So begins the last Nappy Battle of the day. Daddy reads a book, M-Little has half an eye on that, half an eye on the blur of cloth and velcro threatening between his legs. He hops, he wriggles, he squirms, he tugs. I grit my teeth, try not to lose my patience. Push his tiny hands away for the hundredth time. Finally get the nappy on, the wrap on, the t-shirt over the head. Ok fine we’ll put your bottoms later, you infuriating wriggle-bean.
And so begins the Marathon of the Fidgets. Into bed, out of bed, into bed, pull the cord of the musical toy, out of bed, pull open a drawer, smack it shut, check where Mama is, Oh No! dropped a dummy, back into bed, out of bed, sing a ditty, pull the cord again. I lie on the mattress on the floor and wait.
It’s really time to sleep now my sweet, come and lie down. Here’s your dummy, here’s the other, here’s your blanket. He climbs into bed, pats his pillow, I squeeze in next to him.
As so begins the Most Lovely Moment. He plays with his dummy, twirls my hair, sits up and considers a final lap around the room. Then thinks oh, I’m quite tired actually. Comes in for a headbutt-kiss, squishes up close to me. Breathing slows, deepens. Plays with a dummy, sucks on another, strokes and pats my hand. Drifts off, starts, are you still there Mama? I’m here, my sweet.
The dishes, the toys scattered everywhere, the sentences in my head, they can all wait. Come lie close, never mind if someone thinks I spoil you. One day you will no longer be there to soothe and cuddle to sleep. But I’ll always be here, my sweet.