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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Night Terror

Surprise! It was another week of exhaustion at the Ricks residence. The culprit was again Merritt. Inexplicably, for three nights, Merritt woke after about two hours of sleep. Although he was clearly tired, he simply would not stop squirming and rolling around, so Kira and I were up about half of the night with him. He had no fever, and did not seem in pain, but we tried ibuprofen finally and eventually he slept a couple more hours. This pattern persisted each night. Twice, he even woke up just enough to scream in 20-minute spells. He was inconsolable. Finally on Wednesday, Kira saw that he seemed to have a bit of a rash all over. It didn’t seem painful, but it was at least some evidence that there was more going on. 

We got him into the doctor, who said that it may be an aftermath of the stomach thing we dealt with last week. He also tested “barely positive” for strep throat, so we got him on antibiotics. That seems to have done it, because that same night he slept better than he has in a long time, and he’s been in much better spirits since. 

In a few other minor developments, we made some changes to our cell phone plan, and I ended up with a new phone (my old one was about 4 years old). Avey jumped on the opportunity to inherit my old one, although she uses it without cell service, so that it works only when connected to the internet. Still, she’s enjoyed using a special app that lets her text her best friend. It’s fun to sometimes get a check-in text from her while I’m at work. She’s starting to put some music on it, too.

I had a great Wednesday. It wasn’t really any different from my usual routine, but right before I headed into my classroom for class, I got an email from a journal to which I had submitted a manuscript. They accepted it for publication in their Spring issue, much to my relief and delight. This is a particularly big achievement for me, as it’s my first primary-author publication without my doctoral advisor as a coauthor. It’s also huge because it’s the first publication I’ve had with my own student as a coauthor. 

We made Saturday a busy day. Kira left for the morning to attend a class on parenting, mostly so that she could use it for continuing education credits for her Colorado license, but also so that she could get a break. Once she got home, Avey, Hakan, and I took off for some errands, and then we all worked on projects at home. Carver’s class is making shirts with 100 items on them to celebrate their 100th day of school, so he and Kira designed and made a black shirt with 100 dots on it, spelling out “100.” Avey has been dying to customize a marshmallow gun her uncle made her for Christmas, so we painted it black and teal (her favorite colors). I have also had a bee in my bonnet to get Gregor the Hamster some more things to do in his cage, so Avey and I cut up some PVC pipe and got some connectors and elbows to make a tube maze in which he could fit. We weren’t sure how he would respond, but he moved right in. He explored it for a while and then started moving in some bedding and food, apparently preparing for the zombie hamster apocalypse. He seems to really like the tunnels, and so we’re thinking we’ll change up the layout every week or so when we clean his cage to keep it interesting.

As long as the other kids don’t get whatever Merritt is dealing with, we expect this coming week to be a little less exhausting. We seem to set ourselves up for disappointment, though, don’t we?


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