This exact moment, my sweet six month old little girl sleeps next to me. She's stirring though. She always wakes up around this time, and I'm worried I won't get to finish my quiz before she wakes. When my husband was home I would lock myself in my room for half an hour each night. Back then, I was making progress. Since he's left I've finished only one quiz. I'd hoped to be done by mid April. I've been working on this for two months. It isn't going to happen. I hear a cry and look over to see that Nora has woke up. I sigh and arrange my computer so I can read it behind her as I lay on my side to nurse. I thought I'd be done with nursing by now. Six months was my goal, and I reached it, but I can tell she's not ready. I reluctantly keep going hoping one day she won't need me so much. Breast feeding is draining, and painful, don't let anyone tell you it's not, but it's what's best for her. Nora takes her left hand and begins squeezing the skin of my breasts in her little fist. Her nails need clipped, and with each squeeze she leaves a scratch. I turn my focus back to my class, reaching over her tiny bald head to click to the next section. Something boring about emanate domain.
I feel a sharp bite on my nipple, and then a pop. I scream out in pain, and then she screams out too. She's teething, I remind myself as I carry her into her bedroom. She didn't mean to hurt me. I sit down in the rocking chair. This should calm her down, maybe she will sleep in her crib for a bit. I latch her on to the right side and pick up a book. "and then, all of a sudden, winnie-the-pooh stopped again", I began to read from where we left off. Three more pages and I feel another pop. She's asleep now with her face buried in my breasts. I rock her for a moment longer, and then stand up. I lay my sweet sleeping baby down in her crib and she begins to cry. "sh" I tell her, "mommy's here". My mind goes back to my class, I'm sure it's timed out by now. I turn on her monitor, her projector and her lullabies, and stick a pacifier into her mouth.
She's asleep now, thank god. I don't rush back to my class just yet though. I take a moment to look at this beautiful creature Zack and I made. She's got my round cheeks that dimple when we smile,but the rest of her is all daddy. I never imagined my husband would make such a beautiful little girl. I think of my class again, that damn class I have to finish if I ever want to be a Realtor. I would have been easier two years ago, before I was a mom, before I worked 30 hours a week. Life would have been easier when this house was fresh and new, and I was ready for an adventure. I had no reason to do it two years ago though. I had no one to make a future for. I look down at my husband's clone and think She's the reason I'm doing this. She's a princess and one day I'm going to buy her a castle, but that's going to mean a few late nights, and a few more years in this tiny shack. I look at the clock 1am, she'll be awake again in 2 hours. I'd better get back to my computer, I decide. So I whisper a quote from her favorite book, "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think". I don't know if I'm talking to her or myself. I can do this though. I can give her the world. Maybe we'll buy her two castles.