Thursday, August 4, 2011

Making a Joyful Noise

My eye doctor apologized this morning for what he called the "state of disarray" in his new office. (He just moved to a new location and hasn't officially opened yet, but he has the exam equipment up and running and let me come in to do a follow-up after my recent LASIK far, so good.) I just had to laugh, as "disarray" is a pretty good term for my house in general.

"Vociferous" comes to mind as well.

When Daisy was born, I fretted a little at first about the noise level during her naptimes, but it quickly became clear that it didn't bother her at all. I guess she was well-prepared in utero for the fairly steady din she was to be faced with upon arrival. Nor has she ever had trouble making herself heard, or been shy about expressing her opinions with audible conviction. Case in point: on our recent road trip to Colorado, we stopped the first night out at a hotel in Davenport, Iowa. It was after 10:00 pm by the time we had everyone unloaded, changed into pjs, teeth brushed, and settled. Bookworm got the rollaway, and she was asleep before her head even touched the pillow. The other three, sharing a queen bed, understandably took a few minutes to settle down. But by the time I'd gotten my own teeth brushed they had quite companionably cuddled down together. I'd been a little concerned about Daisy; this was her first hotel visit not sleeping in a crib. Still, she'd been in a regular bed at home for more than half a year now, so I figured we were in good shape as I turned off the light...


I turned the light back on and looked at Daisy, who was sitting up in bed clutching her blankie for dear life. We knew she didn't like the dark, but she did fine with just a night light at home, and I'd left the bathroom light on with the door cracked open so the kids could find it if they woke up needing it. Heaving a sigh, I got out of bed and turned on the room light. I opened the bathroom door all the way, so that the whole side of the room was illuminated by the light spill. I stopped to assure Daisy that it was all right, we were all here with her, and tucked her back in. Then I switched off the lamp again.


Fast forward through the comedy of errors of the next twenty minutes, which involved multiple variations on cuddling up with Daisy in Mom and Dad's bed, waiting a few minutes in the hope that she'd get comfy enough to doze, and then trying to nip the light...all in vain. Finally, Mom had had enough. I got up again, pulled the quilted bedspread off our bed, and made a pallet of it in the bathroom doorway. I then plunked Daisy down on it, with her head directly in the path of the bathroom light. I pulled up the bottom edge of the bedspread to cover her, then handed her her blankie. I asked her if she was all right, and got a solemn wide-eyed nod, fingers firmly in her mouth. I returned to bed, covered my ears, and turned out the light.


Only now, the Doc and I were freezing under the thin sheet left behind by Daisy's bed scavenging. The A/C in the room had one of those old-style switch controllers on the wall unit by the window, but it continued doggedly to blow cold air with undaunted force regardless of the switch's setting. We huddled together for warmth, but any notion of finding an opportunistic silver lining was immediately quashed by the titters from the next bed, where two pairs of eyes were fixed on us in rapt interest. So once again I had to venture out of bed, this time in search of something to bludgeon the A/C unit with. I was spared the temptation by finally locating the thermostat on the other side of the room. After all this...and I should have known better, but then, I had been driving all day and I'd only gotten one hour of sleep the night before (pretty typical for me when packing for a road trip). Anyway, I thought that since Daisy appeared to have finally succumbed to sleep, I'd try moving her back to the bed and reclaim our coverlet.


So, I put her back on her pallet by the bathroom door, and went back to bed. This time, in quiet if not darkness or warmth, we were all able to fall asleep. I have to note here also that Bookworm never batted an eye during any of these goings on.

So, I tell this story for two reasons:
(1) Now, when we are planning a road trip and people ask why we don't stop in hotels more often, all I have to do is send them this link, and
(2) To illustrate why I was a touch amused this morning when, during an uncharacteristic lull right after breakfast, Aslan announced to no one in particular that she was going to go back upstairs, where it was "cooler."

"Cooler?" I asked, puzzled. (This turned out to indicate that the floors up there produce more satisfying thunking sounds when she gallops across them on all fours.)

"Yeah," she answered, "I can't stand all this quiet."

1 comment:

  1. I remember stopping in Topeka, Kansas in the noisiest Ramada Inn ever. Doc was still pretty young and refused to let us turn out the light. Fortunately his bed was right next to a window. So we figures out that the light from the street light was just right for him. So we opened the curtain and all was well. Those were the days.