Teyla shuffled into my bedroom at 6:30 AM, bleary-eyed and wild-haired, and motioned me toward the stairs.
Barely awake, I shook my head and held out my arms in the universal signal for “Come snuggle with me.”
She immediately started to scream.
Apparently, she wasn’t in the snuggling mood. She was more in the I’m-two-and-I’ll-scream-if-I-don’t-get-exactly-what-I-want mood.
Desperate to keep the other kids sleeping – oh, and did I mention Corey’s out of town? – I grabbed her, tucked her under my arm, shut the door to my room and ran into the bathroom, in one fluid move. I held a towel over her mouth for the next 10 minutes while she screamed and howled and screeched and yelled. I kept saying in her ear, “Be quiet. You need to be quiet. Everyone else is sleeping. When you’re quiet, I’ll move the towel.” But it took a long time for her to exhaust her fury. Finally, at 6:45, she settled down and motioned for her pacifier, which she had spit out during the first tantrum chorus.
Good morning, sunshine. Where’s my coffee?
My plan today was to get through the morning routine, put Kieran down for his first nap, take a shower, then load everyone into the van, hit an exercise class at the YMCA and spend a few hours hanging at the pool (which would end with naps for the littles and quiet time for Mom). It’s a perfect water day – sunny with a few decorative popcorn clouds, temps in the mid-80s, dewpoint tolerable in the mid-50s. And goodness knows Teyla needs a nap in the worst way.
But ‘twas not to be. Kieran only napped for 20 minutes instead of his usual 90 minutes, so I didn’t get a shower. Teyla continued her reign as Miss Queen Cranky Pants of the Universe. Kieran fell asleep again 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the Y. He woke up again 40 minutes later.
And so on and so on. Lather, rinse, repeat.
To be transparent, the thoughts in my head this morning have been less than Christ-like.
“Nothing is working out,” I grumbled. “Instead of soaking up some sun, I’m stuck inside again with a grumpy toddle and a baby who won’t nap. I can’t even sit down without Kieran freaking out. When was the last time I had a break? Other moms get a break, don’t they? The only time I’ve been alone this month was when I went to that one workout class. Otherwise, I’m always on duty. And no one appreciates it. And I can’t even talk on the phone with a friend without someone demanding my attention. ‘Mom, I need milk!’ ‘Mom, can I go in Regan’s house?’ ‘Moooooom!’”
Which, when I realized I was in the thick of a good pouting session, made me even more frustrated. Because I hate pity parties and general kvetching.
But I can’t escape the fact that parenting four kids through the thick of summer is like running a marathon. I’m up for the challenge, and I believe the pay-off is worth the work.
But it’s hard some days. It just is. (Can I get an amen?)
A few minutes ago, I was sway-walking around my garage with Kieran in the sling, trying to lull him back to sleep. I was praying and stewing about how to get myself out of this funk. And Amy Grant’s “Hats” came on my iPod.
Oh. My. Word.
Sun goes up.Preach, Amy.
Can’t you see me running?
It’s crazy, don’t you know.
It don’t stop.
No it’s never gonna stop.
Why do I have to wear so many hats on my head?
This may be a dream come true.
This may be poetry in motion.
This may be a dream come true.
But when it all comes down,
It’s an awful lot to do.
Maybe the fact that I’m not alone is enough to get me through the rest of today.
That, and the hope that tomorrow will be better.