the sixth

The shuffle of little feet across the carpet. The suckling slurps on the nipple of the bottle. The endless laughter at such simplistic things. The tantrums complete with crocodile tears, stomping feet and screaming "no's."
The whisper of  "I love you" uttered with a slight lisp.  The horrid smell of dirty diapers. The clanking of forks on plates during 6:00pm dinner. The spring-sprong noise as the Jumper-roo is in full effect. The Cheshire cat smiles when they lock eyes. The silence of sleep. 

The middle of the night, placing my hand on their chest - just checking. Lurking in their room. Listening to their innocence. Knowing that in the morning the clanking, clattering, chatting, screaming, crying, laughing, talking, playing, smiling will all begin again. I too shuffle my feet across the carpet. Closing the door behind me, whispering I love you (without a lisp).