A child is screaming.
Slowly, her awareness surfaces. Slowly, as if emerging after being released from a pit of quicksand.
Her body feels too heavy to move.
Awake now, she debates the child’s need. Deciding that the cries are too insistent to subside with the passage of time, she rises, following the well worn path to the child’s room.
“Mummy, I nilk!” Is the immediate demand upon his door being opened.
She pushes aside thoughts of retaliatory remarks and leads the child by the hand through the dark, sleepy house. In the kitchen, milk is poured, quaffed, and a little mouth wiped clean. A little hand in her hand leads the way back to the child’s room.
All is dark. The muted whirr of dishes being cleaned by machine again fills the house.
Abed, the child snuggles soft toys. The door closes. Peace descends as she heads back to her pillow.
The house is sleepy. She waits, patiently, for sleep to reclaim her, too. Waits. Waits…
A child screams, loudly.
Her day begins.