The Deterioration of My Night

I had such a good yesterday. Sure, I had cramps from hell, but CareBear was so good in the morning. We played with blocks and read stories and played with toys. She helped me cook breakfast and clean her Guinea pig’s cage. Steve took her to a playground while I got to rest before work. Work actually went really well. I got off in time to put Kara down to sleep for the night. She went without a fuss. I nailed my workout, took a shower, and relaxed before bed.

Right after I lay down, I heard my angel cry. Steve got to her before I did, and I heard her clear voice. Since I wasn’t sleeping anyway, I decided to get up and see what was going on. She was thirsty and was saying so clearly, “I want water. And I want milk.” It was kind of sweet, really. After Steve lay her back down, I even started to drift off to sleep with a picture of it in my mind: her tousled hair and big, sleepy blue eyes, her pale skin and big red lips, the way she leaned against Steve while drinking, one cup in each hand. And that was my last peaceful moment of the night.

The rest of the night was quite a blur of Kara waking up, Steve and I doing the age-old dance of trying to decide whether to try to cater to her increasingly erratic requests or to leave her screaming. Problem is, we live in a duplex, and when I say Kara “screams,” I mean her vocal capacity gets possessed by a dragon—like, “Smaug in a rage at finding his cup missing,” full-throated fury of a decibel level that I never would have imagined a person her size capable of reaching.

I’m pretty certain that I didn’t sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time, between Kara, cramping, and, at 5:45 in the morning, the rhythmic bumping of the neighbors’ headboard against the wall. (But maybe it wasn’t what it seemed… maybe they had heard the monster stirring before I did and were beating their heads in unison against the wall. ‘Cause sure enough, just as I was dozing off again 10 minutes later, she once again began to cry.)

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