things we talk about at 3 a.m.

My 2 year old is sick with an as-yet-unspecified virus (probably related to the croup her older brother coughed all over her earlier this week). She has been asleep for 3 hours this afternoon, which should make me very happy, but of course I keep sneaking in her room and checking to make sure she’s breathing. A too-long nap, for the mother, is the opposite of relaxing.

Maggie is probably just making up for last night, though, which was lest than restful for all concerned. David had decamped to the guest room in anticipation of what we both thought would be a long night, and one when Maggie would just want me anyway.  To my delight, the first time Maggie called for me, coughing and feverish, was at 3 a.m. Once I gave her Tylenol and a big drink, she seemed very happy to “do cozies in Mommy’s bed” and settle back down. Or so I thought. Once we were in bed with the lights out:

MAGGIE: I need tissue Mommy.

I lean way out of bed to grab a tissue from the bedside table, and wipe her nose.

MAGGIE: Fanks Mommy.

We snuggle in to fall back to sleep.

MAGGIE: I need juice Mommy.

I give her one last sip of juice from her sippy cup.

MOMMY: OK. Night night, Maggie.

MAGGIE: Night night.

A few moments of silence.

MAGGIE: (whispering) I a pink kitty cat, Mommy.

I ignore her.

MAGGIE: (louder) I a pink kitty cat, Mommy.

MOMMY: OK, you’re a pink kitty cat. Night night, Maggie.

MAGGIE: Night night.

She is quiet and still. I fall asleep within fifteen seconds.

MAGGIE: Night night, a seep tight, a don’t let a bug bite.

MOMMY: Night night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite?


MOMMY: OK, Maggie. That’s IT, now. Go to sleep.

She is quiet for a few moments. Then she sneezes.

MAGGIE: Mommy, I pink kitty cat, I need tissue.

And so on from there. I was to find out that her “sheepie” was also a pink kitty cat and that her blankie likes to give kisses, and that Maggie knows all ten verses to “The Wheels on the Bus,” and I would dole out, one at a time, another thirty-seven tissues and three sippy cups of watered-down juice.

Now she’s sleeping, and I can’t wait for her to wake up. Sometimes it’s when my kids are being most infuriating that I love them the most.