A Body at Rest – Until the 3-Year-Old Intervenes


I spent Friday on my couch, Friday night rolling and moaning in my bed and much of Saturday on the couch.
Don’t worry. It wasn’t swine flu (does anyone in Sullivan County have the extra bucks for trips to Mexico these days?).
It was, however, an adventure in its own right.
Because home with me was my 3-year-old.
My 3-year-old who would have been in nursery school, should Mommy have felt safe getting behind the wheel.
Alas, the jackhammer in my head laughed at that idea and kept right on drilling.
So it was just her and me.
I crawled downstairs, poured her a bowl of Fruity Cheerios and curled up on the couch.
“Mooooomy, I wanna watch TV.”
I stuck my hand out of the blanket and felt around for the remote. Got it.
The sounds of Noggin filled the living room. I shoved the pillow over my ears.
There it was again. This time, much closer. The moist warm morning breath was soaking my ear.
“Mommy, I’m thirsty.”
And so it went.
For this I took a sick day?
“Mommy, I have go to potty.”
“So go.” This mumbled more than said, muffled by the hood of my husband’s sweatshirt, into which I’d snuggled to try to block out the noise of cartoons.
“But I’ll miss you.”
I work with three men in my office. Chivalrous though they may be, they have never once expressed their fear that they will miss me when they take their leave to the bathroom down the hall. Thank heavens for that.
They don’t ask for much either. A story here. A picture there.
I’ve often wondered if they’d notice if I fell asleep in my little corner of the room. They’ll be surprised I’m admitting this, but chances are they might even survive just fine on their own for, oh, I don’t know, two, three hours without me.
But the little girl conditioned by her only child status to learn to play quietly by herself for hour-long stretches was struck incapable by the sight of an able-bodied adult at rest.
Leading me to believe, a body at rest will remain at rest until it meets a toddler.
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