John is gone and has been for weeks; he won’t be home still for some time. It’s okay. I miss him and Braden misses him, but the truth is that we’re used to him being away a lot. We have a rhythm we get into while he’s away.
Of course, after a while, Mommy gets a little cranky and somewhat tiredish. Braden and I do get along well. We have fun and I laugh even when he’s a turd. When he’s a brat, I am firm and I’m not afraid or unable to administer discipline. But it gets hard sometimes for me to reel in my anger when he’s really difficult, especially when I’m particularly, ahem, hormonal.
I’ve gotten to that point this week, and I’m needing some time for a break, a bit of quiet, and oh yeah, I have work to get done! I get frustrated at the lack of time for myself. I get Teh Selfish on me.
Today is rainy, again. Today is a bit colder again. He is annoyed that I am staying on the couch a lot this morning because my uterus is once again suffering for the sins of Eve (Hey, Eve, ya bitch, apples aren’t even THAT GOOD. I mean, I could understand if it had been friggin’ TIRAMISU or something, but really? Oh well.) and I’m Grumpy Tired.
He’s spending the morning running around the room throwing toys at me. He’s asking me to come outside. I’m being a jerk, telling him Mommy is too tired. We play ball while I sit on the couch. It’s fun, until I get hit in the titty. Then it’s hilarious. But painful. Ouch.
Naptime comes and I can tell he’s not ready; he’s too wound up. I let it slide for an extra thirty minutes. Then I pick him up and he whines. There are protests. I meet them with a favorite book and he slumps in my arms, tension flowing away, talking about Fluffy and Baron in excited anticipation.
We read and then the lights go out. We snuggle under a blankie and I rock as the lullaby CD plays in the background.
I wait for him to fall asleep so I can get some things done.
He is restless. He talks and I remind him that “naptime is quiet.” He whispers.
I wait for him to fall asleep because I really need to get some things done.
I close my eyes and rock, holding him close, feeling the tension in him as he moves around trying to find a position that feels sleepy, but it’s not coming to him.
I will never get things done!
I am frustrated. The minutes are stretching into forevers and I have work to get done. I want him to stop wasting my time. I want him to quit being annoying and just go to sleep.
I open my eyes and look down at his little face. His head is resting in the crook of my left arm and he is looking up at me. He is grinning to himself over jokes in his head. I feel annoyed because he does not look tired at all. I look at him with disdain. His eyes sparkle back at me. For a moment there is a new tension in his small body and then there is the undeniable sound of a toddler fart above the enchanting lullabies.
For a split second, we are frozen, eyes locked, our faces inches away from one another.
We both burst into laughter, giggling madly, still close to one another. He is delighted that I am laughing with him. I am defeated that he broke my quiet naptime stoicism, but in a pleasant way. The unexpected mirth feels good.
It falls quiet again. He is whispering to himself. He snuggles closer and traces the letters that stand out on my shirt. I close my eyes and rock as the lullabies keep drifting around us. His fingers fall on the hollow spot right at the bottom of my neck, tapping.
They become still and I open my eyes. He is looking up at me and suddenly his little palm rises from my chest and warmly rests on my cheek. He presses lightly and murmurs a cooing sound of “mmmmmms” that has always meant “i love you,” since before he could say words.
That feeling that comes right before an emotional sob rises in my chest, blurs behind my eyes. There is love and regret and guilt. It recedes and I just look at him.
His little hand slowly drops back to my chest and curls there. I put my palm on his cheek – something that has always calmed him.
His eyes are heavy and his lashes flutter like butterflies that can’t find the courage to land.
They finally rest and I listen as his breaths grow deeper and longer.
He is asleep now. I touch his soft chin with my finger, and I linger in the chair.
Suddenly there is no work and I lose track of time just staring at him.
I can’t think of a thing I really need to do right now.