Midnight found me sitting on the couch in the living room with the girl. The laptop was placed on the kids table in front of us playing The Aristocats. We sat together under a blanket.
The rest of the house was asleep. I had woken Grandma when we had come downstairs but she had gone back to sleep on the sofa bed in the sun room. The husband had woken at ten with the girl and helped me to clean up her throw up. He went back to bed in order to be rested and functioning in case the boy woke later. Which he didn't. This was the one night in weeks that the boy slept a solid eleven hours. The irony was not lost on me.
The girl's sickness had exhausted her yesterday. By 4:30 pm she was begging to go to bed. The repeated vomiting had left her tired and weary. While I was hopefully that she would sleep through the night, I knew that such an early bedtime could result in a nighttime waking. I braced myself for this as we tucked her into bed.
Sitting the couch, I let the girl drink some water and eat some bread even as I worried that she would turn around and throw it all up again. But she was hungry. And I was tired.
I read The New Yorker while the cats sang and danced on the screen.
What day is it? the girl asked.
Um, I paused not sure what she meant. Did she mean was today Christmas? Or was she asking what day of the week it was? Today is Friday, I said.
Oh, okay. The girl made some scribbles in the Dora notebook in her lap with the thick Dora crayon in her hand. Friday. And what was the day before?
Yesterday was Thursday I said.
Okay, Thursday. She made some forceful marks on the page. And after today what will it be?
Tomorrow will be Saturday. Saturday starts with an S.
Saturday she wrote.
She wasn't tired but I was starting to flag. I had dipped into her Christmas stocking in order to create some diversions for me and her. I knew that if she wasn't occupied I would want to try getting her to sleep and she just wasn't ready yet. Even if I was.
It must have been close to two in the morning. I lay beside her in her bed. Around us were figurines of Dora, Boots and Swiper. Each covered in multiple Diego band aids she had found in her stocking. The girl concentrated on writing in each page of her notebook and then ripping it out and adding it to the pile on her bed.
I closed my eyes.
Surrounded by opened and unopened presents the boy sat on my lap. He rubbed his eyes and tugged at my shirt. As he nursed he closed his eyes.
He's tired I said.
He slept well said the husband.
I think he needs a nap. I wondered if we should pause the present opening and resume it later after he woke up. I doubted how successful that strategy would be.
There isn't much left said my mother-in-law.
Do you want to open a present? I asked the boy. He nodded, his mouth still full. He finally unlatched and happily played with his new barn for a bit before coming back to me.
By nine o'clock he was tucked in his bed. The presents were all opened and piled around the living room. The girl was toes (and feet) in the sun room with a new bottle of nail polish.