I did not get much sleep last night. Brad ended up having to take an early flight out of town for a family emergency, so we were up late getting him packed and buying a plane ticket and planning a Whole 30 meal plan for a weekend in small town Iowa. (NOT easy, btw.) Then, thank to all the smoke in the air from all the devastating wildfires here in the west, both the boys were up coughing and sniffling and whimpering. It was not my idea of a fun night.
I finally started to drift off after saying my goodbyes to Brad at 4:45am when Riley started coughing. From 5:30am-6am he coughed and coughed and sniffled and I just didn't know what to do to help him. He eventually came running out of his room at about 6am and I convinced him to crawl into bed with me. He curled up, looking unusually tiny in our big bed, and continued coughing. And sniffling. And coughing some more.
By 6:30am, I said, "Come over here and snuggle with me. What do you want to talk about?" He nestled into the space just below my shoulder and seemed genuinely happy for the human contact. I breathed him in, wondering how long it will be before he won't want to do this anymore. We lay there, silent, for a short while.
Then Riley said, "Mom, I want Hazel to have puppies so she can be a mom." In my exhausted haze, I wasn't quite sure how to respond. I tried simply saying, "Well, Hazel can't have puppies."
I should have seen the next word coming, "Why?"
Ok. Time to muster up the energy for another answer to something I have no business answering at this time of day. Or at least without some caffeine in my veins.
So I said what any grown up would say to a 5 year old, "Well, dogs get spayed or neutered so they can't have puppies. Otherwise, we'd have puppies running around everywhere!"
I know. Mom of the year award, in the bag.
Cue the very real, giant, alligator tears spilling out of Riley's big, sad, tired eyes.
"But, I want Hazel to be a mom." And full fledged crying.
I tried to calm him down, comforting him with some extra hugs and kisses and telling him that it would be OK because she has no idea what she is missing. But nothing worked.
Finally, I said, "Riley, you know what? She does get to be a mom! She gets to be your doggy mom. She loves you and takes care of you every single day."
I waited for his reaction, feeling a little nervous about what would come next. But to my surprise, he said, "Oh, well that's good! Phew." Then he stopped crying and said, "Can I have some breakfast now?"