Daddy's Coming Honey!

Do Babies Dream of Embryonic Sheep?

Do Babies Dream of Embryonic Sheep?

I have had a most rare vision. The other night I had a strange dream indeed. I dreamed of the baby. It was one of those fuzzy dreams, the ones where you’re pretty sure what was what but can’t confirm what all transpired. Maybe all dreams are as such.

In the dream, we I held the baby in our duplex. It was dim and bright all around at the same time. I was touching the baby’s hands. Then the baby wanted to touch other things, put its little fingers around them, and for each item in our house it made a sound, a coo of some sort. Before I knew it the baby wanted to crawl to everything. I was as mesmerized as the child was, at each new thing the darling was discovering for the first time ever. Now the baby was upright and walking around, exploring the small world of our home. All this progress seemed to pass by so naturally in my dream.

Then I think there was a moment when I thought I was behind Carrie, and she turned around and it was the child and it was my daughter (in the dream, I guess it was a girl), and she had grown up to look so much like her, even wore the same dresses. Or maybe I was reaching for the baby and just saw my wife, still with the child within her. That was the real fuzzy part.

And then there was this bit where one of my old friends who I haven’t talked to in ages stopped by and played with the child. Josh Simmons, it was you. I don’t know why, but it was you.

This was one of the more normal dreams I’ve had. I’ve slipped into some strange ones in my time:

I have sometimes dreamt of a house haunted by traps and the dead. Sometimes there are clowns involved. They don’t go into the house. They wait outside for me.

(I don’t care if “dreamt” is a word)

I used to have lots of dreams about a tentacle following me around. Not tentacles. Just a single, disembodied tentacle, standing upright like a wizard hat. It followed me on trains sometimes. It would confront me, but no words were exchanged. Because its a tentacle, I tell myself.

As a kid I dreamed once I was on the basketball court in my backyard at night when a spaceship that looked like a Quizzard board []. flew over and beamed me up and I was examined by aliens. The aliens were tentacles.

I once dreamt of a Jurassic Park scenario. Raptors mostly. And some kind of lobster thing with tentacles that inhabits creeks. Some old man approaches a T-Rex because it was very rude to him. He walks away, but it grabs him by the leg and eats him. So it goes.

I’ve dreamt I kept trying to trim my beard but it kept growing back.

Dreamt I was on this patio of a yard with raised concrete walls and this hispanic woman with a scowl kept tele-porting back and forth like a ghost. I ran off and her husband was this homeless black guy in camo who chased me through the tall grass breathing sticks and dirt at me, and he had on this green poncho that flared up like a frill lizard.

One time I dreamt that my entire family had gathered in my parents’ living room. Carrie was in the form of a sphinx, and I was playing guitar. Luke announced that he was going to change his name. I think this would have made a nice portrait.

Dreamt I went to a party and met Andy Warhol, but for some reason thought he was Malcolm McDowell, because in the dream they looked alike. For some reason I was disappointed, though Warhol is the more famous of the two.

Dreamt I was in a dark basement of a house and found a girl sitting bound to a chair where a man had sliced tomatoes and placed them on a gramophone and made her listen to it. The tomatoes on the record player made a sound I can’t describe. The closest thing I can come to describing it is like the noise of Hubert Cumberdale screaming.

I dreamt I was playing guitar in the tree in my parents’ front yard and people gathered to hear me. Then I climbed down and Johny Cash pulled up in a black car and told me to get in. He gave me some career advice. I got out and told him I couldn’t play guitar very well. He said “I know” and drove away.

I once dreamt I discovered old schoolmate David Galloway wearing a suit of armor and shoveling snow in my yard.

Dreamt the queen of England invited me to a mystery dinner theatre.

I dreamt my brother threw me in a truck and chopped off my hand and then my whole arm with a chainsaw. My parents made him apologize.

Scariest dream as a kid: I got out of bed to get a drink of water and lying on the couch in my living room was a man in a tuxedo who had a slimy stack of pancakes for a face. He was grinning. I ran. To this day I believe that dream was inspired by Short Stack the Pancake Killer of the notorious Kitchen Commando Refrigerator Rejects [photostream]. I’m just glad it wasn’t Leutenant Legg wasn’t part of it [photostream]. Had that been the case, I would have never recovered.

Which brings me to this: Do unborn babies dream? Scientifically, yes. REM sleep has been spotted in all life stages. The only thing is, we only remember dreams because there are symbols in them we recognize from our life awake. Babies have nothing to go on but the monotonous sights and sounds of the womb, they can’t dream of anything they haven’t yet seen. So when they’re dreaming, is there a difference in their experience? Are they aware that something is different? Do they see colors they don’t see in the womb? Does the heartbeat morph into otherworldly sounds? Is that what makes them toss and turn? Do they count embryonic sheep when they have trouble sleeping?

I’m sure Freud, psychology’s most stereotypical archon, would say that all dreams are our subconscious attempt to reenter the womb and fight off the outer threat that is the father. Maybe there’s a touch of truth to that. Or maybe it’s bunk.

Maybe the whole womb itself is like a dream, and coming to the world is waking. Imagine having the most cozy and placid dream you can think of, then waking up freezing wet on a raft in the middle of the arctic ocean with the sun in your face. I think that’s why babies scream so much coming out.


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