…sleep and …
No, I’m not finally admitting my insanity.
“Dad, these are great!” He stares at them. “Where have you been all my life?”
He munches through the unsalted soda cracker in his hand, quick-bite rabbit style. Crumbs go flying everywhere. The cat saunters in and nonchalantly snorts up what’s on the floor.
Crackers are cat crack.
It’s 3h30 a.m. and Noah has woken with the stomach burns that have be colonizing our nights for the last month. Every night the only solution has seemed to be taking him into my bed. Within an half hour he snores and I lie awake.
For years no one has slept in my bed. Before that, only women with whom I’d exhausted my body. When we tossed and turned and bumped into each other in the night it would generally lead to further enjoyable exhaustion. Making out, half asleep but fully naked is the best non-Olympic sport.
Noah is cute when he sleeps with me. I rub his little head, give him a kiss on the cheek. He rolls into me and shoves his feet into my belly. Hardly conducive to my rest. But if he stays in his bed his stomach doesn’t let him go back to sleep.
Stress? Fear? Fragile stomach? All three. And his pediatrician has no solution other than subjecting him to a battery of tests that will take weeks to schedule, execute and then react to…. if they are conclusive. And stomach stuff is rarely conclusive.
The stomach is the lint filter of everything we live through.
So yesterday, we decided on a plan to defeat the wake, burn, go to my bed cycle. In addition to various homeopathic and natural remedies, I put a plate of soda crackers by his bed. The plan: if he wakes, munch on crackers, relax and wait for the pain to subside.
Soda and dry stuff apparently suck up the acid…according to mothers, grandmothers and Mr. Christie.
3h30. I wake to the sounds of Noah whining and “ooouuuffffinnnngg”. I go to him. He sits up and bites into a cracker. His eyes widen.
“Wow, these are good.” His first crackers. Yes, he is an underprivileged child.
The cat snorts cracker dust and then joins us in Noah’s bed. She comes within an inch of his face. Noah kisses the kitty on the head. The two ball up together.
“Is it easing?”
“A little.” He yawns. Time to make my exit.
“Let’s see if we can go to sleep…”
“…each in our own bed, huhn, dad?”
“That’s the plan. Buona Notte, Sogni d’oro.”
I slip back into my own bed. “Noah, if you can’t stand it and you show up here with your pillow under your arm, I’ll make room for you in my bed. You’ll be the judge, ok?”
I hear him whine a little, grumble a little, moan a little, talk to the cat a little.
A loud shrill bell…insistent, annoying. What the hell is it? My cellphone vibrates itself off my night-table onto the ground.
7 a.m. It’s my alarm.
I get out of bed and sneak a peek into Noah’s room. He’s sound asleep, mouth open, hands under his head. The cat is up against his belly. She looks up at me.
We nod to each other, like Joe Friday in Dragnet.
We made it through the night! Now that’s intestinal fortitude! I’m going to have to tell Noah I’m proud of him.
Oh, and stock up on soda crackers..