…No, really. It was a November evening in the west of Ireland. The sky was black, although dinner had barely finished. The gale winds howled as rain and slush pelted the windows.
It had been one of those days.
One of those days where nothing particularly terrible, or great, had happened. Just a typical day in a house full of five people – three of which are under the age of eight.
There were books read, games played, blocks built and toppled.
There were squabbles squabbed, fits thrown, time outs had.
We had weathered yet another stormy, winter Saturday and were coming out the other side alive and happy, for the most part.
The two year old came and looked at me with the look. The one that says if I don’t get my milk, snuggle and bed soon we are all going to be very, very sorry.
I have to admit, I love this time of day. Not necessarily because it means the kiddos are heading to bed and I can have a few minutes to relax with hubs before retiring for another night that will go by all too quickly. Although I do have days when that’s the exact reason I love Man Cub’s bedtime.
But usually, I love this time of night because it means I get unadulterated cuddles with my lil’ man. Where he snuggles in deep in the crook of my arm and we both relish in the warmth and quiet and stillness of it all. My arms ache even now just thinking about it.
And much like the Pavlovian response of an intense craving for a good cuppa as soon as I walk out the door to go to my friend Linda’s house, my Man Cub bedtime Pavlovian response is a sudden and intense sense of relaxation and satisfaction. I go into the zone.
I was in said zone as I shuffled to the laundry room to get the highly revered milk ready, already in anticipation of the quiet time alone with my boy. There was probably some sort of goofy grin played across my face as well.
I don’t bother turning the laundry room light on as I pour the milk, zap it in the microwave a few seconds to break the chill, and turn to walk out while affixing the lid to the cup. I know
the clutter in that room like the back of my hand. I know what to step over, when to shimmy to the side. I can do it with my eyes closed – and I have.
So here I stand in the dark, warm laundry room pouring a lovely cup of fresh milk for my son.
“Sssshhhhhhh. Don’t tell them I’m here,” came the hissed whisper from the darkest corner of the room.
You know, it’s funny the things that flash through your mind, all within a fraction of a second, when you know your life is about to end. Was that a snake? No, there’s no snakes in Ireland. Who are ‘them’? Why am I hearing voices? Oh boy, now I’ve really lost it. So this is how I die.
How I managed not to toss the milk to the stratosphere while simultaneously wetting my pants and passing out is beyond me. Although the pants wetting was dangerously close to happening.
My eyes finally adjusted to the dark to see my sweet tow-headed little girl crouching in the corner. Apparently she and her sister were in the midst of a rousing game of hide-and-go-seek.
I whispered that her secret was safe with me. At least, I think I did. I may have said something closer to, “Haminah, meegnaw lammah. Ok?”
My feet finally got the message my brain had been sending for the past 30 seconds and began to head towards the door – and light; and the bathroom.
But I’m still not sure who she meant by them…
I’ve linked this post up with Life:Unmasked