I didn't guess I'd be the kind of woman to share my bed with so many. The night starts with the two of us, just like it was in the beginning. By midnight there are three of us, by morning four. If we didn't still sleep in a mere(more) double, the crowd, limbs splayed, hair tangled in a tri-color mess, might be bareable a bit longer.
But we bought a new bed, working toward some domestic ideal of separations. The midnight child is in the new bed, a small red one decorated with animals, which her sister guides her to each night. Now, when I hear squawking at midnight, I clamber into the animal bed beside her, soothing her back to sleep with a nonlinear conversation about owls and dogs. This is marginally more comfortable than the nights I spent with her sister in the crib. I curl around my fussing child in attempt to assure the sleep of at least one member of the household.
We have plans for a new bed, bigger than any we've had before. The wood is cut, and every few months we go mattress shopping, but we tuck again each night into the smaller nest, sometimes joined by the chicks, glad to sleep in this bed we've made.(less)
Something tells me your bed is small. Narrow. The boys with the long legs and arms always end up in the narrowest beds, no room to stretch out. If and when you slept in a larger bed, you'd keep to your own side, bunched up. The desire to keep hands and feet from(more) draping off of the bed overwhelms the desire to reach out, to find, to touch.
You don't sleep much, and when you do, it's fitful. Your mind is churning too much, clanking away all night until it burns through all of its fuel. You give yourself so much to process during the day that it takes utter exhaustion to shut you down.
Boys like you--I shouldn't say that, I don't know if what I've guessed about you is true in the slightest. It isn't fair to assume. Boys like the one I suspect you are, they don't know what to do with themselves in my big bed. My big bed that's two small ones pushed together, the ultimate revenge against the restrictions that beds try to force on us. My big bed seems to overwhelm boys like the one I suspect you are, boys with their long limbs all curled up out of habit. The boys who say they can never find sleep do so, deeply and soundly, while I lie awake, watching and thinking, my own mind churning through all the extra fuel until exhaustion sets in.
So all the little-bed boys come to my bed and finally rest. I do all the fitful tossing and turning for them.
I don't know for certain that you're one of those boys, although I have my hunches. If you are, come let me help you. Let me let you sleep. You deserve it.(less)
I like it because it doesn't
slip, anymore. I'd wake up
to my sheets going one way, and
my comforter the other way; now
I prefer my comfort the way
a king with gilded pillows enjoys
(more) his courtesans and wives,
but I enjoy the love of a cute boy,
who gives me his kisses freely.(less)
It hadn't ever been out of the plastic wrapping. Still held together with those impossible zip ties that need an exacto knife or a pair of sharp scissors. The type of ties that sliced your thumb if you ran the pad of it along the edge. Sometimes she did just that, leaving(more) a little smear of red on the hard white plastic.
He told her to take it back to the store. They had no use for a crib; why should it sit in their hallway and take up space?
Lilith couldn't bring herself to carry the damn thing down to the car. She didn't want to take it to the store, she wanted to let the grace period run out and have to keep the crib in her house, in it's packaging, just as a reminder of things that should have been. If she took it back to the store, it meant things were final.
It meant that she'd come home from the hospital with nothing.
Paul was frustrated; Lilith could tell. He didn't say anything beyond 'when will you take that back' because accusing her of gripping onto the past was too harsh. It hadn't been her fault. It hadn't been either of their faults. It was just an accident. These things happen. These things always happen. They could try again soon. There was still time.
But there wasn't time for Lilith. She had no time left.
Just an empty, unassembled crib. With matching giraffe bedsheets. It sat in her corridor. Either as a memory of what could have been or there to mock her. Undeserving. Unworthy. Unassembled mother. She wasn't good enough to have a child so she wasn't good enough to even put together this crib.
How long until she took it back? Lilith didn't know.(less)