msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Peeing and lucid dreaming

Julian is not peeing as much at night. Hallelujah. Those nights of nonstop taking him potty and changing his soaking diaper multiple times got real old, let me tell you. Not that they're over yet...but the pee factory does seem to be slowing down, especially since we're having semi-success with night-weaning.

It's a real drag to take him pee in the middle of the night, but I don't want him to learn to sleep through his peefulness. That just seems like a recipe for bed-wetting later on. So far he's pretty good about waking up when he needs to pee, especially after midnight. For the first few hours after he goes to sleep he's generally too conked out to wake up, and that's when most of the peeing happens. After that he pretty much stays dry.

I wet the bed fairly regularly until about age 8 or 9. I remember exactly what happened...I would vividly dream that I was in bed sleeping, having to pee. In my dream I would get up, go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet, and start peeing. Right when I let go I would wake up and find myself peeing, not on the toilet, but in bed. D'oh!

My parents were pretty frustrated, as was I. I don't know if they tried waking me up to pee on a regular basis. I do remember coming up with various strategies for "testing" my dream toilet to find out if it was real or not before I began peeing. I would check the toilet paper, flip the lid up and down. Most of the time my dream toilet was just too real, and after testing it a million different ways I would finally sit down and pee, only to wake up peeing in bed yet again.

I still do a lot of dream testing, but I have much more success now. I have discovered the test that works for me every time. I try to find a book or newspaper and read it. My brain is unable to come up with enough content to fill a book/newspaper fast enough for me to read it, so there are always blurry areas, or missing pieces. Then I *know* I am dreaming and can start
controlling the action, or just dismiss the dream completely if I don't like where it's going. Very interesting. I noticed that book/newspaper thing once while dreaming and just decided to go with it. It really works well.

I saw something very similar in the fabulous movie Waking Life, and the text test is recommended as one of several reality tests that you can do when dreaming by people who are interested in such things. See, once you know that you are dreaming, it's a snap to do anything you want to do in your dream. The only hard part is figuring out whether it's dream or reality in the first place. Well, I guess the real first step is to even think to *ask* the question while you're in the middle of a dream. Then I suppose testing is easy after that.

Waking Life mostly focused on looking at clocks as a reality test. In a dream, the clock will be too blurry to read, or will change the time display in a weird way.

It just doesn't work for me. I guess my brain doesn't have trouble keeping time in dreams. My clocks always look perefectly normal. But my dream reading material is *always* off. I can only display a sentence or two at a time, and the rest is too fuzzy to read, or else it's just nonsense words.

So what about you? How do you tell that you're dreaming? If you can't tell, try out the reading or clock tests, and let me know how it goes.

 

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