At 4:40 AM this morning, Lauren nudged me awake; Maxfield was in his room screaming crying.
Any time Maxfield is upset, 99.9 % of the time, he wants his dad. I quickly jumped out of bed and went into his room to settle him down before he woke the entire house. He was not awake, but he was not asleep. He was at that weird in between state.
I crouched down next to him and tried to coax him back to sleep. Stroking his hair I soothingly said, "It's okay. Daddy is here Max. Shhhhhh. It's okay."
He wailed some more.
"Max?" I whispered, not wanting to wake him up completely if I did not need to, "Are you hurt?"
His eyes still closed he screamed, "I had a bad dream and someone tried to take my candy away."
"It was just a dream." I said. "It will be all right."
He sobbed. I felt so bad.
"I want (sniff) my (sniff) candy." He squeaked to the person in his dream. He was clearly upset.
I tired to comfort him some more. "Go to sleep. It was just a dream." I said. "No one is going to take your candy. We have plenty of can-"
I stopped talking.
Wait a minute. I thought to myself, Is he really asleep? Is he just playing me? Is he going to wake up and ask for candy right now because Daddy said we have plenty of candy? Is he going to use this later on in the day as a reason to get candy? Does a three year old know the difference between the dream world and reality? Am I being suckered? How am I supposed to comfort him about the candy and not tell him I am going to give him candy? He is crying because someone in his dream took candy and I need to calm him down and one of the ways to do that is to offer candy. But if I offer candy and he is awake, I am screwed, but if he is still asleep than offering candy would calm him down and I can go back to bed. I need more information. I should ask him who took his cand----
Maxfield wailed. It snapped me out of my own thoughts.
"Maxfield. It's okay. I'm here."
"I want my mommy." He screamed.
"I want my mommy."
"Mommy is asleep. I am here. It's okay."
Usually a few seconds from Dad is all it takes to calm down Max from a bad dream. I could not figure it out. I gently rubbed his belly and chest and continued to whisper reassurances. His breathing settled into a steady pace. He was drifting back to a deeper slumber.
"Max?" I said, barley audible. "Who took your candy?
He inhaled deeply, rolled slightly to his side to his favorable sleeping position, and on his exhale he said "Daddy." And he was asleep.
What? I was the bad guy in his dream? I thought. No wonder I could not calm him down. That is like looking for comfort from the Boogie Man. That is like Lawnwhisperer seeking comfort from a Dentist with a dog. Or Lauren cuddling up to a snake when she is scared. No, I could not have been the bad guy. Could I? I am usually the hero. But he did ask for his mom.
I can't believe it.
I was the villain.