I'm tempted to just put the pillow over my head. Often I will run downstairs and get your bottle out of the fridge even though I am barely awake and really have to pee.
But you come first. And you know this.
Later we will go to the library and attend story time, just like every other Wednesday. We will chat with the little friend you've made and I will encourage you to share your crackers and socialize. You will hold the little laminated green tickets tight in your hand.
We both have the routine down; once we get upstairs we take off our boots, go inside and play with the puzzles. When the teacher says it's time to tidy up, you proudly bring them back to her all by yourself. I am always sitting just where you left me, smiling at your progress. You run back to me, your little face beaming. "Good girl!" I say.
The afternoon doesn't go as well. You decide to abandon your nap altogether, no trace of tiredness in your face. My mind immediately labels the day a disaster. I mourn the loss of my break, my chance to read and write and just be by myself for five minutes. I count on having these sacred hours to myself every day; when they disappear, I wonder how I will last until 5pm.
We fill the time throwing balls and playing "Ready, Set, Go!" on repeat. You could do this all day without stopping and never seem to get winded. I am out of breath after just a few laps. When I make myself a mug of white hot chocolate, you want one of your own. Inspiration strikes: an espresso cup is just the right size for you to hold and take a sip without too much spillage.
You are delighted with your big-girl mug that is just like Mama's, and insist on doing "cheers" after every gulp. This quiet moment of cameraderie makes me see the day in a new light. Yes, I am frazzled and worn-out from all the running around, but the small, in-between flashes of sweetness make up for it. The day is not lost; disaster has been averted. There is joy to be gleaned in having this extra time together. As long as I make an effort to recognize it, I can find it.