Michelle walked down the stairs with the baby on her hip. Jake was sitting on the couch flipping channels while the twins played on the living room floor.
“Do you want to hold the baby so I can make the coffee or do you want to make it?” she asked.
“Here, I’ll take her.” Jake reached for the baby, ogled the bra strap peeking out from under his wife’s blue tank and raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t even think about it.” She snapped and headed into the kitchen.
“It’s been like six months, you know.”
“It’s been two, exaggerator.”
“Well it feels like six.” There was an edge in his voice.
“Listen” she turned the grinder off, “when I get some sleep, when I’m not exhausted, then I’ll think about that.”
“Whatever.” He muttered to himself.
“I can hear you.” Michelle called out.
The tension between them had been escalating all week. The baby had an ear infection and she was teething again. The boys wrestling on the floor, fighting over who was going to use Gordon, suddenly felt unbearable.
“Cut it out or I’ll take the train away and neither of you will use it!” She yelled, a wave of fatigue diminishing any bit of patience she had.
Jake put the baby in the excersaucer and walked to the kitchen. He put an arm around his wife, squeezing her shoulder. “Calm down, they’re just playing.”
Michelle pushed him away. “Fine, sorry. I just need coffee. I don’t know how much longer I can function on no sleep. I don’t think you understand what I’m going through here.”
Jake tried to keep the irritation out of his voice. “I know, I know. Tell me what to do. What can I do for you?”
“Nothing, you need to get sleep for work.” She was sobbing now and collapsed onto one of the wooden chairs. “I feel like you think I sound like a broken record, Jay, but this is so hard. Why won’t this baby sleep?”
“I don’t know, but I think there’s something wrong with her.” He wished he could take it back as soon as it was out of his mouth.
“Something wrong with her? What a thing to say! There’s nothing wrong with our baby!”
Michelle stood up, and walked to the coffee maker.
“You know that’s not what I meant. I mean, why’s Simon’s kid sleeping six hours already and he’s three months younger than Janey? And didn’t you say Courtney’s baby was doing ten hours straight?”
“So? That doesn’t mean Janey is abnormal. There’s nothing wrong with her!” Michelle set her steaming mug on the side table, grabbed the baby and sat down to nurse.
Jake grabbed his coffee and headed upstairs to get ready for work.
This is a piece of fiction based on the Red Writing Hood prompt someone has stolen something from you of tremendous value.