I looked down at her.
She met my glance, her eyes heavy.
She was drifting off.
With every rock of the chair, her eyes closed more.
It was a blissful, peaceful moment.
Or it would have been if her brother wasn’t squeezed in to the glider next to me.
“Mama, did you know that when I was a baby I drank milk from your tummy too?,” he asked.
“Yes, I do know that,” I said. “I remember it.”
Perhaps I should explain to him it’s not actually my tummy she drinks from. Someday. Maybe. Down the road.
But not now.
We rocked, quietly, for half a beat.
Then he moved on.
“Mama, pee pee! Pee pee!”
Crap. I have to take him. He’s probably serious.
I put the baby on her playmat and took him to the potty.
As soon as I set her down, she rolled, on autopilot, to her stomach and began commando crawling.
She must be tired. Surely. She’s almost 2 hours late for this nap because we were at the park. Why is she trying to crawl, now?
“Mama, I’m done!”
He was calling me from the bathroom.
After I helped him finish his potty duties and wash his hands, I stopped to pick up my little Marine.
She had managed to make it halfway across her rug.
We returned to the chair.
All of us.
Settling back into the glider.
And we started rocking again.
For a second.
Maybe she’ll fall asleep now.
And then he started again.
“Mama, do you remember when we went to Bunnyland? I rode a horse!”
“I know you rode a horse, baby,” I answer. This horse ride was a big deal in our house. Huge.“But could you please stop bouncing up and down, little boy?”
It’s like sharing a rocking chair with a jumping bean.
“But why, Mama?,” he asked. His face was the picture of confusion.
So this poor baby will just go to sleep.
“Mama, why are you whispering?,” he yelled, his voice raspy. The toddler approximation of being quiet.
“Because your sister is sleepy,” I reply. “Remember, we are trying to help her fall asleep?”
Because I need her to go to sleep, so I can put you down for your nap. So I can have 30 minutes to just check my email.
Drink a diet coke.
And clear my head.
“Mama, do you need her paci?,” he asked, producing the pacifier from who knows where. “I have her paci. See? It’s in my mouth.”
He sucked on it.
Just to prove his point.
“Sure,” I answer. “Can you pass it to me?”
Sorry, baby girl. I used to sterilize things.
We all make sacrifices.
I inserted the pacifier in her mouth.
She settled immediately.
And I was filled with optimism.
“Mama, I think she’s falling asleep! Can I put her in her crib?”
I set the baby down and moved toward the door.
“Mama, can I climb in her crib? No, why are you carrying me out? I want to nap with her! Do you hear me? I want to nap with her! Mama!!”
Sorry, little dude.
Mom wins this round.