With a Chapstick in my hand I scrawled the words YOU SUCK on the upstairs bathroom mirror, then stepped back to admire my work. In its reflection I flossed and brushed, chuckling about my response to what had just happened.

It’d been a silly incident, a prank that had been played on me one-too-many times and which had lost any humor it might’ve once held partly because I was too goddamn tired to endure it. In front of our friend Charlie, who is no stranger to our marital banter, I rebuked my husband, asked him to please keep the music down, once and for all, then excused myself and went up to sleep in the room right above the stereo.

Lying in bed I could still hear their voices, though thankfully not the music, which had, as I had hoped, been kept at a reasonable level for my benefit. Chronically sleep-deprived from year upon year of multiple nightly wakings to check on Calvin who is rustling or crying or uncovered or having a seizure, I had no problem falling right to sleep.

A couple of hours later Michael crawled into bed and scooted up next to me. “You suck, too,” he told me in a low voice not quite a whisper. “I know,” I replied, and I heard his breathing slow then deepen, felt his warm legs next to mine, heard the hum of the baby monitor by my head then drifted—again—off to sleep, with the satisfying knowledge that, as quick, relatively painless and easy as usual, all had been forgiven.

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