I knew I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night.
It’s not like I was out partying or even finishing off a bottle of wine like my 20-something-year-old self. I was watching TV, shows I had recorded to be exact. My eyelids were heavy, half-open. Occasionally I would doze off, then rewind a spot missed. The clock glared midnight when I finally turned off the distraction. DW had been snoring for a couple of hours already.
At 5:30am a tiny, whiny, whimpering buzzed near my ear. My sleepy arm reached over the nightstand, searching for a pacifier, resting on a soft, squishy plush cow. That would have to suffice. She greedily took it, snuggled tightly against my rib cage, and drifted back to sleep.
DW kissed me goodbye at 6:30am, gently pulling the sheets back up, careful not to wake her, the cow tucked under her chin. She must have sensed his exit, though, because her legs began stretching, her back arching, until a warm round belly was exposed. I kept my eyes shut tightly, hoping she would think I was still asleep and be still for just a few more minutes.
Now she was restless, shifting her weight next to me. I felt a soft pat on my cheek as she started rubbing my face in an effort to rouse me. When I didn’t respond, she smacked me harder, making me wince, giving away my awakened state. Suddenly she was sitting on my chest, kissing me all over my face with her wet persistence.
Morning was upon me.
And I thought my days of early morning parenting were winding down.
It’s probably a good thing I had children first.