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An essay about sleep.

December 1, 2009

A few weeks ago I enrolled in a six week Mother’s Writing Workshop hosted by my favorite space for families, Cradle. I only made it through three of the six sessions before I had to stop going because Malone decided he needed me to be home for his bedtime routine (which now includes nursing to sleep). The leader was gracious and understanding about my new predicament and agreed to keep me in the loop by providing me with writing prompts. One of the assignments was to write about a ritual and ironically was the only assignment outside of the sessions I found time to complete- life got too busy. Below is my ritual essay.

Phhhhhhhhht. Phhhhhhhhht. Phhhhhhhhht.

My eyes pop open. I pray that there is no substance behind the sounds of three of the juiciest most vile sounding farts I have ever heard. I look at the clock, but I already know that it is 6:45 am. I steal a glance at you- your eyes are still closed. I take a deep (but quiet) breath and close my eyes for a few more minutes. You roll to your side and nuzzle in close. You want “nursies” and I sleepily oblige, lifting the upper portion of my nursing tank.

You latch on politely, still in your sleep. I am in sleep limbo. Not awake, not asleep. I listen to your rhythmic breathing and marvel in your perfectness. Your latch tugs gently on my breast. I listen as you swallow. You start quietly, but begin to gulp as you wake up. You pop off and roll from your side to your back. I steal another glance. Your eyes are open. I pretend I am still sleeping, hoping I can trick you in to a few more minutes before we start our day.

My trick doesn’t work. I open my eyes and meet your gaze. You smile good morning to me and chatter a bit in your baby language.

Now that you’ve woken me up, you move on to the task of waking Daddy up. Your small hands scratch at his back, discovering the texture of his pajamas. You roll into him and give him a gentle kick or two. Your voice is getting louder. You shriek with delight. Daddy rolls over and faces you.

Daddy and I steal a few good morning glances, but you are the star of our show. I reach onto my nightstand grabbing a toy that was specifically stashed there last night in anticipation of this moment. You reach out for it, grasping and exploring.

Iggy the cat jumps onto the bed. He heard the commotion from his bed in the living room and needs to know what is going on. He circles for a moment before settling down by Daddy’s feet.

Daddy gets out of bed and heads to the shower. You and I stay and play. Your little legs kick with excitement. Your face is full of big gummy smiles. I sing a few songs in my off key voice. I don’t know the words, so I make them up.

Iggy the cat walks by. You reach out to touch his fur. He is annoyed by your grasp, but does nothing.

Daddy comes back in and gets dressed.

I leave you with Daddy to play for a few minutes while I brush my teeth and go to the bathroom.

I come back and pick you up out of our family bed. I give you kisses and you smile.

It’s time for a fresh diaper, coffee, and Morning Edition.

It’s time to start our day.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 3:10 am

    Love it. I have many happy memories of waking up. Here’s one from before K was even a year old.
    http://www.cafemom.com/journals/read/740171/Waking_up_is_wonderful

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