Waking up smiling doesn’t happen everyday. On this day, you did not smile. You offered me a sleepy scowl instead and clung to me like a koala bear. I shift your weight to accommodate the growing bump that is your little brother. My left hip shoots pain, I wince.
I sit down, with you still hanging onto my hip, head buried into my neck, your sleepiness/ grumpiness rubbing off on me. Trying to contain my irritability, I ask if you want your milk.
You hit me square on the face. I react quickly, with hurt, grabbing your hand and saying a notch too loudly, “NO! You do NOT hit Mama!” and you wail. You bury your face in my neck again, sobbing, your tears drenching my skin. The familiar guilt creeps into my gut. I question why I can’t be more patient and understanding. You are two, I am 35, I should know better!
We sit there a minute, me, festering in my guilt, you, crying in misery at your awful mother.
Then, you lift your head, open your eyes, rub them dry and you smile. You smile your megawatt smile and you push yourself upright. And you touch my cheek and kiss me on the lips, in that drooly, sloppy way a toddler kisses. As always, when you share your kisses, I can’t help but smile. I smile, and you kiss me again. And again. And we double up in laughter. I hold you close and whisper into your hair, “I love you, I love you.”