It is currently 2:00 in the morning. It’s a special time of day; my body cannot decide whether it thinks 2:00 a.m. is way too late at night or way to early in the morning. What it eventually settles on is that either way it objects to being awake. With a faint sense of nausea, and an overly bright-eyed peppy feeling that are at odds with eyelids that want to droop and muscles that ache slightly and also feel sluggish, my body is telling me that it would rather be asleep.
Yet, I’m awake.
I am making toast.
I do not want to eat toast. I do not want to smell toast, even, but I am making toast. I am making toast for Fiona. Who after tossing and turning in bed beside me for an hour finally opened her eyes very wide and said, “We forgot to do any of the stuff!”
I forced my eyelids (the incorrect number), to unglue themselves from my eyes and mumbled, “What stuff?”
She’s clearly very awake, “All the before bedtime stuff!”
She frowns and then accuses me, “You didn’t even feed me dinner.”
My eyes try to close of their own volition and I laugh softly, “You’re right, Baby. You were so tired that I put you to bed before I could feed you dinner. Are you hungry now?”
“Yes,” She sits up and sounds surprised that I would come to this conclusion all by myself. It’s probably fair. I’m usually quite stupid at 2:00am and sometimes I don’t even understand her in the middle of the afternoon.
I try not to groan, “Do you want toast and to watch My Little Ponies on the Kindle?”
She tips her head to the side and thinks about it for a second. I think she was trying to gauge if I might be willing to do more than just make toast. I would have been. If she’d said no to toast, then I would have also happily peeled her a banana. I’m generous. Finally she nods.
I settle her on the couch and set off to the kitchen to perform the feat of placing bread in the toaster and pressing a lever.
The kitchen could probably be labeled a health hazard. Last night, I left dirt pots, dishes and general disaster behind me in the kitchen and surfed the web and played FTL. I’m a big fan of taking my downtime where I can get it. Especially on days like yesterday.
Yesterday started with the task of dropping my husband off at work. See with our move to the Silicon Valley we lost a few peripheral benefits, one of which was a company provided second car. So, as my big plans for the day had included taking Fiona to the park and grocery shopping, I needed the car. As I walked to the car carrying Fiona, I had a moment of doubt. Maybe it would be better, I thought, if I just sent him in now and got him to come home for lunch and I’d get the car then.
One day I will learn to listen to my instincts.
On the way, Fiona stared listlessly out the window. After a while she whimpered that her tummy hurt. A few minutes later she told me she was going to throw up.
One day I will learn to listen to my daughter.
After my husband was safely out of the car and off to work, as we were pulling out onto the road she began to vomit. Smacking the button for my emergency flashers and pulling to the side of the road, I quickly unclipped her top seatbelt buckle so she could lean forward. A handy empty Starbucks cup was sitting in the drink holder and we made good use of it, after the first volley. I am nothing if not resourceful.
That was where yesterday started. So, when Fiona voluntarily headed off to bed at 6:30 yesterday evening, I decided that I was done. Eleven hours of whining, fevers, and trying to convince my girl to sip on pedialyte and water, were enough. However, that decision meant that I had left my kitchen a disaster area.
Yesterday also explains my generosity towards my very awake daughter at the in-between hour of 2:00am.
As I wait for the toast to pop, having glared suspiciously at the toast for a few moments before realizing that the deceitful thing wasn’t plugged in and remedied the problem, I begin to tidy. I carefully place spices in the fridge and lettuce and parsley in the cupboard, then reverse them. I throw away left over food and slump dishes into the sink. My desire to clean up is rapidly extinguished and I smear the last of the butter on the toast, put on My Little Ponies and settle here at the computer to try to force myself into wakefulness.
I give her a shower, as her fever has broken.
Provide more toast.
And am finally graced with the grumpy announcement that, “Mommy, I’m tired now. I want to go back to bed.”
So now, as I type these words she is sleeping peacefully again. My body has settled on a kind of twitchy, edgy, sick sense of alertness which will gesture at the promise of sleep. A promise tha will only be kept if it is less than 30 minutes until the alarm sounds to wake my husband.
Still. I’m going to go lay down. Maybe this will all look better in the morning. Or rather, later this morning.