The Blue Recliner.

I am drifting in an uneasy darkness, asleep and yet on alert. A wail breaks the nighttime silence. My eyes pop open, dragging my brain into wakefulness.

Groaning, I reach for my phone. What time is it? 4:34 a.m. Only two hours since the last time I was up. Next to me, Brian groans and puts the pillow over his head. I send a sleepy glare in his direction before trudging to Tori’s room.

The warm yellow light that seemed so dim at bedtime now has me squinting as I peer into her room. She’s standing at the end of her crib, cheeks flushed with fever, eyes running with tears.

“What’s the matter, baby,” I say as I lift her sleep-heavy body into my arms.

“I sick, mommy. I sick,” she whimpers.

I shift so I can touch my hand to her forehead. The heat blazes back at me, sending little streaks of panic into my soul. She’s burning up again. When will this fever break?

“It’s okay, sunshine. You’re going to be alright. Let’s just take a little more Tylenol, okay?”

“NO! I don’t like it!”

“I know, honey. But it’ll  make you feel better.”

I collapse into the worn blue recliner, snuggling her against my chest as I clumsily fill the dropper with one hand, bracing the bottle between my knees. Please work, I think to myself. I don’t want to go to the emergency room tonight.

“Okay. Open up. Remember, the faster you swallow, the faster we’ll be done…”

Still whimpering, she opens her mouth. One pump, two pumps, three pumps…Slowly, I squirt the liquid into her mouth. She swallows and coughs, choking on its sweetness.

“No, mommy, NO!” she cries as she swats the dropper away.

“Alright, alright. We’re done. You want to snuggle for a while?”

She nods and I bend down to pick up the blue afghan from the floor where I dropped it such a short time before. Then I lean back, bringing the footrest up as I tuck it in around us.

She wiggles restlessly, squirming until she finds her favorite spot. Then, head nestled on my shoulder, body sprawled across my lap, she dives down into sleep.

I look down at her and a pang  hits my gut. We’ve spent so many nights like this—starting during the first weeks after we brought her home. Her face, although much bigger now, still looks like that of the infant I snuggled, especially in sleep. How much longer will it be until she loses the last of her babyness? How soon will these nights be gone forever?

I know I should take the time to appreciate it while it lasts. I know I’m going to kick myself later for not cherishing every second of snuggle time I get.

But right now? All I want to do is sleep.

14 Comments on The Blue Recliner.

  1. C @ Kid Things
    November 29, 2011 at 10:59 am (4 years ago)

    I have such a hard time with living in the moment. Hope she’s feeling better after a good night’s rest. My daughter actually likes to take medicine when she’s sick, and asks for it even. Silly kid.

    • Amber
      November 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm (4 years ago)

      She’s better now. I actually wrote this a couple of days ago and saved it. But man, was it a long holiday weekend.

  2. Rebecca
    November 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm (4 years ago)

    This all sounds all too familiar. I Hope Tori is feeling better really soon. I forget how old she is but when Joey was about 2 I started giving him the chewable Tylenol. (Did the same for Isabella) If I remember correctly one chewable Tylenol has the same milligrams of acetaminophen as what I was giving them in the liquid form at 2 years old….I looked it up 80MG of medicine is in each chewable tablet (liquid has 160 in each teaspoon)

    both of my kids loved chewing the tablets more than drinking the liquid.

    • Amber
      November 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm (4 years ago)

      Chewable Tylenol! I don’t know why I never thought to look for that before. Thanks for the tip – you’re a lifesaver!

  3. Gail
    November 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh my…this sounds so much like me. My kids don’t get up very often, but MAN, when they do. I just want to sleep. Oddly enough, my girls LOVE the liquid Tylenol.

    • Amber
      November 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm (4 years ago)

      Tori used to. Then, suddenly, she decided she hated it. I have no idea why.

  4. Justin
    November 29, 2011 at 10:09 pm (4 years ago)

    We’re in a similar state right now, although on the tail end of it. Also, since it’s with the 9-month-old, there is less talking and more screaming.

    Fun times for all. Except parents…

    • Amber
      November 30, 2011 at 8:56 am (4 years ago)

      It’s much worse with a 9-month-old. I hope yours gets better soon…

  5. Alexandra
    November 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm (4 years ago)

    None of us are saints, right?

    We’re only human: and we NEED sleep to be the best parent we can be.

    Hope you get to catch up this weekend…

    • Amber
      November 30, 2011 at 8:55 am (4 years ago)

      Sorry about the spam thing. I plan to catch up. We’ll see what life has in store…

  6. Alexandra
    November 29, 2011 at 11:35 pm (4 years ago)


    looks like my comment went to spam.

    trying again.

  7. erica
    November 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm (4 years ago)

    So sweet… and I think the same thoughts every night when E wakes up.

    Thankfully, he sleeps through most nights!

    Miss you, darling!

  8. Amber
    November 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm (4 years ago)

    I feel bad but yeah, when my kids wake up in the dead of night I am not happy.

    This is why I won’t have another baby. I like my sleep too much.

  9. Unknown Mami
    November 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh how I feel you. Sleep glorious sleep. I hope she is all better.


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