As the hours rolled by, my eyes remained half way open and half way closed. I gently patted her back because it soothed her, and with every pat, I prayed, “give me the strength for one more.” She rested in my arms, and cried painfully, but, somehow still sweetly, when I put her down. While there was really nothing more I wanted than to put her down and see her again after 8-10 hours of rest (in my non-existent dreams), I knew in my heart that nights like this is what makes a mom. Is it her ears, or just a fever? Maybe tylenol will work? As the tiredness continued to cloud my judgement and reaction time, my jealousy over Jim’s ability to sleep through crying, shaking, poking, water pouring, the end of the world, grew stronger. Then, I noticed James crawling into the room trying to remain unnoticed. He found a pillow and layed next to her crib. “It’s ok, Rita. I’m here now.” It was our first real “all nighter” together.
And as the all night turned into the all day, I looked at the sun with contempt, and my pillow with envy. The sun was ready for the day, as I wanted a take two on the night, and my pillow will rest on that comfortable, beautiful, wonderful, the best ever bed all day. The questions of “how?” began. The answers quickly became “I cant’s, I wont’s, PUT ME BACK TO BED” and the borderline to tantrum was crossed. Making breakfast? Impossible. Instant Oatmeal? It tastes bad when you accidentally try to make it with hot coffee instead of hot water. Complete Sentences? Not a subject-predicate chance. The thought of taking 3 children to the pediatrician to get her ears looked at seems like something only a crazy person would want to do. I took a deep anxiety filled breath of why can’t children be healthy, and where are all the qualified daytime babysitters hiding?
It’s going to take a miracle. And, honestly, I’m pretty sure He’ll give it to me, because that’s what He does.
As sweet baby Rita Therese is about to wake from her morning nap, I know that the daunting daunting every so daunting pile in to the doctor’s will occur. And as I sit on the laundry floor typing as a form of procrastination and reason to ignore James and Josie’s decision to take off their clothes and make a river with the garden hose because the temperature is over 60 degrees, I have ponder two points.
First, I deeply wonder how anyone does this without God. I think I’ll ponder this one for the rest of my life. The number of times I have managed to blink is the number of times I have asked him to help me blink. And while I’m sure if He weren’t helping me, my kids would probably still be naked outside flooding my porch, I think it would probably bother me a lot more. And Josie’s last request for a “bull of parmOjohn” (bowl of parmesan) might not be nearly as funny as I currently find it to be.
Second, as I stare at the tremendously large pile of mismatched socks and I once again find myself facing the same question every mother since the beginning of time has asked and left unanswered. Where, oh where, does all the laundry come from?