Sandpaper toe pads against my bare skin as dog legs stretch in preparation for a run outside. Really, it is 3:00 AM. The middle of the night. For the past two weeks or more the dogs have awakened me to go out in the 3 o'clock hour. I am already awake....... waiting. Waiting to see what method they will use tonight to get me out of the bed.
Love of my life usually sleeps blissfully through the 3 AM pee-pee break, but I know he is awake. He went to he bathroom and stuffed more wood in the wood stove not 20 minutes ago....... that is the reason I am awake. He has no idea how to be quiet.
Wall-E is walking around on top of the covers preparing to leap to the floor. Emmy is stretching, her little toes against my arm. Oscar stretches against my leg, Oscar of sandpaper toe pads and nails that need to be clipped. I want to push him away, but the game is on. You know the game if you have children...... you have all played it.
I am lying as still as possible. I have been getting up every night in the middle of the night for two weeks or more! It is his turn! And I know he is awake! I can tell by the way he is breathing. I can feel his awareness of the dogs. He is playing, too. Oscar is now emitting his low whimper. His legs are too short to jump to the floor. Wall-E, in he meantime is tapping across the floor (his nails need clipping, too). Emmy waits patiently for the male dogs to awaken a person to transport her to the back yard so that she can relieve herself. I continue to pretend to be asleep.... lying very, very still. He is also lying still and trying to breathe evenly (he is very good at this). I know he wants to turn over, but he is afraid to, any movement and I will say, "It's your turn." He knows this and he continues to lie still.
Wall-E jumps back into the bed and tries to pick up my hand with his nose..... I stay limp. Oscar takes the whining up a notch and move to the bench at the foot of the bed. Emmy waits patiently. Wall-E leaps back onto the floor and dances across the floor encouraging Oscar to try to jump down. He jumps up to bed and back to the floor demonstrating how it is done. Oscar is now whining in earnest and I cough!
I lost because I coughed! Not fair! I have been sick and for that reason he should let me win, but no, he knows the game too well. So, off I shuffle to the back door with three dogs railing behind me at 3:04 AM. Tonight I will have cough drops close by..... and I will win!