My daughter’s hair is slithering down my throat
Her flannel nightgown is making me hot, and I’m pretty sure she just farted on me
I gently grasp her around her rib cage, about the same width as a rotisserie chicken, and move her a few inches away, but she rebounds quickly and slams her butt into my bladder and now there’s no more denying it – I must pee.
From behind me I hear my husband’s snores.
Tonight his palette, sinus passages, and tongue are practicing a new tune. I think it’s called,
I carefully wriggle out of the covers like a desert sidewinder snake
As to not disturb either of my bedmates
And then I walk on chopstick legs across the cold wood floor to our bathroom.
I dread the moment the alien tractor-beam green nightlight sees me coming and flickers on, blinding me as I quietly close the door behind me.
I steady myself in preparation for what is coming.
Hello, cold toilet seat.
The skin on the back of my legs sticks to the porcelain as I slump over, chin settled on fist, doughy, 3 AM skin squished into my knuckles.
I want a heated toilet seat.
I want heated floors.
I want a King size bed with no wiggly toddlers in it.
I want to sleep through the night and wake up completely unaware of what 3 AM looks like.
I’m all finished. The tractor-beam has not detected movement in over a minute, so I am now sitting all alone in the dark, frozen to the toilet seat.
And There is my husband, who always comes to bed with me, and who never, ever, ever makes me worry that he’s spending the night in someone else’s bed.
Next to him (saving the eight or so inches left for me) is our daughter, who feels that I can protect her from nightmares, so she bravely leaves her room every night and walks through our dark house to find me.
The future is not mine to divine, yet I know there will never be a 21-year old girl with pigtails and dog breath, holding tightly to me all through the night.
Between the bed and the bathroom is a cold, hard floor, which insulates our house and protects our feet from the dirt and pests below.
Inside this bathroom, there is a harsh, electric light and I didn’t have to lift a single finger to turn it on.
This whole bathroom exists so that I don’t have to stumble outside into nature’s refrigerator and rest my head on my fist while squatting over a pit.
I wash my hands in freezing water, knowing that I could drink as much of it as I wanted, or leave the tap running indefinitely, and then I ease myself back under the covers, careful not to touch either of my bedmates with my feet.