It’s 5:30 a.m. Emerson, who is lying beside me, begins to wiggle and stir. She flips over to her left side. Still asleep. Flips over to the right side. Still asleep. She calls out “daddy!” Still asleep. But, I. I am awake. I’m trying desperately to ignore all the thrashing, but knowing it’s a losing battle makes it impossible to fall back asleep. I pull out a boob and shove it in Emerson’s mouth. She instantly settles, and I think maybe…..just maybe. But, a minute later, there are limbs flying in every direction. Emerson (still asleep) stretches both her legs up in the air and then splits them with a violent force. One leg on mommy, one leg on daddy. She does the same with her arms. Up in the air, and smack! I get whacked in the eye, and then she rests her hand on my cheek. Alex is lucky (at this point). He only gets hit in the back. Emerson is now lying completely spread eagle, while Alex and I cling to our respective sides of the bed.
5:45 a.m. Emerson gets sick of nursing. Instead, she begins to round house kick Alex. Bam. Bam. BAM! After about eleven kicks, Alex is frustrated so he turns over to face us. He falls immediately back to sleep (while I stare at him, full of resentment). As soon as he’s asleep, his mouth opens and he begins to breathe heavily. Into my face. And I can’t turn over, because Emerson has decided to start nursing again and I don’t dare move her….I don’t dare wake her up! So now, I am choking on Alex’s horrific morning breath. Right into my face. I push him. I manually close his mouth for him….and it pops right back open. The bad breath fan continues. I use my pillow to create a barrier.
6:15 a.m. Emerson is still asleep, but begins to crawl across my body. She collapses with the upper half of her body on top of my chest, and her legs on Alex’s stomach. She rhythmically kicks Alex in the gut, over and over, until Alex finally puts his arm over her feet in an attempt to stop the pain. Emerson gets annoyed. So, she rolls away. Onto my head. The weight of her body is now suffocating me, meanwhile, she seems perfectly comfortable to lie on top of my face. But, then she’s not so comfortable anymore. She rolls away toward Alex. She is now lying horizontally across both our pillows….butt in my face, naturally. She farts. Still asleep. I am not amused so I move her back into a normal position on a normal part of the bed.
6:30 a.m. Emerson wakes up. But, she’s still drowsy so she continues to lie there while singing to herself. The singing gets louder. And louder. Until she is screaming out random words—some real, some made-up. She gets stuck on the word “daddy,” which reminds her: oh my god, daddy is right here in bed with me! She sits up and starts smacking daddy on the back.
“Hi, daddy. HI, daddy! HI, DADDYYYY!!!”
Alex whimpers, but doesn’t budge. Displeased with his reaction, Emerson crawls onto daddy’s pillow and begins to poke him in the eyes. She sticks her fingers up his nose. She pries his mouth open and pokes his teeth. She grabs his ear and wiggles it back and forth. Alex is trying his hardest to fake that he is sleeping. So, Emerson grabs his eyelids and opens them.
“Hi, Emerson,” Alex mumbles.
I lie there secretly smiling, because damn. If I’m not sleeping, I sure as hell don’t want to watch my husband lie there, immune to the miniature acrobat in our bed. But, Alex still refuses to accept that sleepy time is over. He pulls the covers up over his head. My resentment grows.
6:45 a.m. Emerson gets bored with daddy so she crawls back over to me and proceeds to open the shirt I just buttoned up.
“No, Emerson. Num nums have closed up shop. No more num nums!”
Emerson ignores me. She finds her way into my shirt, literally laughing, and begins to nurse again. I want to stop her, but I also don’t want to get out of bed….so I let her nurse. Back and forth, back and forth. She switches breasts like she’s eating at a buffet.
7:00 a.m. I can’t take anymore. And I’m definitely not getting any sleep. I get out of bed and open the shades. Eventually the bright sunshine annoys Alex enough and he gets out of bed, too. “Emerson, you are one thorough alarm clock,” he says.
This is our life.