It had been a very, long morning.

Little Legs woke up earlier than usual, likely because of his fresh resolution to give up toddlerhood in order to return to life as a baby. He refused to use his legs and demanded to be carried. Big, wet tears streamed down his face when his exhausted mother refused to accept his new identity and naturally, he crumpled into a wailing heap on the kitchen floor.

Once he overcame his temporary insanity, he quickly changed plans for the day and tried to hijack the pack-n-play. He pushed his pint-sized rocking chair next to it and climbed it like a stool. Unfortunately, Baby Brother was already in the pack-n-play as he had decided that, unlike his brother, he no longer wanted to be a baby. Rather, he preferred to be a creature of the night and had been up and back down by the time Mister Sleeping Beauty was up for the day.

Now, he was up, too. Crying. Again.

Apparently, Baby Brother did not appreciate Little Legs throwing his cat-doll, Max, on top of him, and cried louder, while Little Legs continued to scale the side of the pack-n-play from the makeshift stool with a clear plan to join Max and his brother at the top.

Spotting Little Legs in the midst of his free climb, his mother sighed. She was absolutely, totally and positively spent. There was nothing left after being up every hour with the creature of the night and then wresting the Pseudo-baby out of his crib and into clothes. Her cup of coffee was cold and her hair was a mess. She smelled like old milk and noticed a yellow smear on her shirt, a remnant from the creature of the night’s activities.

“No, no, Little Legs. Don’t climb on the baby,” she said as her older son prepared to pull himself over the edge and onto his aware but helpless sibling.

There were so many things she had to tell Little Legs not to do to the baby, including: jump, shake, scare, roll, sit, stomp, yell, pull, and yank. The list seemed endless, but fortunately, there was eventually some level of compliance and this morning was no exception.

Little Legs gave a surprised look at being caught, mid-crime, and retreated without so much as a squeak.

And suddenly there was a sweet silence.

No baby crying, or cabinets banging or tooting from Thomas the Train. Little Legs played with trains on the floor and Baby Brother closed his eyes and settled back down for a nap. Their mother sipped on cold coffee, and finally she let herself breathe. All was well.

For one blissful minute.

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