Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This Morning

It's 4:20AM. I hear giggling. I pry an eye open. Raine's huge, three-tooth grin greets me, and she squeals in delight, as if saying, "Finally! Someone else is awake!"

She's standing beside the bed, her head level with mine. "Babababa," she says as she thrusts a furry, pink sequined-antennaed hairband at me. I sit up groggily. "Oh, you want to wear your bugaboo," I say. She emphatically nods a yes. I put the hairband on her (crookedly, I think) and lay back down. She giggles and babbles some more. Then she sits down and plays with her toys in the half dark. I drift off.

It's 4:43AM. I feel something hard on my hand. My eyes open to Raine's pleading ones. I look down at my hand. She wants me to hold on to her favorite garden-themed picture frame. I oblige. It feels as if I were in a dream, playing Point to the Object. "Where's the ladybug? Where's the butterfly? Where's the flower?" I mumble. I can barely keep my eyes open to check if she does point to the right thing.

4:49AM. I can hear Raine giggling. She's peeking over me, waving at her Daddy, who turns over in his sleep. I'm still holding on to the picture frame. "It's too early to be awake, Rainey," I tell her. She yawns and goes back to playing, her twinkling antennas bouncing on her head.

At 5AM I get up to go to the bathroom. Raine crawls after me a few moments later. She teeters at the border of the bathroom and the hallway, since she's not allowed inside the bathroom. She hands me my cellphone. I thank her. She sits in the hallway, patiently waiting as I finish my business. When I get out, she lifts her arms to be carried. She's taken off her bugaboo. I bring her back to bed and we snuggle down. In a few minutes, we're both asleep.

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