included a spider on one of the blocks. I read to Charlie from the book of instructions on making the spider. The book said never make a spider with eight legs because it is nearly impossible to do. Always make a spider with six legs. When I finished reading the instructions Charlie leaned in, adjusting his glasses, and took a close look at the spider. "Mommy, my spider has eight legs!" Yes it does I boasted, then without missing a beat I continued to read from the instruction book, only this time, the words were not really there. I said out loud, "If you ever make an eight legged spider and it turns out right it just might be magic."
When the older kids came home from school that afternoon Charlie took them each to his room and showed off his animal quilt which was now hanging on the wall. I listened from the hall as he chose his words very carefully explaining to them how the animals on the quilt were all the animals he could now choose to dream of. He ended his quilt tour by telling them the story about the magic spider. They each complemented Charlie on his quilt and smiled at me as they left the room.
About two weeks later in the middle of the night I was awakened by Charlie in a panic. “Mommy, hurry, come here I need you to change the channel.” he was screaming. I did and it worked! The bad dreams stopped.
It’s a wonderful feeling when your child believes in you so much!
There must have really been magic in that spider. When fair time came around I entered it and won 1st place. Charlie was even prouder of that blue ribbon than me!