Noah is on his back, eyes closed, mouth open. Let him sleep a few minutes more while I set out breakfast. The cat meows her impatience.
“Wait, fat cat. He’ll be up soon.”
Cats are spoiled kids. Perfect one way communicators. She throws herself bodily against my legs in a loud lament. Yes, the cat’s female.
I make no effort to be quiet as I get things going. Yet, when I check back, Noah hasn’t moved a centimeter. Arms and legs flung out Northwest, East, West, Southeast.
Today we need to be at his day camp early. They are going Geo Caching, which is treasure hunting in the woods with GPS devices and maps and compasses. So, I pull at his big toe, gently. No effect. I insist, shaking his leg. No. I pat his head, kiss his cheek. The cat charges in, meowing her irritation at having to wait.
The only sign of life is the gentle rise and fall of his outsy belly button.
Both the cat and I seem to make the same decision at the same time. Wonder whether it’s commentary on my increasingly simple mind. She jumps on his legs with a rending lament. I shake his shoulders with both hands.
One bloodshot eye cracks open. Chlorine from the pool, sun from the sky, sand from the beach, sunscreen from his skin and he looks like he’s been up all night in a smoke filled bar in Costa Rica playing poker. He squints at the alarm clock.
“Awwwww, my, I’m sooooooo, so wanting to just sleep some more.”
“We’re late, Noah. We have to be out of the house by 7:40. Come on, breakfast is waiting.”
I kiss him on the top of the head and leap back, just barely avoiding being whacked by his limbs flinging out in a new geo-positioning. He buries his head in the pillow.
No, I’m not writing onomatopoeia. He actually says ‘groan’. I walk to my room, to get dressed and to give him a moment or two more. I finally hear him stumbling to the bathroom, trailing the cat which is expressing its displeasure very audibly.
“Yes, yes, Ouaga, I know you’re hungry. Geez, what a pain.”
I hear the tumult of his urinating mixing with the melody of the cat’s out of tune histrionics.
Finally I hear the cat food being poured into the dish.
The conversation is from bathroom to bedroom and back, so the volume is pretty annoying.
“There are bugs everywhere in Ouaga’s food.”
“Are they in the bag of food?”
“In her dish?”
“Euh, no. Just in like the spilled food, on the ground.”
And who spilled the food?
“No worry then. Just pick up the spill and throw it in the toilet. Drown the suckers.”
“Oh god, gross.”
He pfffffs and grrrrs and ooufffs and commits other karaoke effects to sing his displeasure. But I hear the spill being picked up and flushed away.
‘Dad, you know what sucks?”
A rubber doll? A blowfish? An unpleasant ex? Not your mom that’s for sure, because here you are, my early morning torturer.
“Being late at day camp and missing the bus for the activity?”
And ending up being screwed because I have to manage you all day.
He’s still talking way too loudly from the bathroom and is no closer to being ready.
“Fifteen minutes to take off, Noah. You’ll make the list of all that sucks as we walk to the camp. Okay.”
“Pffffffff, awww-uhn…”. He’s back on the karaoke cassette. But I can hear him moving to the breakfast table.
Progress. Now if only I could remember where I put those house keys.