Saturday, May 3, 2008


I just don't get it, she thought, as she closed the door with a light little click. Why don't children ever want to go to sleep? Regardless of how tired they are, they fight for every extra minute awake. Ever since she had become a mother, she had been exhausted. She couldn't remember the last time she felt rested. Why didn't she sleep more back when she was single? Tonight, Jayden had bargained for precious extra minutes by introducing a difficult question during her last hug. "Mommy," she whispered, "Can girls marry girls?" Nina had taken a deep breath to compose her thoughts. There were so many ways to go with this question, and each could have repercussions. She could already imagine the annoyed phone calls from other moms asking why her child had been told about lesbianism by Jayden. But the question had to have some root beyond sleep procrastination and that couldn't be brushed off. She had ended up giving her a truthful but fuzzy answer about love. When Jayden had pressed on with, "but how can they have babies mommy," she had cut her off and told her to go to bed. Enough was enough.

She tiptoed past the baby's room and down the stairs, careful not to trip over various dolls and stuffed animals along the way. She found the remote in a bowl of half-eaten goldfish under the sectional. How long had it been there? That was a less controversial mystery. She sat down on the couch, noting the toys scattered around the room. Why don't kids clean up their toys, she wondered. Why don't they realize that would give them more space to play?

She started delicately dropping the goldfish crackers one by one in her mouth. They felt greasy to the touch and she kept wiping her fingertips on her pant leg without ever feeling clean. Why am I eating these disgusting crackers, she wondered as she popped the last one in her mouth. She tossed the empty bowl on the coffee table and wrapped herself in her cozy beige fuzzy blanket. The baby squawked on the monitor. Nina sat up, holding her breath and crossing her fingers. The monitor stayed dark; it seemed the baby had settled back down to sleep. Nina sighed, a mixture of relief and exhaustion. She turned on the TV and turned the channel to her favorite show: Lost. It was high time to start focusing on some adult mysteries for a change.

This post was inspired by the Sunday Scribblings prompt: I just don't get it Click through for more scribblings on the same prompt.

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