Small, sticky, slightly salty hands assault my senses, followed quickly by his distinctive good morning yelp. It’s usually still dark so I can vaguely make out his small figure next to me, sitting up, wide awake – my opposite.
He senses that I’m awake and snuggles close, wanting his morning feed. I stroke his head, soft hair smelling like sweat and milk. When he finishes, he rolls over onto his belly and in one smooth movement, pushes up to sit. He’s looking for my phone, the familiar light of it starts his day.
He starts crawling over to the edge of the bed, phone in hand. I can’t see his face, but I know his expression. Cheeky, small smile and eyes full of mischief. I move, feeling like an elephant, and grab the phone before it leaves his hand. Too late.
I heave his familiar weight onto my left arm, his right hand pinching my flesh, and lower him into the crib he left in the middle of the night.
Piercing screams hit my ears, really waking me up. His protests cut short when I hand him a book, some toys. I take my 3-minute shower and get dressed. He is ‘talking’, lips forming around the easy p’s and d’s. I can just see his arms, still chubby with the classic baby rolls, chucking things out of the crib.
He’s calling me now, a baby voice indistinguishable to others, unique to my ears. I go. His arms are outstretched as soon as he hears my footsteps, little legs perfectly stable as he stands. His big smile shows 8 teeth (eight!), his eyes crinkle upward slightly. He looks nothing like me, and everything like me.
It’s difficult to change him now, he doesn’t stop moving. Sitting up, he suddenly lunges forward, hands going for the current object of desire – my glasses one day, a bottle of moisturizer the next. I struggle to slip the romper over his ever-growing head, his busy arms and legs protesting the whole time.
He expertly picks up a small square of french toast with his thumb and finger, and eats it quickly, then promptly grabs a fistful of his breakfast. He shoves it all into his mouth, ignoring my protests, then spits half of them out. He eats like a squirrel, softening the food, one cheek bulging, and slowly swallows it bit by bit.
His head turns quickly as he hears his older brother stirring in his room. He looks at me, and points a chubby and still impossibly tiny finger towards his brother’s room.
There is no question who the boss is around here, in the morning.
This post is a writing exercise from Kate Hopper‘s book, Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers, to sketch a character in detail. I highly recommend it for all writing mothers.
What are your mornings like?
My weekly article at Everyday Family this week is about play dates – for moms AND kids. Would love a read and/ or share, thank you and see you there!