We came out of Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed. No property damage, no flooding. We lost power for about 48 hours, and were almost out of water, but the situation was manageable. Gus did quite well, all things considered. He adapted well to the power outage, sleeping without his noise machine or any night light, relocating bedrooms for one night, not opening the refrigerator or playing with the lanterns too much. He even had to go to school yesterday and had no trouble getting ready in the dark.
The storm didn’t even completely ruin Halloween. We went trick-or-treating at the mall, and Gus stood in lines and stayed with us despite the crowds of children. We went out for dinner and had a lovely time. He didn’t even fuss at having to take a sponge bath with cold water before bed. He was incredibly easy going, which for a kid who hates disruptions to his routine, was major.
So, I was utterly unsurprised when the other shoe dropped.
The power came back on at around 11:30, long after the kids had gone to bed. My husband and I woke up and couldn’t sleep for a while afterward. We turned off lights and radios. Gus and his sister never even twitched. We crashed around one. Fast forward to 3:33.
“THE POWER IS ON! THE POWER IS ON!” Gus has a bright future as a town crier should we ever go back to those days. He got out of bed, realized no one was responding and then went back to his room.
“CAN SOMEBODY SHUT MY DOOR? HEY! I FORGOT TO SHUT MY DOOR!”
This went on for a good five minutes. When I could no longer pretend it was a nightmare, I whisper-yelled back, “Get up and shut your own door!”
“I’M TRYING TO SLEEP!”
“SO ARE THE REST OF US!”
He finally got up to shut his door. That lasted for a minute or two. Through the closed door, I then heard, loud as a foghorn, “CAN SOMEBODY SET MY CLOCK!”
Over and over. Then he got up again. Apparently, he had now woken his sister and went back to proclaiming, at the top of his lungs, that the power was back on.
From her room there was a muffled, “I know!” and some other grumblings that I couldn’t make out, but that I assumed meant she wanted to punch him out.
Realizing that he had no audience from his sister’s room, he came to ours. “Can somebody set my clock?”
“Not right now. Go back to bed.”
“How am I supposed to get up in the morning?”
“I’ll wake you up.”
“What time is it?”
“IT’S 3:30! GO BACK TO BED!”
“I had a nightmare.”
I don’t know what the nightmare was about. I was distracted trying to figure out what the nearest large heavy object was with which I could beat myself in the head.
He was still rattling on when I interrupted. “I’m sorry you had a nightmare, but right now, you need to go back to your bed, shut off the light, close your own door and go back to sleep. You have school tomorrow.” Clearly, I am not a smart woman in the middle of the night.
He followed most of the instructions. My own fault for giving him four things to process at once, especially while he was so frazzled.
“HEY! CAN SOMEBODY SHUT MY DOOR?”