It's getting close to nap time. I know this because the little tantrums-for-no-reason are getting closer together and longer. It's almost like contractions before birth. At first it's just a little fuss here and there, then they become closer, and before I know it she's lying on the floor kicking her feet and crying because she tripped over her big toe and fell on her bottom. She's exhausted.
She fights sleep no matter how tired she is. She is so afraid she'll miss something. I have to send Chloe out of the room, fix her a cup of milk, find her little blankie and baby doll, and start rocking.
She resists the rocking at first because she knows what it means. She always resists it, but it's the only thing that really helps her calm down.
I rock furiously as she cries and pushes and kicks, trying to wiggle away from the wretched nap she so desperately needs.
I sing to her.
Rock a bye baby. She shakes her head no.
Twinkle twinkle little star. She screams louder.
Halleluja? I could use a little higher power right now.
Colder Weather. Zac Brown Band. Works every time. You'd think I'd try it first, but somehow it just feels wrong to start with anything but Rock a bye baby.
Exhausted and mentally drained from the fight, I try not to grit my teeth while I sing, and relax so she will settle. I think of the little bun in my oven sometimes and wonder what the hell we were thinking. Wonder if I'll be nursing a newborn while performing this whole routine in six months, or if she will grow out of it.
While I'm singing and thinking and wondering if I'm headed for the Looney Bin in the next two years, she starts to drift.
I notice my rocking has slowed, almost as if my body is in tune with her. She grabs tight onto her dolly, nuzzles her face into her blankie (why do kids like to sniff blankets anyway?), then, with her eyes closed, she lets out a muffled giggle. Her face is relaxed, and she's almost smiling as she falls away.
Her body is warm against me, and with her free hand she rubs my arm until she's completely gone.
I put my feet up, pull a blanket over us, and watch tv quietly, so not to disturb her.
And suddenly I know EXACTLY what the hell we were thinking. I wouldn't trade this for the world.