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The other morning she woke me by lifting my eyelids with the chubby pad of her index fingers and almost as soon as I blinked away any thought of continued sleep that remained, she started telling me her plans for the next several hours. A conversation full of questions and statements and statements turned questions, interrupting herself with a swift change of topic and it was official… our day had begun.

“What’s for breakfast?” she asked. “Cookies! Cookies would be good. Cookies and coffee.”

She quickly informed me the coffee was for me, she’d prefer milk. Chocolate milk to be specific and before we were able to discuss cookies as her first choice, she hopped off the bed in search of a dress or a tutu or a tutu dress of some sort because on Saturday one shouldn’t linger in their pajamas for very long. She returned with a scratchy garment highlighted with sequins, the threads of a three year old princess.

“Where are we going today? It would be fun if we went to Lowe’s or Target. Target has a toy aisle.”

I wiped the sleep from the corners of my eyes, forced my limbs to extend and stretch then leaned over my wife’s shoulder. We’re in this whole parenting thing together and there’s no time for sleep at this hour, a quick glance at my phone let me know eight was the magic number of the day and my wife responded to my alarm of heavy breaths with her own sigh in return to let me know she was listening.

“Did you get breakfast yet? I want to go with you. This dress itches, let me change first.”

The three of us spent hours tackling laundry and dishes and other household chores between tea parties and cartoons and puzzles. We pretended we were at the fair or make-believed we were baking cupcakes. We had snacks and ate meals and took baths and made deals until the clock circled back around to bedtime and we lumped our exhausted bodies together in a huddle of sheets and blankets.

“This is my favorite time of day,” she said muffled between her mother and me. “Cuddles.”

She closed her eyes and we fought the urge to count her eyelashes, to sit and watch the teamwork of her rapid inhales and slow exhales. We kissed her temples gently, one of us on each side of her, careful not to wake her then we stepped back and swallowed the lumps in our throats forcing our hearts back into our chests. We told her goodnight knowing the adventure continues again in the morning, day after day… and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

2 comments

  1. These days are so fleeting, and so precious. Hold onto every one!

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    Replies
    1. You're right! As soon as we get used to one phase, she has already transitioned into the next one.

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