It started Tuesday night. Both kids were in bed, I was talking on the phone, and Julie was tidying up in the kitchen, when we started to hear moaning. "Is Chloe awake, I asked." I was puzzled, because Chloe usually sleeps soundly, especially during the first part of the night. "I think so," Julie responded. Then, suddenly, we heard banging, as if someone were bumping into the walls. Julie rushed into Chloe's room to find her sitting on the floor, still asleep, on the opposite side of the room. She put her back into bed (she didn't wake up), came out of the room, and said to me, "Sean, I think she was sleep-walking." Oh, well, I thought. We'd heard of this happening. Maybe it would only be the one night. Little did we know, our night's adventures were just beginning.
Around three in the morning, we were awakened to terrified screaming and crying from Chloe's room (o.k., Julie was awakened first - I had ear plugs in). Julie went in and I soon followed, but Chloe was impossible to console. Eventually, we learned that she'd had a terrible dream, and that she was absolutely terrified of going back to sleep in her room. "I want to sleep in the living room," she kept repeating. "I won't have a bad dream in the living room." We kept explaining to her that she can't sleep in the living room, as there isn't even a bed there, and that it didn't matter what room she slept in when it came to dreams. But she got up, walked out of her room and plopped herself down on the living room floor. I finally managed to coax her into our bed, where she tossed and turned without sleeping the rest of the night (as did we).
When morning came, we reassured her that what she'd had was just a dream and that she'd be fine. She seemed to be in better spirits now that morning had arrived, and we proceeded to start to get breakfast ready like we do every morning when suddenly she broke down in tears again and yelled, "no, not baby. Get rid of baby." She'd obviously seen baby on the table. Julie and I looked at each other, alarmed and curious. "Honey," I said, "was your bad dream about baby." Yes, baby was ripped, baby is broken. I don't want to see baby." "O.k.," I said, "we'll put baby up in our closet for now."
We're not sure what happened with her doll in her dream, but baby's days in our home turned out to be numbered. Chloe wouldn't go anywhere near the closet that held baby, and always wanted the door to the closet kept closed. Then, after seeing baby in the closet by mistake once, she wouldn't even go in our room. This is, of course, the same baby that she's taken everywhere with her for the past 4 months. Eventually, with Chloe's fear so palpable, even I started getting scared of baby. A couple of days after the bad dream, and with Chloe still afraid to go to sleep at night, Julie and I decided it might be better if baby were put out to pasture. But we didn't want Chloe thinking that what had happened in her dream was real, so we brought baby out for Chloe (who immediately started going into hysterics), and carefully showed her that there was nothing wrong with her - that it had just been a dream. "But, we said, "if baby reminds you too much of your bad dream and you want to throw her out, that's o.k." "Throw her out," Chloe cried, "throw her out."
So, without ceremony or further thought, baby was tossed in the trash yesterday. Chloe was so anxious to see her go, that she kept asking me to take the garbage outside, because she could still see baby in it. I explained that it couldn't be taken out until evening. And her first question this morning? "Is baby gone now. Did the truck take her away."
I'm not one for superstition but I'm happy to see that doll gone too.