Why I Drank Coffee This Morning

The baby is not sleeping at night because her gums are sprouting teeth, those perfect little crumbs of bone that she uses to gnaw her fists and my nipples. She doesn’t scream in her discomfort, though: she parties. She crawls and climbs and scoots over my body in the dark, and I make soothing noises to remind her that it is time for sleeping. “Ba!” she calls out, into the night, waking her brother in the next room. He wails, and I wait for my husband to calm him, so as not to reunite siblings and encourage further galavanting. Only a few minutes later, everyone but me is asleep again, and I listen to the soft nasal breath of my daughter, curled up against my body. I ignore the tug of fullness in my bladder and invite rest. In the morning, I’ll curse having lost sleep; now, I soak up the quiet, shadowy feel of love.

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