An Extra 10 Minutes
I wake up to an annoying alarm clock and a foot in my eye. My shirt is soaked and I assume it's breast milk, only to realize later it's pee. I grab my phone to shut off the alarm and discover that I’m already ten minutes late; I must have hit the snooze button in my frantic attempt to gain those few extra minutes of sleep that I’ve been missing for the past three years. I check the baby snuggled up next to me and realize that he is soaked too. I pull off his blue-cotton-footy pajamas trying not to wake him and throw away his two pound diaper. I’m always amazed at the amounts his little body can hold. I put on a clean diaper and decide not to put on more pajamas.
I slide my legs off of the bed only to step on a dog. I place a pillow next to the baby in hopes that its presence will discourage him from trying to crawl off the bed…again. I round the foot of the bed and narrowly miss stepping on my husband whose absence in our bed is not marked by the birth of our first child, but rather it has always been a constant in our marriage. I speculate that it is a lasting vestige of his youth. Where my husband should be sleeping in our bed is instead a three year old clone of him, one who has never woken up in the same position that he fell asleep in. This morning his head is at the foot of the bed and his feet are wrapped around to my pillow. His arm is dangled over his little brother’s legs and there is drool pooled next to his mouth. Carefully I pick him up and place him right side up in the bed.
Once I have navigated through the mine field that is my bedroom I make my way to the bathroom. I can see from the image looking back at me in the mirror that my sleep debt will eventually catch up with me, but not today I’m in a rush. I turn on the faucet as hot as it will get and let the water beat down on my back. I have already told myself that this will be a quick shower, but I can feel my resolve melting away.
I close my eyes and see myself at 16; could it be only 10 years ago? I feel like I have aged a hundred years since then and I suppose in a way I have. How quickly life changes and how short 10 years actually is. It is this thought, and the sounds emanating from my otherwise quiet bedroom that have me jumping out of the shower, soap still running down my stretch-marked belly. I wrap myself in a towel and pray that the baby hasn’t woken up, which will surely add more time to my already late morning.
Careful not to slip on the tile I head to my room where I stand in the doorway and watch my life, so far. My husband is now lying on my side with the baby on his chest. My older son has flipped, feet once again on my pillow. I grab my phone again, yeah, I’m definitely going to be late today. Oh well. I set the phone down and crawl back into bed next to my trapeze artist son. What’s an extra 10 minutes?