The kid's been having nightmares pretty regularly these days. This week, it's been bugs. She'd wake up in the middle of the night, crying, "I don't like spiders!" And my wife'd have to go in and shoo the spiders away to get her back to sleep. When we quiz her in the morning and try to talk her down from what sounds like a bad trip, she'd be all, "Spiders tickle you all over. I don't like spiders."
Then this morning she woke up crying, "I don't like buzzing bees. Make the buzzing bees go away."
Turns out they're learning about bugs this week at pre-school. So now I have my own nightmare of her little, progressive education actually turning out to be some Japanese game show, like a toddler-sized Fear Factor.
But it appears there's a qualitative difference between "scary" and "anxiety" dreams. Just now, we tried comforting the kid by explainng how everyone has scary dreams sometimes. My wife told her about her dream where "we were trying to catch a plane, but we still hadn't packed our suitcases," and the kid deadpanned, "But we could just fly on the next one."