They like to walk along the cinderblock walls on the way to and from school.
Max especially, but Mia too, and this morning, as she navigated the balance beam in front of the neighbor’s house, last night’s dream came back to her. “I was walking on a bridge” – a bridge just like the wall – “and I got to a house on stilts, and I went inside, and the roof had holes in it. And a bunch of birds landed on the house, and they started pooping in the holes. So I hid under the table.”
I think it’s the first coherent dream she’s told me about after the fact. She’s like me, she doesn’t remember her dreams, or if she does, she keeps them to herself. Maybe the only other dream she’s ever really told me about was the one just after Max was born – he couldn’t have been more than a week old, and Mia woke up screaming. “I dreamt that Mommy put me in a basket,” she told me, still shivering and barely awake “—and pushed me up to the sky.” Sarah’s still getting over that one.
But this dream, the pooping bird dream, had Mia laughing, just like it had me laughing and it definitely had Max laughing. I mean, birds! Pooping! Through holes in the ceiling!
“Isn’t that funny?” she said, and it was more a statement than a question. “Isn’t it?”
It was good to see Max laughing.
All morning he’d been complaining. His bottom itched, and though we checked it and it was clean, he kept tugging at it, pulling his pants clear down and twisting his body around to inspect his bum.
We never did figure it out, but he kept it up. At school, after the pledge, I ran into Mia’s kindergarten teacher. While we chatted, I felt something on the back of my leg. It was Max, facing away, furiously rubbing his butt up and down against my leg. Like a bear scratching an itch on a tree.
He complained a little more, all the way home, but he settled down. Don’t know what it was. I’m telling you, the boy was clean.