I’m convinced I have a new condition called Oxytocin-induced Narcolepsy. I’ve looked online and have yet to uncover it, but believe me, it exists in my own little world. These past couple weeks, I – a woman who has prided herself on being able to get motivated and productive as most people are turning in – have become someone who conks out at 9 p.m. Now, I don’t intend to do it. If I did, I’d have brushed my teeth, changed into pajamas, and finished the dishes by this point.
Instead, it occurs involuntarily when I take my 7-week-old into my bed to nurse him down for his first nightly stretch. I’ll be lying there one moment, peacefully resting as he fumbles to get a good latch and the next thing I know, the silence of the other children finally being asleep and the darkness of the house jostles me awake, and I stumble into the bathroom for a go at the old dental hygiene thing before the baby wakes up for his midnight snack.
I welcome the early bedtime, since I suffered from insomnia for most of my pregnancy. But I’m getting absolutely nothing done! I know I need the rest. My body is still trying to recover from being up since August of 2005, when I was in my third trimester with my first son. But this is getting ridiculous.
I have to take this opportunity to brag about my latest heroic efforts known as “Surviving the Day.” My husband went on a three-day business trip to North Dakota a couple weeks back, and I managed to pull off the solo duty of caring for a fussy four-week-old, an extremely contentious toddler, and two hyperactive boys who have an unfortunate hearing impairment that prevents them from hearing all sounds that fall within the narrow frequency of my voice… unless my voice is saying words like “pizza”, “present”, or “play date”.
Making it through the weekend boosted my confidence… and blood pressure. Congratulate me,
please. I didn’t put a single child up on Craigslist, nor did I show up on the steps of the local psych ward begging them to let me sleep in one of their quiet, isolated, padded rooms. That’s a request for next Mother’s Day, since this year my husband got me the next best thing: another Ahh Bra!
Our daughter is definitely going through a difficult transition when it comes to the new baby. She spends about 50% of the time gently caressing her little brother and giving him kisses, and the other 50% of the time trying to smother him or twist off one of his appendages.
As a result, she has spent quite a bit of time in her time-out chair, which means we have been treated to monologues that include her listing off the names of everyone she knows with the adjective “mean” inserted into the front. “Mean Mommy, Mean Daddy, Mean Mimi, Mean Papa Mike up in Heaven, Mean Hamms” (that’s Hobbes, our cat)… and the list keeps going.
Of course, we have the added enjoyment of pulling her out of the baby’s bouncer seat, swing, and bath tub on a regular basis. I’ve had to just raise the white flag on certain things because I’ve learned that some battles aren’t worth the migraine that comes with them. So when she asked to wear one of the newborn diapers, I gave in.
The headband, sandals on the wrong feet, and wet sidewalk chalk dotting her cheeks were a nice added touch on her part.
I’ve written about our 5-year-old’s threats to leave home before. Those threats died off for a while, but recently they started to come back. He actually packed a bag this time; although I don’t think he has a very good grasp on the essentials required for rugged living on his own.
He also hopped on his bike and almost made it all the way to the back gate before changing his mind. His little sister was determined to accompany him, but she wasn’t nearly as prepared as he was for such an adventure — she’s not even wearing pants. Rookie!
On a totally unrelated note, I have to give a plug for a fabulous organization known as Mary’s Meals, a charity that feeds starving children all over the world right in the schools they would otherwise not be able to attend. So they get food and an education. We recently discovered a documentary that tells the story of Mary’s Meals called Child 31, produced by the same wonderful people at Grassroots Films who brought you The Human Experience — a must-see for anyone! If you purchase the documentary, as we did, the proceeds go to help Mary’s Meals.
Watch the trailers for Child 31 and The Human Experience below.
I’m going to leave things on a humorous note. To quote Jim Gaffigan, “If you want to know what it’s like to have four children, just imagine you’re drowning… and somebody hands you a baby.”
In fact, you’ll want to see his whole bit on having four kids at home. As a homebirthing mom, I highly approve. Plus, he comes dangerously close to going all “Theology of the Body” when he talks about how “amazing” all women are. Enjoy!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!