Have you ever had one of those weeks where it feels like no matter what you do, how much coffee you drink, or how many pep-talks you give yourself, you still wind up exhausted, defeated, and unmotivated? That was my week last week. And it was not fun. And so I’m going to tell you about it because that’s what feels right for an entry this week.
Last week wasn’t difficult because it was riddled with doctors appointments or a jam-packed schedule. It sucked simply because that’s how life is sometimes. Sometimes the mundane, the daily grind of life, is hard.
It started with spring. Finally–spring had sprung. The weather warmed up, the birds started chirping, and at last we could play outside. And pollen. Why do I always forget how incredibly awful spring is for me when the first buds on the trees bloom? I get so excited for the beautiful colors, the signs of new life, and how it stays brighter longer. And what thanks do I get for my glorified idea of spring…itchy, watery eyes, a raw, runny nose, a sand paper scratchy throat, and plain misery. I haven’t even been able to wear my contacts for 7 days because I keep itching my eyes, which irritates my contacts, dries out my eyes, and removes any makeup I attempted to throw on. Instead, I’ve been wearing my 7 year old glasses which are not up to current prescription, have bite marks on the frames from the dog, and a certain *someone* (cough almost 3 year old) found them on my night stand and decided to see how far she could bend them before they snapped. Apparently, they are (were) quite bendy because they didn’t snap, but now they do a nice little crooked side-tilt when I try to fold them up. So my eyes are red and blood shot, my nose is dripping like a faucet, I sinus pressure up the wazoo, and no relief because I’m too paranoid to take any kind of medicine while nursing the baby.
Speaking of the baby, she must have thought mother nature wasn’t doing a good enough job tormenting me with allergies, so she took matters into her own hands. On Wednesday evening we met up with my side of the family to get some ice cream and bid farewell to my oldest bro and his wife who were in town visiting. You’d think that after letting her smother her face in my ice cream, practically devouring the cone in her chubby little hands, she’d at least be a little well behaved on the way home. Wrong-o. There is no soothing this child when she cuts teeth. Out of our three children, she has the lowest pain tolerance, and she is by far, the slowest teether of them all. Makes for a great combination. So, for thirty minutes, my teething third born wailed the entire way home. I’m not sure there’s a worse place to be stranded with a crying baby than inside a car. Ok, well maybe stranded inside a plane would be worse. Either way, there’s no escaping, and it’s terrible.
When we finally arrived home, I was quick to unload her from her car seat and get her PJs on because it was way past her bedtime. Surely our night time routine would help calm her down. Wrong again. On this particular night, after my patience was already quite thin from listening to her cry the whole way home, my darling baby decided this would be the perfect night to bite mom for the first time while nursing. If you’ve ever experienced this…I don’t need to go into the details of the trauma. If you’ve never experienced this…you don’t want me to go into the details of the trauma. So I’ll just leave it at that.
My husband was gone several nights last week with coaching, leaving me to wrangle the cowboy and cowgirls solo for dinners, baths, and bed. The hours of 6:00-8:00PM take on a whole new level of torment when attempting to tackle it alone. Dante’s 10th level of hell.
All of this lead up to Friday night when I was officially over it. I had hit my max. Let me tell you how it happened…
Friday started at about 2:00AM when the 5 year old woke up sick. Both ends – catch my drift? That lasted until about 3:30. At 6:30 we made the executive decision to keep sick kid home. Sick kid woke up acting fine (because he was suppose to go to the zoo that day, so he was overly eager to show us he was “Good! I’m good!”). Fast-foward to 8:00AM when he puked all over himself inside the van. Yeah, NOT good.
Luckily we had spare clothes to change into, but there was no escaping the stench. Again I was trapped inside my vehicle for the treacherous thirty minute haul home. Thirty long, miserable minutes we inhaled the smell of spoiled milk and graham crackers as it permeated off the seats and floor mats. Not even putting the windows down helped much.
By the end of the day Friday, my energy: physically, emotionally, mentally…was tapped out. Rock bottom was 7:15PM. The baby was wailing (again), so I thought “Ok, let’s try a bath.” No sooner had I started the bath water and I hear “MOOOOOM can you come wipe me?” from the child who was still battling a bit of a stomach virus.
Naked baby in a football hold, we march down the hall. On the way down, I notice something on my leg, so I wipe it off. And, without thinking, put it directly into my mouth. WHY?!?! I’ve lost my mind.
It was green.
It was slimy.
It was a little bit stringy.
I could think of two things: booger or grape. Either were fair game.
I caught a slight hint of flavor before I forced myself to choke it down, thanking God it was indeed a grape left over from dinner, and not the other gooey substance it could have easily been. I was desperate for bedtime, to punch in the clock and be done with the week.
I’m not sharing this because I want you to feel sorry for me. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’ve got Jesus, coffee, and a bottle of Stella Rosa – I’m good. I share this because while I know these young years are precious, and I do cherish many of these times of my children’s sweetness and innocence, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
You can’t have the chubby cheek, toothy grin, without going through the pains of that baby teething.
You can have the sweet, tranquil moments of snuggling without enduring the tantrums and meltdowns.
You can’t have comfort of knowing you are needed without having to help them wipe themselves after going potty.
Years down the road when I look back at this phase of life, I know I will miss some things, but there are also going to be things about this phase I’m definitely not going to miss. Last week was a good reality check for me to be able to find the few good things that happened, even though I felt like I had to look really hard, and also remind myself that just like every phase in life, “this too shall pass.”