SLEEPING IN ...
With a 7-year old boy and his dog in the house, there's rarely sleep-in time on the weekends, because he has a no-fail internal alarm that gets him out of bed at 7 am, no matter what. The scenario on Saturday morning rarely varies.
"Mommy?" whispers from the doorway. "Mommmmmmy??" Mommy plays possum in the hopes that he'll go back to bed. Fat chance of that ...
"Mommy, I'm awake." closer and a little louder. Mommy shifts marginally under the covers and mumbles something indistinct.
"Mommy? I can hear you breeeeeeathing." singsongs from uncomfortably close range, just before his fingers drag my left eyelid up over my eyebrow. Mommy flinches back, blinded by a harsh shot of nasty morning light and mumbles "Morning sweetheart" before burying face into pillow, clinging desperately to the illusion that this is all a bad dream.
Tormentor climbs onto the bed, bouncing hard enough to elevate mommy's entire body and slam it back down then lifts the covers, watching with interest as mommy's exposed flesh erupts in goosebumps before crawling under and snuggling close to melt the icicles off his toes.
A moment later, dramatically, breath hot on my ear "Mommy I'm staaaaarrrving. When's breakfast?"
"Cereal's in the cupboard ..." Mommy's voice trails off as things get comfortable again, momentarily.
Bounce, bounce, thud. Footsteps receding down the hall as mommy snuggles deep under the duvet again, honestly believing that she has won a little ground.
"Squeak squeak squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak ..." mournfully intones just before a very large, cold, wet, snuffly nose jars mommy's head completely off the pillow. Daisy is the family pet, a 13-year old, 90-lb husky who has never been able to bark or whine like a normal dog. The piercing sounds that emanate from her can be enough to shatter glass when she feels she is being ignored or otherwise abused by neglect.
"Sweetie, can you let the dog out?" Mommy's feeble groan from under the covers.
Footsteps pound down the hallway. "What?!?" Sadistic son's damnably cheerful treble voice shrills into my face as he leaps onto the bed. Mommy curls into a fetal position, twitching from the sharp knee embedded in my lady bits, wheezing breathily "Let the dog out ..."
"Okay, Mmmmommy!" Off he bounds, tireless energy personified, hollering over his shoulder something that sounds like "I spilled the milk ..."
Moaning in defeat, mommy decides this might be something that needs investigating. Pushing back the covers and simultaneously reaching for the fleece robe hanging neatly on the floor, I haul myself off the bed and immediately shriek in agony, clawing at the sole of my foot to extract the shard-like Lego blocks which have somehow escaped from my son's bedroom during the night and made their way into mine, with obvious evil intent.
"Mommy ..." intones a reproachful voice from their co-conspirator "You broke my robot blaster!"
"Get me the vacuum cleaner, kid." Mommy gasps as the waves of red-tinged agony begin to recede. "Someone has booby-trapped my bedroom and I need to clean it up before my blood stains the floorboards.
Giggling maniacally, the resident terrorist scurries to remove the evidence before it can be confiscated by the mommy-police. Still blurry from exhaustion, mommy scans the floor for any lurking torture devices. All clear, and mommy lurches down the hall to check the state of the kitchen. Daisy, mooch extraordinaire, is stretched out on the floor, furry forearms floating in milk. She lifts her cereal-box-embedded head and squeaks in welcome ...
No matter how I paint this scenario, my son's unfailing cheerfulness and positive attitude makes me smile. He just turned 7, has been through a life-altering health change last summer and fall, and his spirit has never flagged. Life in my house may not be perfect, but it's happy most of the time. What a change from only a few years ago.