I forgot our camera.
We didn't sleep while we were there, not really. Our room had two double beds. I shared mine with Scouty and Kurt slept with Louise. Both of them flip flopped and kick boxed in their sleep. Scouty had a few coughing fits. Louise woke up at 3:30am insisting she was hungry. Daddy and I sighed and laughed into the space between the beds.
I wish I had more time to be with my husband.
Louise wouldn't sleep last night, either, when we got home. She said something that sounded like "camera," over and over again, in between blood curdling screams. I scoured her room in the dark on my hands and knees looking for a toy that might resemble or had a name that sounded like a camera. I handed her a set of plastic keys, a tractor, a toy mirror. Each item made her scream louder and with more vigor.
"I don't know what you want, Louise," I told her.
She pleaded with me holding up one adorable little finger, "Camera. Camera."
"Do you want sissie's camera?" I tried.
"Close your eyes," I told her. "It's time to sleep."
She threw the toy mirror at me, hitting me in the face. I felt like I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell at her, "Be quiet! I'm tired and I'm sick and you need to sleep!"
I didn't, though. I walked out into the hallway, holding back tears of frustration. I walked to the bathroom and BANG BANG BANGED on the door frame with my palm. This is it, I thought. This is the part of the story where I can't do it anymore. This is where I fall apart.
Scouty emerged from her room with her hair all messy like a pixie from a story book. She walked into Louise's room and asked in a loud voice, "What do you want?"
Louisey held up her finger and screamed, "Camera!"
Scouty said, "She's saying she wants one more."
"One more what?" I asked.
"One more book," Scouty said.
There was a tiny cardboard book in the hallway. Louise and I were reading it before bed. I picked up the book and held it out to her. "Do you want this book?" She grasped it in her chubby little fist and closed her eyes. Everything was quiet.
Sometimes I am so tired, I feel like I could sleep for a year. I think about sleep with a guilty covetousness. I have sticky, lurid daydreams about how I'd sleep if I had the chance, about how the sheets would feel on my skin. I feel like the only person in the world who carries this tiredness, like I am alone on an island of exhaustion. Nobody knows me because I am made up mostly of this tiredness with no boundaries. A thing so vast and incomplete, it's impossible to comprehend. I am the most exhausted person on the earth, that's how I feel.
But then I think about you, about all the mommies in the world, how we must all feel that way. I want to wrap you up in my arms, mommies. I want to rest my head against your breast, to feel your collective warmth. I want to make a soft place to lie down and sleep with you.
Today's post is a link up with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary's Just Write. If you want to join in, write something about the details of your day and link up! Be sure to read a few other pieces and get to know some great new writers in the process.