When my mother gave birth to five pounds of cranky, she believed she would never sleep through the night again. It was my firm belief that days were for sleeping and nights for crying. Mother’s lack of sleep was her steppingstone to drug use. Not for her, for me. The kind of drug that millions of people use everyday – highly addictive, yet perfectly legal. She dosed me with caffeine by putting a small amount of coffee in my bottle to give me a buzz during the day. I was still grumpy and hard to please, but I stayed awake long enough to begin sleeping at night.
In the picture, the tall, happy one with the golden curls and Gerber baby smile is not me. That is my annoyingly photogenic sister. I am the dark-haired one, with eyes squinched and fists clenched as if to say, I don’t know who brought me here, but someone’s going to pay. And where is my coffee?