I don’t even look at the clock anymore but can usually gauge the time based on if my husband in still in the bed or not since he rises by 5:00 am. They later confess that they have each been trying to will themselves to wake up before the other one does, their competitive cores serving as an internal alarm clock as they each vie for one parcel of prime real estate in my bed. The worm for the earliest bird is the coveted spot nestled between my armpit and my chest, opposite the side that their little brother almost assuredly already occupies, since he spends most nights in our bed. Whoever makes it up last has to settle for the outside position of the cuddle puddle, from which I can usually reach across and tickle his/her back depending on the angle—the consolation prize of being on the periphery. They usually completely avoid the side where the baby is because he is a kicker, that one.
From my contorted position, trying to make sure a portion of my body that we used to share is fairly touching each one of them, I watch the soft rise and fall of their chests, their breath somewhere in between asleep and awake. I marvel at the tangle of limbs all of which grew inside of me. In the dim light, the supreme feeling of being needed is so strong, and feels so fleeting, that even though my arms are tingling from being twisted into an ungodly position, and my bladder feels as if it is about to burst, I cannot bear to break that bond.
The pitter-patter of little feet up the stairs has already evolved into something more resembling the running of the bulls, and I know that those heavier footsteps are indicative of a looming extinction. Before I am ready for it, the allure of a snuggle next to their mama won’t serve as the prime motivator to get out of bed, and instead I am going to have to pry their sleepy, teenage, bodies out with a crowbar and a threat of a splash of cold water.
The 5:00 am stairs will eventually fall silent, so for now, I drink it in like nectar.
Then, as if a fly suddenly landed in the middle of it, the fleshy web of limbs is disturbed and inevitably, WHAM.
Nothing kills hygge like a swift kick to the ribs before coffee.
Marissa B. Niranjan is trying to master the art of equal opportunity cuddling, with a full heart and an even fuller bladder.