One more minute
Oh, it was simply excruciating, and no, this isn’t in reference to the girls asking for one more minute. The girls are too wise for that, Avery discovered some months ago that the secret is to ask for “tain mo’ minutes,” because that way, when mom says, “No, baby, I’m sorry. It’s time for bed,” you can say, “Nine minutes?” I have melted every time she has done it and now Briar has caught on to the tactic.
I was on the couch with Fin in the middle of the day. She was burrowed in my hoody, the skin of our bellies hot against each other, her silky head pressing irresistibly upon my mouth, napping. Really napping. I don’t nap. Ever. My entire body was relaxed beneath the blanket Briar had spread over us. I’d managed to sleep-talk my way through a phone call from a friend/neighbor/client of Sean’s about our Dyson –anything or anyone else and I’d have hung up, but spreading the Dyson gospel is pure joy.
Anyway, I knew I had more in me, that I could ride this nap much later into the afternoon, but a three and a half year old can only be so quiet for so long. I ached with gratitude that she so happily played at my feet. Her angelic behavior made it clear that she was equally grateful not to be napping. Until hunger set in.
“I’m hungry again. May I have an apple?” Briar asked from the end of the couch.
“Sure, sweetie. Can you get it out of the fridge yourself, Fin is still sleeping,” I whispered, though Finley sleeps best when the house is shaking with activity and the walls are reverberating with screams and crashes.
“They are in the drawer in the bottom of the fridge,” I directed.
Three times she tried to open the door and three times it didn’t bridge. Classic. The door that is forever popping open on me clamps shut like a steel trap when a hungry 3 year old approaches it.
“Just poke your hand in between the pieces, right by the scrunchy part. Don’t use the handle,” even as I said it I knew she wouldn’t get it. Lately I find that my directions often confuse her more and she forgets things like, you know, what a window is.
“By the window,” I say.
“Window?” she asks incredulously in front of a window bursting with blinding sunlight.
“By this window?” pointing at a bookshelf.
“No, honey, the window. The place you look to see if the squirrel is on the bird feeder.”
“By this one window?” gesturing to the fireplace.
So as I heard her feet simply walk across the hardwoods of the kitchen and then fall silent as she walked across the carpet and to the other side of the house my heart broke. She wasn’t going to interrupt my nap, wasn’t going to eat, wasn’t going to do anything but play quietly by herself. It was as effective as a cold shower. I was suddenly alert and fine with being up.
I scooped Finley in my arms and padded into the kitchen. We grabbed an apple and took it into Briar. She saw us and her face exploded into a Christmas morning size smile.
“An apple! You brought me an apple!”
My pigtails had slipped out and were poking the corners of my sandy eyes, my shirt was milk stained and misshapen, and a Finley still slept in my arms. Standing there as Briar devoured the apple I felt happier and more rested than I have in weeks. It was the perfect punctuation for an unexpected nap.