Friday, June 18, 2010

Fast, then Faster

"In the middle of the night,
Miss Clavel turned on her light
And said, 'Something is not right!'
And afraid of disaster
Miss Clavel ran fast
And even faster."
--From Madeline by L. Bemelmans

These lines have been rattling through my brain the last couple days, ya wanna know why?

He is three foot tall, has the cutest dimples you'll ever see and answers to the name of Noah.

Gracious, he has had my hair standing on end.

Like this one:

We have a balcony outside our front door here on the 3rd floor. There happen to be 3 stair wells, 2 near our front door, and one at the far end of the hall. Rey put up doors on the stairs close to our door, but Noah never was interested in going down to the other end, so Rey left that one uncovered (That, and other projects caused it to never get a door). Well, that stair well goes up to the "still-under-construction" part of the building--the roof/5th floor.

This fine day, Noah and I had been playing in his room. I went to get a movie out of the closet to put on for him and he came pattering after me. He didn't see me, and went on by. I put the movie in, expecting him to start calling for me. He didn't, so I went to check on Aleni.

Then, I heard rocks being thrown. Now, there are blocks on the "safe roof/patio" above us that he likes to play with, so I went up to see how he was. He wasn't there, but I continued to hear the thumping noise. So, I ran back down into the apartment and re-checked his room. No, and thud, thud. My room, the closets, Aleni's room, the bathroom. No. Where....?? Then my heart stopped--did he go up that other stairs?? I ran fast, and then faster, up to the 4th floor. Didn't see him, but the thuds were louder. Up to the fifth floor/roof. And there stood my little prince, grabbing broken pieces of bricks and blocks, hurling them, and watching them fall the 5 floors to the ground below.

This floor, as I said, is being constructed. So it is that--a floor. No walls. Noah was literally standing with his toes on the edge of this storey looking down, down, down to the cement patio below. My heart turned to stone and my hands tingled with fear. I calmly said, "Hey, little man, having fun?" not wanting to startle him as I slowly moved towards him. Ah, the relief of swooping him up in my arms and rushing him back down to our apartment.

Thank You, Lord for being with our children when we aren't.

Or this:

Yesterday, I made some oatmeal cookies. Noah had one when he woke up from his nap. He really liked it, and a while later came over a grabbed one off of my friend's plate. "No, Noah," I said, "I want you to eat supper before you have any more cookies." He already had a bite in his mouth, a opened his mouth to let out a scream of anger at not getting what he wanted. In so doing, he inhaled the bit of cookie he had there.

He started coughing. I had Aleni in one arm, so I lifted his arm to help him pass the bite. He kept coughing and gagging. He has a tendency to overreact when he coughs, so I was just saying, "It's ok, you can do it". Suddenly, his face turned completely purple. And at that, I lost all feeling in my body. I rushed to lay Aleni on the couch and kneeled beside Noah, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. He was beginning to go limp as his blue lips kept moving with his effort to cough and tears streaked down his face. The only thing I could think to do was to check his throat to see if I could feel the blockage. The little chunk of cookie was there, wedged at the entrance to his throat. It probably wasn't the right thing to do (the Heimlich maneuver did not even enter my mind), but I wiggled my finger around the piece to dislodge it. The house around me melted away as every sense funneled into my little boy. Come on, come on.... and it was out. And Noah was gasping, and coughing and crying. And his face was becoming white, and then pink. And we snuggled on the couch together with Blankey.

Thank You, Lord, for saving my baby's life--even if I do all the wrong things.

So, these things may help you understand why this cool morning found me leaping from the shower as it was still running, my face white with Noxema, and streaking up to the roof patio with a towel wrapped around me. I had heard a nearby scream from Noah (which he does a lot when he is imitating someone on a movie), but I didn't hear anything else, so I kept sudsing. Then, I heard what sounded like a call from help--but far away.

No! Don't tell me--he's outside in trouble?? I ran out of the bathroom. "Noah??" And I heard a replying noise, but it sounded muffled. The front door was shut... had he gotten stuck somewhere on the patio? So, I cast an eye at his empty bedroom and then shot up the stairs and outside (thank goodness the neighbor was gone). No Noah up there. Back down the stairs. "Noah, Noah???" No answer. Still not in his room, or any rooms. Start checking the closets. Opened his closet, and 2 brown eyes looked calmly up at me as chubby little hands held the blanket up to his cheek. He stepped around me dismissively, and sat down to play with his cars. "Your welcome..." I called out to his back.

Thank You, Lord, for protecting my babies even when they're not in danger.

Hats off to you, Miss Clavel. I don't know how you did it.


  1. Wow! Craziness! Did you ever get that Noxema off? :) After watching the latest Alice in Wonderland, I find myself saying, "This just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser" almost every day!

  2. Oh my goodness. Praise the Lord for keeping up with Noah.

  3. rach--yes, the noxema came off. ;) hmm, i may have to adopt that saying myself.
    ellen--it was! and i was really concerned that i may have injured his throat digging around like that, but he has been eating/talking normally, so i'm THANKFUL for that!
    rachel--amen! :)

  4. Oh my! Do you have any gray hairs yet?

  5. hah! i keep saying that is what he is trying to do! :)


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