Sitting at the kitchen table is one of my favourite things to do in the middle of the day. The sun streams in the full length window behind me and the warmth is just glorious. Particularly when it is cold and wintry outside, as it is today, my favourite thing is to wrap my hands around a fresh cup of tea and inhale the steam whilst the sun stirs up my soul. I’ve got my ipad on the table, along with the remains of my lunch. During the day, this carefully created few minutes are my haven – the only real time I get to sit and relax my legs under the pretext of work, creating and writing and having no other distraction than the crisp click of the keys beneath my fingertips.
Piper is asleep. She moved to one day sleep a lot earlier than I imagined, but she sleeps ever so well as a result. I love seeing her so well rested, and I love the extra time she affords me by sleeping for three hours. When she wakes she’s full of joy, and we get to share that joy together. When I take brief breaks from typing to consider my next words, I stare at the baby monitor and soak in her precious little sleeping face.
It is her tiny, digitised cheeks which are holding my attention when I feel a gentle tug at my sleeve. I turn to see Orion standing beside me, a look of utmost concern on his young face. He rarely plays alone, preferring my company, but has learnt that the few minutes in which mummy is ‘eating lunch’ are hers and hers alone. It’s strange for him to interrupt me, especially with such an intense expression.
“What’s the matter, little buddy?” I ask, reaching out to ruffle his hair. This is usually guaranteed to crack a frown and earn me a cuddle. He remains immobile, brow creased.
“Mummy, something’s wrong. Something came out of my face,” he says.
“Something came out of your face? What do you mean?” I ask. My hand falls away from his hair as he tilts his head towards me.
“See? See?” he waves one hand half heartedly at his head. I inspect his face very closely, each little dip and curve and curling lash.
“You look all right to me, sweetheart,” I say, and lean over to kiss him on the forehead.
“But… look at this!” he thrusts his hand beneath my conveniently close face, forcing me to lean backwards and blink until his finger comes in to focus. As I realise what he’s holding up, carefully stuck to the end on one finger, I start to laugh.
“Oh buddy, it’s a booger,” I manage between gasps of mirth.
“A booger?” he repeats, twisting his hand this way and that.
“Yes. They come out of your nose. Did you scratch your nose just now?” I ask.
“I had an itchy,” he confirms.
“That’s okay. Let’s put it in a tissue,” I say, holding out my hand. He places his clean hand in mine and together we cross the room to the tissue box, the offending booger-finger extended to maximum distance. I hold the tissue out like a cradle and he carefully wipes the booger into it. Now that it is no longer glued to his flesh, his frown turns to a smile and he giggles.
“That came out of my nose. Silly nose,” he says.
“If it happens again, we just get a tissue and put it in the bin,” I flip the lid on the trash and drop the tissue inside. As the lid clatters shut, the moment is over and Orion is once again looking at his toys.
“Thanks mummy,” he tosses over his shoulder.
I make my way back to the table slowly. I will never tire of the sight of his learning, of seeing his mind tick over and the world evolve around him.
Even if it means I have to look at his boogers.