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The Case of Nightmare Spray

My sweet Little Girl had a bad nightmare on Friday night. Bad. Screaming and crying bad. She cried so much I let her come sleep in my bed. She was still upset about it on Saturday, but was so exhausted at bedtime she fell right to sleep. Still, it haunted her even on Sunday. So much so that last night she was begging to have someone sleep with her and said she was afraid to go to sleep — period. No amount of comforting or cajoling would calm her. Finally, I got desperate.

I took out some smudging spray I had and told her it was bad dream spray. I was on the phone with my brother so he also spoke to her and confirmed the stuff really worked. I enlisted Big Girl, too. She told her that SHE had used it when she was a little girl and it definitely worked. We followed the directions, spritzing it seven times under the bed.

This morning Little Girl woke up and confirmed the spray worked. No nightmare! I figured that was it, but instead she asked where I bought it (Amazon — truthfully) and why it worked. (“Infused with lavender and reiki-charged quartz…”) Anyway, that kid is so special she immediately followed up with another question: Why didn’t I use it on myself when I was having six months of daily screaming nightmares from the migraines? (Yes, I had daily nightmares where I woke up screaming for my mommy.) I explained that my nightmares were from brain chemistry gone haywire, and she accepted that.

It made me shed a little tear that I have such a special, empathetic child, but I also feel like Big Girl did last night as she made a tortured face and lamented, “I feel HORRIBLE about lying to her!”

Lying is a big offense in our home. It’s not allowed. One of the main things I tell the girls: People who love each other — or even like each other — don’t lie to each other. Ever. It’s something I have always felt very strongly about, even more so recently. In this instance I had to tell a white lie because the kid was just beyond consolation. She was so upset. I think it is because she attended one of my best friend’s mother’s shivas — a Jewish tradition of mourning.

I’m not sure what I am going to do going forward. However, tonight we plan on using the spray again. Any ideas? Do I tell her the truth or let her believe a lie — just for a little while longer?

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