C: There was an alligator in here.
Me: An alligator? In your room?
C: Uh-huh. He coming close to me. He open his mouth. He try to get me inside and eat me up all gone.
Me: Oh no, I wouldn't want an alligator in my room. Was it scary?
C: Uh-huh. I scared. I not like alligators.
I then proceeded to use my counseling skills as a mom! (yay!) We talked about how our brain makes up stories when we're sleeping and we call them dreams. Sometimes they are kind of real-- like they have mommy or daddy in them and sometimes they are pretend-- like they have alligators. And even though alligators are real animals, they don't come in people's houses because they live in swamps. (And then we had an ecology lesson about what a swamp is because C's curiosity could not let that question go unanswered.) I silently sent out a "thank you" to the universe for not being planted in Florida-- where alligators might actually end up in backyards.
So where did this come from? I'm pretty sure C's inspiration for this dream came from this book:
In my defense, it looked like a cute book with a do-able amount of words on each page. I didn't think much of it when I grabbed it at the library. But as C & I read it a few nights ago, I found myself thinking "oh $hit. this alligator is chasing the children around the house. perhaps not so appropriate". And I tried to sugar-coat the book a bit but when C looked up at me and said, "But it just pretend, right?" I knew that maybe it was a bit scary. However, I also feel like we can't shelter C from all scary things in this life--- even fictional alligator books-- so I continued reading the book. And C ended up reading that book quite a bit last week--- always with the statement "It just a pretend alligator". So note to self: Start previewing books you idiot!