A Dream of an Idea

I’m sure every parent is familiar with the phrase “I had a bad dream”.

We first encountered this problem about a year ago, when our little one was coming up to 4 years old.  Every so often, the patter of his little feet at 2am would announce his presence in our bedroom, where he would explain that he couldn’t sleep because of the bad dreams.

My solution was simple: give him good dreams instead.

And it worked.  All I had to do was tuck him back into his bed and reel off a short list of some of his favourite things to give him something to think about that would banish those bad dreams.  It was easy for the first couple of times – it took me no time at all to come up with Buzz Lightyear, a rollercoaster, ice cream, and a christmas tree.  But at 2am my brainpower is somewhat limited, and after a few nights of this I was running out of ideas.

So the “Dream Box” was born.

I typed up a list of as many of his favourite things as I could think of – TV characters, real people, food, places, and things.  I laminated the list and cut it up into individual words, which I put into a box that had once contained some kind of conference freebie and was waiting in my drawer for its opportunity to be reused.  Then I just decorated it with a few stickers.

Dream Box

It was a bit rough and ready, but it did the job.  And continues to do so.  Every night at bedtime we choose five dreams.  Sometimes we make up a little story with them.  This was last night’s selection:

Dreams

So now I have decided to share the dreams, by making Dream Boxes to sell in my Folksy Shop.  They are rather more attractive than the original, and I can personalise them to include the recipient’s favourite things.

Here’s the new improved Dream Box:

It’s available to order from www.folksy.com/shops/jumbleshell

Just don’t tell my son, or he’ll be wanting a new shiny one too!

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Who? What? Where? When?

Living with a four-year-old is fun and frustrating in equal measure.  My particular model never stops fidgeting, touching things and talking.  In particular, the questions never seem to end.

Today I made a note of all the questions that he asked over a six-hour period.  Bear in mind that this represents barely half of our normal day.  Plus I actually got about an hour’s peace while he was sitting in the shopping trolley and playing with his ipod.

This is how my day went (from about 9am to about 3pm)

Can I play Gator Golf?
Can I play Hungry Hippos?
When can we go to Cadbury World?
Who’s that man?
Can we do penguin dancing when we get home?
What is that lady doing out there?
Where’s my food?
What’s that?
Why does it have a picture of a house on it?
Did you see Tracey?
When can we watch Rio again?
Why do they have cheese potatoes?
Why is there a table for the workers?
Who’s that man?
What are we doing at the weekend?
Can I have my food first?
When can we go to Chessington again?
When can we go to Alton Towers again?
All houses are white aren’t they?
Why not?
What colour is our house?
What colour is brick colour?
Why did they choose that colour?
Why didn’t you live together in a flat?
Why?
Why is there a picture of that?
Why is there a picture of a kitkat?
What happened?
How old will I be when you’re dead?
How old do you think I’ll be?
Will you be sad when you’re dead?
Will you be sad when I’m dead?
Why will you be very sad?
How old can you stay alive for?
Do some people live to be a thousand?
How else can you stay alive for?
Has Betty got Snow White yet?
How do you know?
When did you see it?
What does psychic mean?
Is the flower shop next door?
Did you know penguins can hold their breath for twenty minutes?
What does my breath smell of?
And what else?
And what else?
What will Poppy’s first word be?
Will it be cheese?
Will it be chocolate?
Why is it difficult to say?
There’s twelve tables isn’t there?
Can we sing baa baa black sheep on the way?
Can I have a big bit of drink?
When is it the weekend?
When can we go on a seaside holiday again?
Please may I have pudding?
Can we go home?
Can we buy some flowers?
If someone steals our flowers can we get some?
Why aren’t we selling the house any more?
When’s all the paperwork going to be done?
Why are we stuck together?
Why are you walking slowly?
Can I play with my phone?
What did he say?
Why did he say that?
Why is he a Pirate?
When can we go on the 322?
Are we going straight to the supermarket?
How do you know?
Why don’t we have a gate anymore?
How are we going to get a fence again?
How do you know?
Have you been there before?
How do you like that?
Why are we going to the supermarket?
What are we having for lunch?
Is it Monday next week?
Can you do this for me?
Can I put this down now?
Is police cars faster than normal cars?
Why?
What’s criminals?
Why are they called criminals?
What kind of things?
And what else?
People who crash?
Why sometimes the police comes?
Why doesn’t it work in that one?
Can I have my phone now?
When can we go to Legoland?
Why is it called Legoland?
But why does it have Lego anyway?
Can we go to Morrisons?
Are we going there?
Can I have my phone in the supermarket?
Can I sit in the trolley?
Why did you choose one with two seats?
Why is that all they’ve got?
Can I have chocolate yoghurt?
Can I have a magazine?
Can I have chocolate?
How much shopping did we get?
What comes after 39?
What comes after 49?
Is it dark in here?
Can you see my Paulton’s Park map?
When I am Ruby’s age she will be 9 won’t she?
Why will she be 12?
Who are you sending a message to?
Can you turn the lights on?
Can I have the Jake music?
Can I have your wedding music?
Why did you let Sarah look after me instead of taking me yourself?
How much times have I had this?
When are we going to Sarah’s?
Did you ask Kate and Betty as well?
Can you ask Kate and Betty next time?
I’ll be five the next time we go to Alton towers won’t I?
Because it’s my birthday soon isn’t it?
Nor really soon but quite soon?
Can we go to that park this afternoon?
What did he call to say?
Post what things?
Who is our solicitor?
What’s her other name?
Where’s the post office?
Can I sit in the car while you go to the post office?
Can we park here?
Please can I have sweets?
Why did you say four?
When are we going home?
Can I have sweets?
What are we having for lunch?
Where is the map from Alice in Wonderland?
Why are we driving this way?
When can we go to that park?
Are you watching?
Shall I go and tell them it’s not a bench it’s a roundabout?
Can you push me really high?
Can you make it stop?
Can you reach me?
Can you get my foot out?
I went all the way round didn’t I?
Who can I hear shouting?
Is that learning?
Why have they got yellow?
Is there no such thing as superheroes in this world?
Can I call Nanny to tell her we’ve got 14 Disney cards?
When will lunch be ready?
Can we make a chocolate lolly?
What’s a mould?
Can we watch TV please?
Is lunch ready?
Where are my sausages?
Why have you given me four – I said five?
Didn’t you hear me?
What can we have for pudding?
Can you open it?
Did you have that when you were little?
Am I too big for it now?
Please can I have another pudding?
Can I have yoghurt?
Why do they put it in a strawberry?
Can I play on the computer?
How does this game work?
Can I have another pudding?
Can you get me a spoon?
Can we make these now?
This glue?
Why isn’t it coming out?
Why is it still not coming out?
How do you know?
Where’s the red one?
Is it finished?
Now what can we do?
Was that a police car on this programme?
What is this?
Can I have a go?
How does it work?
Please can I have a go?
How did you cut this off?
Can I rip it?
What begins with a c?

In case you weren’t counting, that is around 180 questions, which works out to be one every two minutes.  And of course every single one of these questions required an answer.

So I think it’s hardly surprising that by the end of the day I can barely string a sentence together, never mind write a blog post.