My fingers, hungry and curious, pour through a sea of wavy, black hair. His knowing hands hold me captive, and I am a willing prisoner. He is burning for something, looking to be quenched; looking for me to acquiesce.
Pouty lips press against my ear. “I’m thirsty,” he breathes.
My brain registers this statement as somewhat unusual, but I allow the thought to pass. I place my cheek in the curve of McDreamy’s neck and wait to hear more sensual musings.
He begins again. This time more earnestly.
“Wake up,” he says. “Wake up, Mommy. I want juice.”
My eyelids fly open like shades on a window. Before me stands my five-year old in her nightgown and tussled hair.
“Mommy,” she whines. “Didn’t you hear meee?” I want juice!”
Grudgingly, I push myself out of the bed.
It’s 5:30 A.M. on Saturday. My marathon has begun.
Three orders of Multi Grain Cheerios, two servings of waffles, and one banana (halfway eaten and halfway mashed onto the kitchen table) later, I sit at my laptop to finish some long overdue work.
The frantic proclamation, “Mommy, I have to go to the potty!” pulls me away before I am able to type a word. I hurry to the bathroom behind my ants-in-the-pants potty captain. She hops and wiggles, trying to free herself from her striped tights. I move in to assist, but the words, “Oops! Sorry, Mommy!” tell me I’m too late.
I look down and see the puddle creeping toward my hole-in-the-toe sock.
After an outfit change and bathroom disinfection, I am back at the computer. I click the Word icon but before the screen can load, I am summoned again.
“Mommy! Come quick! Look at Melissa!”
I half trudge, half hurry to the living room. There, on the rocking horse, is my youngest, grinning like the Cheshire cat, completely in the buff. I am caught somewhere between wanting to shriek and wanting to run and grab my camera.
I rectify the wardrobe malfunction and go to the sink to address to ever-growing pile of dishes. As I plunge my hands into the sudsy water, I hear a high-pitched smash--the kind that signals something has broken into many tiny pieces. I turn, and find that my two-year-old has found my mineral bronzing compact and dropped it onto the floor. My carefully selected tile and grout now look like they’ve had a long vacation in the Bahamas.
Child in time-out. Mom on knees scrubbing and swearing under her breath.
I abandon the idea of getting any work done or having an empty sink, and try getting a head start on dinner preparations. Relief that I may actually accomplish something is short-lived, however, as my oldest daughter enters, sobbing. Her best friend has just broken up with her.
I console her, fighting back my own anger. It’s a lesson she was bound to learn, but my heart is breaking for her. We draft a letter to the wayward friend and I tuck it in her backpack, praying a silent prayer that they can kiss and make up tomorrow.
Despite my early rising, the day rapidly comes to a close. The dishes are still screaming to be bathed. My laptop still longs for my touch.
I plod upstairs to make sure my charges are quiet. I open the door, the first in the long hallway. Tucked together like nesting tables, I find my four girls, sound asleep, camp out style, on the grey carpet. The youngest and oldest side by side, small fingers interlaced, older sister protecting younger. And the two middle children snuggled together like kittens in a new litter, breathe heavy in their slumber. I place a blanket over each and take one last glance before closing the door.
My four little interruptions.
My four greatest rewards.
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