As a child, I had several hated household responsibilities. Scooping up the dog shit in the backyard and making my bed (which I still hate doing) topped the list, and cleaning out the bird cage? Hated it.
But right up there with all of those loathsome chores was waking my mom up from an afternoon nap, something I never looked forward to.
My mom just didn’t take a nap, quote unquote. She fell into a mini-coma. Waking her up was not unlike rousing a bear out of hibernation – she got a tad bit vicious when I’d try.
I used to poke her in the stomach a few times and then bolt, and she’d sit on the edge of her bed, smoke a cigarette and stare into space for a while before ambling downstairs to smoke and stare some more.
Julia takes after my mom in this particular area and one afternoon last week, she woke up crabby and grumpy, like a little bear.
It took several minutes for her eyes to open and focus and once they did she immediately started to sob and toss herself about her bed listlessly before I could dress her up. I pried her out of bed and got her downstairs to the couch where she sat with her Dora blanket and cried through Blue’s Clues. My mom would have been so proud.
I sat down beside her and she leaned into me. “I feel sick,” she wailed.
“What part of you feels sick?” I asked, knowing full well she wasn’t.
“I don’t know,” she moaned.
“Well, what’s wrong?”
She burst into fresh tears. “I’m so high, Mummy!”
Say what? I choked back a cascade of laughter. “What do you mean, you’re high?”
“I mean…I’m just…high.” She raised her arms in the air and wiggled her fingers.
Man, I figured I had a few more years before I heard those words came out of her mouth, I thought. Best walk away from this one.
I went upstairs, grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge for me and filled a sippy cup with lemonade for her. When I got back downstairs she was curled up on the couch face down, knees tucked to her chest, butt in the air.
“Whatcha doin’, sweetie?” I asked, setting her lemonade on the coffee table.
Her voice was muffled. “Look, Mummy! I’m hatching!”
Her head popped up. “I’m HATCHING! I’m a baby bird! I’m hatching! Tweet, tweet! I like to hatch every day!”
As I watched my daughter hatch on the couch, then jump up and run around in circles flapping her arms, chirping, I couldn’t help but think of her earlier statement – the one about, you know, being high. It’s a good thing she’s only three; if at fifteen she told me she was high and proceeded to hatch on the couch, all sorts of alarm bells would go off.
(Totally unrelated to this post, but can I tell you how fucking relieved I am that I’m not the only one who still wears maternity clothes? After reading the comments on yesterday’s post I triumphantly pulled my dreamy maternity capris out from the box I’d stuffed them in and will wear them, loud and proud! Well… maybe not loud, but I’m definitely not putting those babies away.)