Two fifty-five. I don’t want to get up yet. I’m warm under my throw blanket on the couch. I read too long and nap too little. (This week’s portal transports me to a small Channel island after the war. Letters and telegrams, small snippets of lives, until I’m sure we’ve met before and just forgot to schedule a get-together.)
Three o’clock. I love technology. Hate it. I don’t want to get up yet, but the night light turns on at three. By the time I remember to tell Alexa to turn it off, it’s too late. He’s already seen it. The LED beacon that announces his freedom to exit the sleeping area. He wakes his brother, his partner in shenanigans. He goes to the bathroom. I still am not used to it, the freedom of him using a toilet. It’s the little things.
He goes right past me when he’s done. The Playroom. The Playroom is calling. Is calling my Warrior. His older siblings are in there. The Scholar and the Princess. “Come in here!” Come see what we are doing. He goes.
Three o’five. Tiny patter. A whine. He doesn’t want to get up either, but the law of Childhood Sleep Resistance dictates he must. The patter stops at my couch. I roll over. Blue eyes, blonde hair, rosy cheeks, a blue pacifier, a scratch on the nose. His well-loved cheetah in his arms. My MommaSense is tingling. If I play my cards right, I could get cuddles with minimal-wiggling. It’s the magical unicorn of quality time.
Scoop him up in my arms, lay him beside me. There’s plenty of room under my throw.
I close my eyes…peek. He smiles sleepy smiles around his paci. Close my eyes again….and open. Move the heating pad to my stomach. It’s that time of month. I’ll need to take ibuprofen soon, but not yet. Not now. Now I can cuddle.
Eyes close. He snuggles close. I peek again and he smiles. Selfie. He’s just so sweet. His hand on his cheek. I put my hand on mine. A mischievous smile. Now it’s a game. Hand on. Momma copies. Hand off. Again. On…and off…on….again.
Now he tries to poke my eyes. Giggles at the funny way I scrunch my face in self-defense. Pokes my teeth. More giggles. He sits up.
“Heeeeyyy! Mom-MAH!” He moves my arm and lays back down. Makes me tuck him in again. We snuggle. We snuggle. (Nearly fifteen minutes of minimal-wiggling cuddles. A veritable gold mine.)
She jumps on the back of the couch, our fluffy gray cat, and breaks the moment.
“OOO! Cat-Cat!” He exclaims, like he hasn’t seen her every day for the last two years.
He sits up. Reaches for the end table.
“Here go, Momma.” He hands me my glasses with surprising gentleness.
Next my phone. “Here go, Momma.”
And then he’s off, he takes the cheetah too. He won’t sit still again for hours. My time was well spent.
“If you like to write” My dad told me earlier that day, “You should start a blog.”
“That’s a good idea.” I had said, but I wondered, what would I write about….?”
He asks for an apple for his snack. I tell him he has to sit at the table with it.
SPOILER ALERT: He doesn’t.
His momma pretends not to notice. She’s writing. Something came to her.