"DOITSU, DOITSU!! GERMANY, GERMANY!!!"
I groaned. For Gott's sake, it was 5 A.M. What now?
"What is it?" I said to the little head that was peeping into my bedroom. "And didn't I say to call me 'Vatti?'"
The door opened wider, flooding the night with light from the hall. "I know," said the tiny voice, "but Mommy calls you that
I sighed. 'Mommy' was lying next to me, passed out like he normally was. Charging tanks cannot wake him up when he's tiredbelieve me, I know from experience. Since he was unlikely to wake up, I was left dealing with our child on my own.
I heard whimpering coming from the door. "Come here, now," I said softening. "What is it?"
" the little voice squeaked, "I had a nightmare
The child whimpered, and then buried her head into my chest.
"I DREAMED THAT THERE WAS NO MORE PASTA OR WURST LEFT!!!!"
I tried to stifle a snort. This was the nightmare?
"That would be bad," I said awkwardly.
She looked up at me expectantly. What? Was I supposed to say more? Obviously, the world still had wurst and pasta. What else was there to say?
When I didn't take her hint, she tried again. "Mommy always sings to me to make me fall asleep," she said.
Mein Gott. I cannot sing.
"Just go to sleep, ja?"
She shook her head adamantly. "I can't sleep unless someone sings to me!!!" Her eyes started to brim with tears. Whiny children. If she had not been my daughter, I would have a good mind to kick her out of the house.
But she is my daughter, so seeing her on the edge of sobbing made my heart melt.
"OK, OK," I said. "What song do you want?"
"How about that song about boiling hot water?" she says, instantly perking up. "That's what Mommy always sings."
No. I WILL NOT sing about pasta.
"Look," I said, "here's a song mein brother used to sing to me."
And, as softly as I could, I began to chant, "Bring on the fire, bring on the hell, set everything ablaze so that no trace remains
She started to cry harder, blubbering about scary Englishmen. Mommy has taught her too well.
"Don't cry," I said, patting her on the back awkwardly. "Here, I'll tell you a story instead."
She sniffled. "Okay," she said, and looked up at me expectantly.
"Okay," I said, and cleared my throat. "Once upon a time
Before I could continue any more, she had already fallen asleep in my arms, her mouth forming the words, 'Vatti,' 'pasta,' and 'wurst,' as she dreamed about something pleasanter. I shook my head, half annoyed, and half amused, as I set her down between Feliciano and me.
Just as I was about to drift into dreamland, Feli gave out a loud whimper, and shook my shoulder.
"DOITSU, DOITSU!! GERMANY, GERMANY!!! I HAD A BAD DREAM ABOUT NO MORE PASTA!!!!!"
I groaned again.