Better Than Coffee
The other night, D. woke up crying: the thundering and lightning scared her. The whimpering finally woke me up at 12:30 am. I’m not even sure how long she sobbed to herself before I roused myself enough to walk to her room. As soon as she saw my sluggish figure darken her doorway, she bolted up and jumped into my arms.
“It’s okay,” I said, as I rubbed her back and kissed her softly.
“I want you,” she cried.
Knowing that my bed is barely big enough for me and the husband, I carried her to the guest room. I carefully placed her in the bed and crawled in next to her.
“I want to watch SpongeBob,” she begged as I pulled the covers over her tiny frame.
“I don’t think so, Little Miss. You are going back to bed. You have school in the morning, and Mommy is tired.”
I could tell that she was pouting when I kissed her cheek, but she didn’t fight as I pulled her close and let her snuggle in next to me. In less than two minutes, she was fast asleep.
“Not too bad,” I thought. “I can still get five more hours.”
For the first half hour, I’m sure I slept like a rock. Then the onslaught occurred. First, who would have thought that a 35 pound kid could produce that much body heat? I swear I lost 10 pounds from all the sweating I did. I tried to wiggle from underneath her body, but her weight must have tripled because I had absolutely no strength in the arm on which she lay. And because I was tired, my brain was not functioning like it should, so it didn’t dawn on me to use my other arm to lift her body until I was literally out of breath trying to extract my arm.
When I finally realized that I had been blessed with other limbs, I used my left hand to try to roll her off of me as I pulled my right arm out. Just as I was able to slide my right hand from under her body, she turned violently back toward me with flailing arms and double slapped me HARD across the face. I’ve only been slapped twice in my life before this: The first time was when I taunted a neighbor of mine when our all girl team beat his all boy team at a game of softball. I beat the snot out of him as tears of anger and embarrassment rolled down my face. (My mom bought me ice cream as a reward for standing up for myself.) The second time was when I was a pre-teen and got smart with my mother. Still tears of embarrassment and anger poured down my face, but I knew better than to try to do or say anything about it. (I just remembered that sting the next time I wanted to say anything that might get me slapped again.) I can tell you, though, that nothing quite wakes you up like the sting of a 1 am double slap from a child you gave birth to, especially when you can do absolutely NOTHING about it.
Reeling from my own personal WWE SmackDown, I decided to go back to my room. Of course, everyone in my house, including the dog, was snoring, and I was wide awake hoping that those tiny hands of fury wouldn’t leave bruises across my face of the domestic abuse I’d just suffered.
Note to self: Teach D. through tough love how to self-soothe during a thunderstorm!