Sarah opened her eyes just before the alarm clock went off. Such a thing happened to her often. She attributed it to having a finely tuned internal clock. It was a relief not to have the jar of the loud ring to start the day. On this day she was aware of a headache and her right nostril was definitely stuffed. She recognized this as the start of a week of dragging energy. As she stepped into her slippers, she made a mental note to detour past the cabinet of medicines on the way to the bathroom. Or perhaps after. She’d flush her nose with warm saline … something she could only consider when she felt bad enough … and she’d see if she had any Nyquil left over from her last cold.
She wasn’t worried about passing it on to Gretchen and Ellen. They were the ones who’d given it to her. First Ellen had it. Mysteriousy since she didn’t come into contact with anyone except a few cats. The Gretchen, which was no surprise since she lunched every day with Ellen, spooning her meals and probably tasting some at the same time.
As soon as Sarah had peed she hear her daughters stirring in the other room off the hall. Nikki probably had enough wake time to wet the bed, so Sarah didn’t rush in. She went to the clean laundry bags which were still by the front door and she dug out clean clothes for Nikki and herself. And another set of clothes to pack in Nikki’s day care bag. Then, having forgotten the cold medicine, Sarah bounced cheerfully into Nikki’s room. “Rise and shine.” And Nikki was standing in the crib with a glorious smile on her face. Even wet with urine, Nikki was like a fresh rose. Sarah flopped her down with one hand and with the other, cleared away the wet sheets and pulled off the wet diaper. Nikki accepted the attention with aplomb and then in a few minutes crawled across the floor as Sarah stashed the dirty laundry. Then Sarah scooped her daughter up and took her into the bathroom where they both took a morning shower together.2. Breakfast for Nikki was a messy affair. Wearing only a clean diaper, she sat in her Nana’s high chair and gnawed on a biscuit. Sarah mixed up her cereal and with a spoon aimed at her mouth while alternating her own spoon into a cup of yogurt on granola for herself.
Nikki continued to be smiley. When the shower temperature was perfect, Sarah held her on her hip and stepped into the shower letting the water cover their sputtering heads and soak their backs. Sara used shampoo to lather their hair and bodies. Nikki played witht the suds on her mother’s head while Sarah cooed a morning wakeup song. In short time, they stepped out and were buffeted with towels. Nikki was standing but not walking. Sarah sat on the toilet seat and modeled to Nikki how to put on underpants and an undershirt as Nikki played with her own shirt by tossing it up in her grip.
A quick comb, a dash of deoderant for Sarah and they were in Nikki’s room, washing the crib mattress cover and then putting a diaper on Nikki. Sarah pried the shirt out of Nikki’s fingers and with a getting dressed song, pulled the shirt over her head. Then the bib overhalls and the many snaps at the inseam, socks on spagghetti feet, the new shoes to celebrate her first steps, and she was ready.