Sometimes Mommy's Not Too Smart

My daughter woke this morning and told me she had a terrible dream, in which a boy tried to drown her and then she had a baby inside her that had to be cut out. Sadly, this mirrors some of the details from the fairy tale poem I've been working on, and now I'm worried that I've done irreparable damage to my little girl's psyche by reading her the poem, which was a little graphic but not gory-graphic. (It didn't even reach Brothers Grimm-level graphic, so I thought she'd be okay.)

In my poem, a baby wasn't cut out of someone (it was a bird -- but I suppose she made the connection), and she never even read the poem in which the protagonist remembers being nearly-drowned by a boy in her childhood (at least, I never read her the poem, and I don't think she's had a chance to read the poem on my laptop), so that part must be coincidence (right? please say it's coincidence!) . . . but the similarities between her dream and my poem seem a little too close. The last time I read the fairytale to her I wasn't even sure she understood what was going on, to be honest, because she didn't really have any questions or comments. So now I'm kinda freaked out. Because I freaked her out. (I don't remember any of her Scooby Doo videos or Disney shows having this kind of imagery, so I'm pretty sure blame lies with me.)

Of all the ways I could and probably will warp my kids, I didn't think this would be one of them. I may be really foolish for thinking she could handle the imagery -- but then, kids see such gruesome stuff today, even when you're trying to protect them from the telephone-commercials-featuring-zombies on TV, or the slasher-porn ads that pop up at 7 p.m. (just before you're putting them to bed, of course), that I thought my work was pretty tame by comparison. When Little Miss Talkalot comes home from school today we'll have to have a little pow-wow and see what she remembers from the dream and the poem and whether or not they're really connected. And based on her answer, that may be the end of our little poetry-sharing sessions while I'm working on the fairy tale. She'll have to read the end when she's 13 or 16 or 21 or 62 . . . sometime when she's not quite so impressionable, that's for sure.

And that's too bad, because I've liked having her listen and ask questions. She took the job so seriously, and listened so earnestly. It was really sweet, and such a special mother-daughter bonding moment. Welp. I guess I'll have to save the mother-daughter bonding for our trip to see Picasso at the MoMA, which I've promised her and must do sometime in the very near future (*Note to Self: Plan This Now).


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