Slumberland

 - by Sarah Lipoff

As I curled there I fully understood what I was doing. I didn’t care. He could figure things out. I mean, it’s not like he’s unable to take care of himself – he can tie his shoes and use a can opener. I pulled the blanket closer around my body as I shivered with its coolness even though my forehead was beaded with sweat. There was no denying I knew what I was doing. I had made this choice and I was sticking to it.

While turning my body slowly and wincing slightly, I heard some rumbling and things falling and hitting the floor. I pulled the comforter tighter around my head muffling any sounds, any reminders. As I closed my eyes I heard faint swearing and running footsteps. While clenching my teeth I hummed a tune in my head to distract myself – to comfort myself.

Maybe I dozed, or my brain took a moment or two to readjust, but the next time my eyes focused on the clock, it was two hours later. I carefully peeled back the layers of bedding while listening for any sort of movement. My eyelids flickered with desire for more sleep, but my mind jumped with attention to the silence. There didn’t seem to be any noise, any sort of anything.

My heart pounded and my head flooded with concern. What had I done? What had happened?

I pulled myself up and out of the bed. My body responded with aches and pains as I adjusted clothing and found my glasses. While focusing, I once again strained to hear anything, any small sounds.

There was nothing.

I became angry with myself as I struggled up the stairs with sleep in my eyes. How could I be so selfish? The nights without sleep had taken their toll and I only wanted a few extra hours to nap and nestle into the warmth and emptiness of the bed. I couldn’t imagine what I had done allowing him to be alone with such responsibility. My anxiety level gained momentum with every step.

When I arrived at the top step my head reverberated with noise as my daughter came running at me full force screaming, “MOOOOOOMMMMY!” at the top of her lungs.

My husband sat comfortably on the couch with Caillou silently complaining on the television. After my daughter had finished her attack on my senses she quietly shuffled back to her dada, looked at me and said, “sshhhh, mommy sleep” and I turned and went back down the stairs, giving my husband one of those you-know-what-you-get-later looks.

As I pulled the comforters back around me and closed my eyes to the rain sprinkling against the window, I couldn’t help smiling while drifting back into much needed sleep.

 

*prompt was sloth…

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