4:00 AM Olivia has made her way into our bed yet again. The bed is sheetless, because the sheets are hanging up in the bathroom, because we don't want to spend $1.75 to dry them. It adds up. (Thankfully Liz has the patience, skill and determination to make a laundry line in any space. She's actually what one might call a "Laundry Line McGyver.") For some reason I'm using Olivia's pillow. My pillow is nowhere to be seen. Last night I didn't want to bother to look for it. Too tired. As Rhoda might say. (Rhoda is the one in the wagon.)
Olivia is not at all a morning person. I don't know if anybody really is. But she really isn't. And thankfully she's still little enough that her grumpiness is cute. Not wanting to kick her out of our bed (where the other three members of her family all sleep) and banish her to her own (lonely) bed, I try to adjust my positioning so that we can both share her small pillow comfortably. Morning logic, like morning hands, is almost unbelievably weak. Whatever I was thinking, this was impossible. And so in my attempt to be accommodating, albeit with little hope and heavily compromised motor functions, I inadvertently elbowed Olivia in the head. At least once. I also nearly scooted her off the bed entirely. To all of this, her grumpy reply was "Why are you pushing me?" And then she promptly walked back to her bed. I think mostly just to show her disgust. I was relieved. But she had taken her pillow back with her. I reasoned that I would get better sleep with no pillow and more space than a with a child's pillow AND a child. So I was content. Until Olivia decided a few minutes later to assert her disgust in a more forceful way. She returned to the bed and crawled over me so that she was positioned in the middle and I was the one on the end. Then over the course of what could have been anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes (I was still in haze of tired) she gradually edged me off the bed. Finally I stood up, thinking that I may as well spare some focused effort and reposition her--perhaps even find that big pillow I was too lazy to look for last night. But when I stood up she said, almost cheerfully, "Daddy, you can go do your work now."
I realized then that there wasn't much point in me trying to get back to sleep. I would need to wake up in a few minutes anyway to get breakfast ready since I am fasting. So I let her have her victory. This time.
Ten minutes later I heard the wailing of a banshee. I knew that banshee was Elsie, so I ignored it. It fell back asleep. Elsie is a loud child. I say that purely objectively. I don't know why. One theory may be that she has to fight harder for attention than Olivia did. I think it's just her nature. Some people are loud people. Some people are quieter. I am sure that when Elsie is a grown up she will also be loud. She will sing loudly. She will laugh loudly. She will cry loudly. And she will probably talk loudly.
I have noticed a few interesting things about Elsie's morning routine: She likes to wake up and nurse. If she wakes up to find herself not nursing, she cries. If she cries and that cry is not stopped by a breast full of milk, she screams like a banshee. If she screams like a banshee and she is still not nursed, she either screams louder until it is almost unbearable, or falls back asleep.
This routine is altered slightly if I am in the bed and Liz is up. In this scenario Elsie looks at me as if I have stolen something. Then she says (in sort of a half cry) "Mama. Mama." Then she points. Then she cries. Then I put her on the floor and she walks to Liz while crying.
But the part of her routine that I enjoy the most (and it may only last for a few days--who knows) is that once she is properly awake and properly nursed, she goes all by herself to the bookshelf and takes out her baby books (which Liz has placed right at her level) and she reads. She goes through her books page by page and makes sounds. Which is what people do when they read. So I imagine this is what Elsie is attempting. You can do it Banshee baby! We love you!