Yesterday, a babysitter came over at 3:30pm, and Tasha and I headed out to the country to celebrate a friend’s birthday party at an historic house bordered by a beautiful river and marsh grass.

A beautiful table

The food was amazing: tender pork loin with trio of chutneys; fresh field peas and beets; sesame roasted green beans; Tasha’s grandma’s potato salad; and for dessert, homemade chocolate cake with homemade marshmallow icing. That’s right, he MADE the marshmallows. All this, accompanied by white wine, rose wine, and sparkling wine.

When we got home, Hugh was in bed already, and he slept soundly until 4:15am. Then, awakened by a cry of “Mama, mama,” I rushed into his room. (I’m still not used to the fact that he can talk.) When he saw me, he uttered a sigh so giant that Tasha heard him down the hall.

I scooped him into our bed where generally, he’d fall right back asleep. But not this morning. Oh no. It was like he smelled the chocolate and wine on my breath, sensed the very important meeting mama had on Monday morning, knew that this was his chance to punish me for leaving him with the babysitter.

“Mama. Cat. Meow. Go. Car. Baba. Moon.” He ran through lists of words, giggles and wiggles, not heeding our lullabies, rocking, bouncing, quieting, switching rooms, switching beds.

And then it was 6:50am and time to get up. I wish there was a happy ending to this story. But that’s it. The end. It ends like so many parenting stories: Mama is tired.

But the view sure was beautiful.

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