Until Sunday night it had been exactly 26 years since I last slept with a two-year-old.
There’s much I’d forgotten.
I’d forgotten how even a little body that weighs just 24 pounds puts out enough heat to melt the ice caps.
I’d forgotten that the wing span on one of these wee people is about 90 feet, fingertip to fingertip, rendering anything smaller than a king-size bed inadequate.
I’d forgotten that tiny toddler toenails feel like cat’s claws when they rake your bare calf in the night.
I’d forgotten that toddlers sometimes sing in their sleep.
I’d forgotten that at some point during the night little kids always put their feet on the pillow and their heads deep in the covers.
I’d forgotten that sleeping two-year-olds suddenly and without warning toss their torsos about like airborne sacks of potatoes.
I’d forgotten the sweet smell of baby hair.
I’d forgotten how soft their pajamas are.
I’d forgotten how early they wake up.
I’d forgotten that unlike groggy adults, toddlers go from REM sleep to completely alert in a split second.
I’d forgotten that a two-year-old who wants to wake a sleeping adult will get just inches from her face.
I’d forgotten that a small child can make you melt by whispering something like, “Wake up, Kerry. I need an arm tickle.”
Mostly I’d forgotten how tired I’d be after a night of cuddling a two-year-old and gazing at her tiny face and eyelashes as she slept.