When it would really help if the temperature would at least reach double figures and they could go and play outside instead

by Julie Alpine-Crabtree

I woke up this morning, In the guest room at my parents’ house, my boy in bed beside me. I didn’t remember him coming through in the night.

Warm hands and feet sought me out, burrowed into me.

When he opened his eyes, he told me, sleep-drugged and incredulous, that there was a white cat. A white cat with two horns. And the cat was stuck in the catflap. His hands flew up to gesticulate. The horns…

It was the first time he had described a dream narrative to me. The only previous window to his sleepscape I’ve had was when, for a while, first thing in the morning we’d ask him what he’d dreamed about, and he’d  say “broken airplane”, and we’d say, all rolling eyes and comic exaggeration, “Again?”, wondering if it was because of that picture he saw in The Week last year; an aircraft split clean in two following a crash landing.

I know there’s not a space for “first time you saw your son’s dreams” in the baby record book, the one that I have a constant nagging guilt about not filling in, but I know I’ll want to remember this later, when he’s grown: the bed-tousled hair, his sheer delight in the events of his dream, the not really believing that it wasn’t for real even when he knew it wasn’t for real.

In other news, the same boy now has a full-blown, problem tv addiction and it’s a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ I’m going to have to intervene: get him into therapy, throw a sheet over the telly, stop leaving him in front of it for hours on end while I work, that kind of thing. Otherwise my girl will be next. And then we’ll all be setting off to summer holiday at Nickelodeon Land, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which he fell for hard during an ad break today. His friends are all there waiting for him. Dora! Diego! SpongeBob!

The white cat with the horns sounds like much more fun.