Monday, March 5, 2007

While you were sleeping

It was the unacceptable time of 6 am on a Sunday morning. I turned over in bed, hoping it would go away.
Too soon I realized my tactic of denial wasn't working-she was only getting louder. I was going to have to go in there.

I entered the room to teary eyed complaints of her teeth hurting. Lately Ella's been blaming everything that's not going her way on her teeth hurting. When she's sad, it's because her teeth hurt. When she's being bad, it's because her teeth hurt. It was the wee hours of the morning though, and I didn't care what the problem was. I administered the children's motrin, changed a soggy diaper, and told her to go back to bed. Assuming my two-year-old would fall back asleep just because I told her to do so, I crawled back in bed myself.

I dreamt my bedroom door opened and then quickly closed again several times. After the fifth or sixth time I realized it wasn't a dream at all. Ella was officially up for the day and, every 30 seconds or so, checking on the status of her sleeping parents. The first number on my DVD player now read 8, so I hauled myself out of bed.

When I went in Ella's room to get her blankie, I found a mound of books and stuffed animals. Clothes from her dresser were thrown in for good measure. These were typical findings for any day of the week. What wasn't typical was what lie before me.

It's Ella's chore to feed the cat in the morning before we go downstairs, but this morning the pathetic beast wasn't meowing and rubbing himself all over us in order to persuade us to give him sustenance. I found out why as soon as I went in the bathroom. Apparently, Ella had completed her task before summoning me out of bed this morning. The cat's bowl was overflowing and the food container was pretty much empty.

"Look, Mommy," Ella exclaimed, " It's my nursing book!" Where did THAT come from? She was holding a book I had last seen in the office long before Addison was born.

At the bottom of the stairs I found more evidence my child had been busy while I slept. My husband's newspapers had been freed from their bags and where strewn about the floor. The books beside the chair told me she had been catching up on my reading, as well.

When she figured out she couldn't read after all, Ella turned to technology. The computer we put to sleep every night before we go to sleep was turned on and various applications and files were open. Ella had been quite busy, indeed.

As her sister is ten weeks old and has yet to develop the motor skills that would allow her to exit her crib and join Ella in a rousing expedition of exploring the house, Ella had to make do with "Baby Chubby" and some of Addison's toys.

The grande finale was an empty bottle of water on the floor of her playroom, which would explain why my kitchen towels were all over the floor.

As we sat down to breakfast that morning, my husband wondered why all of the fruit was bruised. I can't be sure, but I think it had a little something to do with a little someone I know who was quite busy while the rest of the household slept...

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