It’s 5:05 A.M. and Suzianne’s screams are blaring through the monitor. We spawned an early riser. It is clearly a cruel joke the Universe is playing on two people who, pre-baby, routinely slept until Noon on Saturdays.
“No, ma’am. Not today,” I Momma Mean Whisper as I walk with a purpose down the hall. But when I barrel through the door this particular morning, she actually is reaching for me. My heart softens. Most days, I am the last thing she wants to see, as she wakes with hanger only satiated with scrambled eggs and Daddy.
I pick her up, she’s calming, then, pointing back to the crib. I lay her down and play with her hair. I forget I was on a mission to quickly put her to bed and fall back to sleep in my own. It’s times like these when she’s so content to have me there that I lose track time and agenda.
She’s nearly asleep so I tip toe out of her room with that warm fuzzy feeling of CREEEEAK!
The 80 year old floor gives away my exit with such volume it actually causes me to jump.
“Let’s try this another way, together,” I say, scooping up Suzianne and her pink elephant. We are making our way to the couch and I’m thinking this will never work. By design, co-sleeping is something we never do. Dave and I love our bed, our sleep, our clean and crumb-free sheets. But this morning, it’s clear she’s still sleepy. I’m still sleepy.
We are curled up under a blanket and she smells like baby. Her little nose is just inches from mine. She has put her feet between my legs because they are cold. Her head is resting on my arm. Her eyelids are heavy. Thoughts of gratitude and love are causing my eyes to well up. Will she ever understand how much I love her?
She’s asleep, her little hand laying on my chest. I am starting to understand why co-sleepers do this and it occurs to me:
I have to pee.
Like, right now.
Also, Suzianne’s head measures in the 90th percentile and my right arm is starting to tingle and fall asleep.
Well, crap. How am I supposed to get up without waking the baby? I will not take this risk.
I can hold it, but can’t handle my arm being numb. With ninja-like skill, I remove the arm. But now, half of my body is hanging off the couch. My back is killing me and my butt is cold because Suzianne has most of the blanket under her legs. She’s sprawled out like a ginger bread cookie. How can someone so small take up so much room?
The next hour is filled with fingers up my nose and in my eyes, slaps to my face, kicks to my abdomen, random toddler screeches of terror, creepy pacifier sucking sounds in my ear, and somehow, drool where cleavage should be.
It’s 6:55 A.M. and Suzianne instantly shoots up from laying flat to standing. She shoves her pacifier into my face, flashes a dimpled grin and runs to the front door, eager to start the day. Later that morning at daycare, Ms. Melissa takes delight in Suzianne’s unusual amount of gusto.
The extra time spent together this particular morning has invigorated a dawn-loving toddler and renewed her parents’ commitment to sleeping alone.