Saturday afternoon reminded me.
I needed a nap. It wasn’t even optional, as I was nodding off in the “upright and locked” position. So I snuggled Charlotte, nibbled on her thighs (because, you know, Cute Aggression), and scratched her tummy until she dozed off. Then I curled up on the opposite side of the sectional, with a fuzzy purple blanket, hoping to catch an hour before she woke.
Music softly playing, eyes gratefully closed, consciousness ebbing away as logical thought became nonsense… when suddenly pudgy little hands steal the fleecy covers. My eyes open to Charlotte vaulting onto my head from bouncy couch cushions. “M.E.! I wake!” “Yes, Doodle Bug, I see that. “You wanna watch Daniel Tiger?” I ask.
I flip on Netflix, confident she would engage in the electronic entertainment and allow me a half hour undisturbed.
Why can’t my internal optimist EVER be right?
“M.E. I hundy.”
“No you aren’t, we just ate lunch.”
Though unable to unglue my eyelids, I still distinguish the sounds of her unzipping and rummaging through my purse. Click, clasp, smack. Then sticky fingers tapping my face, “M.E., dipstick. See?” Squinting slightly I detect, heavily smeared lipstick surrounding her mouth. She looks like a tiny Vegas showgirl.
“M.E. I need dink.”
I debate the options, knowing she probably is thirsty and also knowing I should de-clown her little face, but lamenting leaving the warmth of the purple fleece. But I do, because, you know, I love her, and she’s cute. But mostly because she won’t leave me alone until I do.
Back to the couch, toddler on the loveseat with her bottle of water, I recline and regain the warmth.
“M.E., you go nigh nigh?”
Yes, baby. You watch Daniel Tiger and let M.E.take a little nap, okay?
Seconds later her breath is warming my face, followed by her fingers poking my eyeballs.
“Charlotte, don’t poke me in the eyes, it hurts.”
“Sowwy. M.E.? M.E.? M.E?”
“I wuuuuv you.”
Oh my. Too much cuteness. I grab her and swing her up onto me and squeeze her for a minute. “I love you MORE!” I insist.
“I wuv you mostest!”
My heart melts for the twelfth time today. But my eyes are still begging for some semblance of sleep.
“Charlotte, would you rather listen to Annie?”
“AnNIE, AnNIE! Ya ya!”
She begins to dance in anticipation of her favorite musical score.
I flip over to the Pandora station and attempt, once again, to lie down.
She starts her sing-along with the introductory prelude. I obviously can’t sleep through this, but at least my eyes are closed. It’s a step in the right direction.
Again, I feel her hovering over my face: “M.E.? Otay?”
I peek one eye open to see her holding her water bottle. “Otay?” she asks again. I tell her yes, but she seems unsure. “M.E.? OTAY?” she queries again as she shows me her water bottle. I reiterate my approval, assuming she is asking to drink her water. Smiling, she turns the bottle over and deliberately drenches the ottoman.
Well, I DID just give her permission.
“He he he, I dup idout. I get napin and wipe idup. Otay?”
Sigh. Yes, baby. Get a napkin and wipe it up. Whatever. I let my eyes fall closed yet again as I listen to her drag a dining chair across the floor, climb up onto the counter for what turns out to be the equivalent of three trees’ worth of napkins, and toddle back to dry up the squishy ottoman.
The soft serenade of “Tomorrow” in the background now as the sweetness of sleep engulfs me.
Scene change. Charlotte mimics the choreography of the on-screen girls and whacks me in the head with a throw pillow.
Yep. It’s a Hard Knock Life.
Giving it up, I get up and dance with her. And make coffee.
“M.E., I go Mommy now?”
You betcha, baby. I strap her in for the 12-minute drive back to her house.
And, as fate would have it, she fell asleep before we pulled out of the driveway.