My mother has a weird habit of trying to converse with me while I'm obviously fast asleep. Hello! The room is dark, I'm bundled in covers, my eyes are shut and my mouth is probably agape and drooling all over the pillow or something, so even a casual observer might deduce that I'm asleep and go away. Not my mother, who has just seen something on TV that she must, MUST share with me IMMEDIATELY! Yes, the same mother whom nothing enrages so much as being disturbed while she's - ah-ha, good guess - asleep. Go figure.
It's 'fo-day morning on Easter Sunday which in Trinidadian means before daybreak, in this instance somewhere around five, and I'm fast asleep. I had an eventful day on Saturday, went to bed long after midnight, so as you might imagine I was under, and deep. I have a vague recollection of my bedroom door bursting open, light striking me in the face, and my mother's excited voice going on about "something behind the fridge". I struggle to the surface, partially, and with my usual scintillating morning wit ask: "Huh?"
"There's something in the kitchen making a funny noise. A LOUD funny noise. Listen!"
I try to listen, but my fan is roaring away on high (no, not in heaven, although it's headed there soon; I mean the 'high' setting). I hear a faint sound that I don't even try to identify. It doesn't sound threatening enough to send me running for the cutlass, like that time she woke me because there was a "big snake" in the bricks under the water tank, of the genus "bad", according to her expert identification. (That monster turned out to be a black plastic garbage bag blown by the wind, and I made short thrift of it: Avaunt! Ho! Begone!) I begin to sink into sleep again but she comes back, even more alarmed: "It sounds like some big frog or toad or something!"
Now, we've had our share of wildlife encounters in this house so that's not outside the realm of what's possible around here, but if I have to go and engage in a duel with some froggy hideousness I'd need a bit more sleep first. After all, the last samurai-ninja-attack-frog I'd had a battle of wits with in this house spoke to me, and what it said is unrepeatable. Not that it spoke English, mind you, but I had obviously been cursed out in the worst way possible in froginese. Being cussed out by a frog shakes you up. Leaves a mark.
Realizing that I was not leaping to defense of home and hearth as was my wont, my mom disappeared. And returned. Again. "You awake?" Hell, I am now! "I think it's the phone. I left it charging on top of the fridge and it's making a funny noise."
Yup, folks. Apparently the naughty niece and nefarious nephew were hanging around here yesterday and playing with the granny's phone was part of the scheduled entertainment. One of the standard Nokia ringtones is a frog sound, but my mother doesn't know that because, despite being of average intelligence and having owned about three mobiles to date, she is hopelessly cellphone challenged. She set the thing to alarm at some ungodly hour, and boy, did it succeed. In alarming, that is.
And now for the score... Cellphone and grandchildren: game, set and match. My mom: humiliating and shame-faced defeat.
The best part? I couldn't go back to sleep. I tried, but the moment was gone. Yay. Happy Easter.