It was aboutg three in the morning when I decided to sit down on the loveseat near the window and type.
Julia woke up at about quarter past two and I sat with her downstairs and watched "Good Eats" on the food channel until she realized we were NOT going to watch "The Jungle Book" and finally agreed to go back to bed. I brought her back up to her crib and settled her down with her beloved pink elephant. I located Herky, her black and brown pug, and, in the dark, put him near her head on the pillow.
Then she let out a cry of pain and anguish. MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!
I pulled her out of the crib and hurried into the bathroom and shut the door.
"What’s wrong? What’s the matter?"
She was crying, tears running down her cheeks, her mough open in a silent cry of hurt feelings and as yet unnamed pain.
She finally stopped wailing long enough to tell me.
"I bumped Herky on my HEAD!!!"
Turns out when I put Herky near her I must have poked her right in the eye with his paw or something.
A few minutes later, after a quick snuggle in my bed and a sip or two of apple juice, she was back in her crib again, hugging her elephant and agreeing to go to sleep again. I turned on her night light music box thing and left the room. (The batteries need to be replaced – when the music/light combo setting is on, all you hear is the reluctant whirring sound of the mechanism that makes the fishies swim around. The music isn’t playing, and the lights barely come on. But if I switch it over to just music – which requires less battery power and sounds like it’s supposed to – much protesting ensues. So I just let her listen to the loud battery death rattle.)
I was about to go back to bed, but I was listening to the rain pouring down outside, and decided to read for a while instead. I found a book and headed down the stairs, and then I thought – well, hey, since I’m awake, I could maybe type something.
So I got my laptop, got a blanket, propped myself up on some pillows right here by the front window. I’ve got a view of the front yard, sort of, and the street, and the snow that fell earlier. The neighbors across the street left their front lights on, and the glow reflects off of the puddles in the road. The motion from the rain beating down gives the water in the puddles a shimmery look. Like moonlight on a couple of very small oceans.
I switched on the computer and popped in my wireless card…pulled up the website and started to type in my password. No sooner had I typed the first letter – that’s it, just one single solitary letter – the cry came: mommymommymommyMOMMY!
I sat here for a second, hoping she was muttering in her near-sleep…but no. Louder this time. It just figures. Really. The timing was too perfect. I went upstairs and checked on her – she had kicked off her blankets while she was spinning around trying to find a comfortable position. I put the blankets back and told her to go to sleep and I’d see her in the morning.
Back downstairs I went.
The laptop was glowing patiently near the blanket where I’d left it. I sat back down, covered my legs with the blanket, and set my fingers on the keys.
I live in my very own situation comedy.
That single letter I’d typed moments ago was still single.
I went back upstairs, trying not to stomp as I went, and said, as I went into the room, "Julia, you need to go to sleep."
Turns out she wanted a hug. And a kiss. And a smooch. It’s hard to be annoyed at that.
I tucked her back in again, turned the dying battery noise back on and reminded her to go to sleep and I’d see her in the morning.
"No mommymommymommy." she agreed.
And here I am. I held my breath at first, just waiting to be summoned again, but she went to sleep for real this time.
It’s nice when that happens.
…………….hm………..I must have intended to write about something when I
OH I DON’T BELIEVE IT!!!
"Mommy………………mommy………………..I have to go pottttttyyyyyyy"
(three minutes later)
And this is how it goes. And I know, I just KNOW that she senses that not only is mommy still awake, but mommy is trying to do something that MOMMY wants to do. Like when mommy wants to take a shower. Or pee. Or sleep. Or read. Or type. Or talk on the phone to another adult.
It is just the way of things.
And I keep reminding myself that one day -when I’ll be telling mothers of toddlers "it goes by so fast" – she won’t want mommymommymommy quite so much. She won’t want to call me back upstairs at bedtime and say "I just wanna give you a kiss, and a hug, and a smooch." She won’t be so small and snuggly and soft…and I’ll miss it. I’ll miss bringing her downstairs – against my better judgement and all the books that tell you to let the child cry a bit – to watch cooking shows at all hours. I’ll miss looking out the window in the middle of the night and finding the moon with her if it’s a clear night, and watching the rain fall if it’s not. I’ll miss being in demand at all hours.
I’ll even miss the lack of sleep, I think. The foggy-headed feeling that lingers throughout the next day, no matter how much coffee I have. I’ll miss being kind of dulled on the edges…not quite as fast, mentally, as I think I used to be. I’ll welcome back my short-term memory and realize that when I was too tired for it to work properly, and I joked about going senile, that by not remembering something that happened five minutes earlier at work, I hadn’t been missing all that much. I’ll miss
…um…must have zoned out for a second…what was I talking about?…can’t remember…gee, it’s really dark outside…maybe I should go back to bed…not really sure why I’m up in the first place……