Today started out with much annoyance.
Our oldest has never slept much. It took him 11 months to sleep through the night… And even then, there was no promise of more than 5-6 hours at a time.
That’s hard on a mama. It’s especially hard on a mama who’s had an interesting if not stressful pregnancy and is now entering her 4th 3rd trimester fatter, tireder, and older than ever before.
So I was awake before the dawn. So was my husband, so he is well outside the chain of screaming on this one. Not to mention he spent his unintended early hours catching up on homework. Seriously, I admire that man. So that inspired me to read some Psalms. If I was going to be awake and frustrated, I may as well submit that to worship through the Psalms, right? That at least got my mind right to lead prayer meeting this morning.
It was a small group today, only 3 of us women, different ages and stages of life. I loved it. It was nice to share and encourage one another today and I’m grateful for that opportunity and for the women in my church family.
It was an ordeal getting the children to clean up after prayer and by the time I left, I no longer had time to drive into Knoxville for errands before my afternoon appointment. So we came home and ate lunch and then layed down for naps…Which were interrupted by my neighbor’s dog barking….Which ended up being fine because it took from then until 30 minutes prior to my appointment to get the children to go potty and put shoes on so we could leave.
I took the homeschool lessons with me to the doctor’s office and employed some grade A bribery to get my son to complete his reading assignments; if he and his siblings were good through the duration of the appointment, we would get froyo afterwards.
They did their very best as we waited an hour past my scheduled appointment. They also tried to play with the exam table adjustment pedals, and ran circles in the exam room singing the songs of their people… Who were apparently tribal banshees… You win some you lose some and you concede that they’re only kids.
So after being told I was gaining too much weight by a doctor I just met today for the first time, who hadn’t read my chart enough to know that 1) no I don’t and CAN’T indulge in empty calorie soft drinks and snack cakes 2) I don’t need your condescension over the age spacing of my children and 3) I can either lift and scoop them up or you can talk over their screaming and 4) No I’m NOT taking a flu shot and that doesn’t mean I hate my family, I decided we would in fact indulge in some empty calorie froyo…
Except that my oldest ruined that when he grabbed my daughter’s arm and ran, pulling her down face first on the asphalt parking lot. Listen, I don’t care if it was intentional or a complete accident– if sibling to sibling roughness results in bleeding from the mouth of my 3-year-old, star-fished on the pavement in front of handicapped grandma Moses slamming on the brakes of her oversized SUV to keep from hitting my kid, I absolutely expect an apology.
But he refused.
So we gathered up and got back in the van and came straight home…No froyo. I was equally disappointed.
I pulled into the drive and told the kids to play while I got dinner ready…I had to break up a dog fight between Flynn and neighborhood dogs who show up in my yard unannounced and uninvited only to pee in my herbs and rile my dogs, and then Cyd ate what I had planned on serving for dinner.
I vented to my mother-in-law and asked if she’d seen enough episodes of Call the Midwife to attend a birth so I could just have baby girl at home.
I still haven’t gotten a hard “no” so I’m not ruling it out. And then I served cereal for dinner. I was about to explode when I heard my oldest come to the table exclaiming his joy over cereal for dinner and I heard him say, “What!? And ORANGES!? YOU’RE A REEEEALLY GOOD MOMMY!!!!”
I broke down. I mean just lost it. I sobbed with my back turned. I didn’t feel like any sort of victor after today. And for my kid to say that about me without an ounce of dripping sarcasm was just too much for my Mama heart to take.
My kids are jerks sometimes. That’s not mean to say, it’s reality. They’re little lost people without the cognitive capacity for self- restraint that [some] adults have; they don’t care when they’re being jerks.
And there’s plenty of time for more jerky shenanigans… But God reminded me why I do what I do, especially on these hard days: these 3 (almost 4) little souls need to know Jesus. They need to know that peace in the midst of chaos is possible with Christ. They need to know that while their mama and papa love them, that love is nothing compared to the unconditional, unfailing love of their Heavenly Father.
If I fail them in every other way imaginable, I pray that I’m at least able to point them to Jesus, especially on the hard days.