"Hi. Baby. Hi."
I hear Madeline's little voice echoing through the baby monitor. I pretend I don't, hoping she'll fall back asleep.
"Hi. Up. Up. Hi."
I open one heavy eye and glare at the clock. It's 6 am. It's around the time I wake Madeline up every Monday to get her dressed and fed before I have to leave for work at 6:20. Except today is Columbus Day, and I don't have to work. I want to sleep in. I pull the blankets closer in around my face.
I listen for signs of life on the other half of my bed. I wonder if Eric's awake, and if he is, will he be the one to get up with Madeline. He's no longer snoring. He must be awake.
I open my mouth slightly and feign deep breathing to give the illusion of heavy sleep.
I know he's doing the same thing I am, thinking the same things I am. He's listening to Madeline, hoping she'll go back to sleep, and if not, hoping I'll be the one to get up with her instead of him.
So we lie there, neither one of us wanting to admit we're awake. Stuck in standoff. We play this game almost every weekend. Eventually one of us will have to get the baby, but we're both hoping the other person will give in first.
To be fair, Eric did wake up with her on Sunday morning. I woke up with her on Saturday, so technically, it's my turn again. I hope Eric doesn't bring this fact to my attention. In case he does, I plan my comeback: "Yeah, well you didn't have to push the baby out of your body cavity, did you? So sometimes life isn't fair, is it?"
Perhaps Eric senses my hostility through my fake sleep, because he doesn't say anything, and he's giving up the act. He's rolled over a few times....definitely not asleep.
I close my eyes tightly and will myself to actually fall back asleep. I listen to Madeline's incoherent babbling, punctuated here and there by an actual word. "Up, Baby, Hi, Bubba."
And then she says what I've been waiting for: "Dada. Daaaahhh? Dada?"
My trump card. She's calling out for Eric. There's no way he'll be able to ignore that slice of adorableness. It's times like these that I'm actually happy that Madeline doesn't say "mumma" yet.
I hear Eric sigh, hear his feet hit the floor, listen as he shuffles over to my side of the bed and flips off the baby monitor.
Ha-ha! Victory is mine. I can hear Madeline's gasp of delight in the next room over as Eric opens her door to rescue her from her crib.
I roll to the middle of the bed, stretch out until I'm taking up the whole space, and nestle my head down into my pillow. "I won!" I whisper gleefully to myself, "I won..."