I indulge her because she is sweet. Panini’s mom says she needs to get used to being on her own. Such is the fate of the second child, she announces. Nonsense. She tolerates much; why push her to her limits?
My head throbs from too little sleep, too much screen time. Maybe dehydration. The desert of the bed, its distance from sustenance. Burbling humidifier. The stink of her neck. (What is that? Bacteria? Harmless or treacherous?) I could lose an arm, holding her like this, the blood cut off to my nerves, limbs limp and damp.
She seems at once knowing and inert. Sometimes on the changing pad she will flail her arms and legs manically, but elsewhere she slumps into stillness, watching with her round, almost coquettishly pretty eyes. Her favorite activities: talking and sucking her hands. And sleeping.