There are many mommy moments, even now, I’m not certain I’ve the strength to muster through, but then the next minute comes and I realize I survived, it gives me hope. This is not to say the journey has left me with all my sanity intact, far from it, but I’m confident I shall reach my destination with a wee bit left.
This too shall pass is a fitting mantra for mommies. I’ve said it during diaper duty and flu season, hectic mornings with missing shoes and terrible tantrums in the night. Teen angst . . . this too shall pass. Homework hassles . . . this too shall pass. Sibling rivalry at its worst . . . this too shall, who am I kidding, this one never ends.
Basically, when you think you simply can’t take a moment more you have to remind yourself you really have no choice, take a deep breath, count to sixty and voila, another minute has passed and you’re still standing. Good piece of advice here, when you take that deep, cleansing breath don’t forget to reverse it.
Sometimes you just do what you gotta do. I’m reminded of a day when my children were little. Thankfully, I wrote many memories down as they happened, you start to forget things you never thought you could as they get older. As we get older, I suppose I should say. The following is a preserved memory of one of those days . . .
I’d reached the end of my proverbial rope and resorted to good old-fashioned bribery. I had to, there was no other way,this too shall pass wasn’t doing the trick and I succumbed to the mommy bribe. I don’t recommend repeated use of this tactic but when you’re at your wit’s end it’s more of a survival technique than anything else. You’ll survive, the kids will survive. All’s well that ends well right?
I’d awoken early. I don’t mean early like, oh rapturous joy, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, my-oh-my what a wonderful day . . . no. I mean early like, three a.m. early. No sun, no birds, no singing, no nothing. Just a sprawled out child grinding his teeth and emitting other strange noises from various parts if his body.
When my eyes adjusted to the dim light of the room I saw a well-worn sock on my pillow. It certainly wasn’t mine. I reached to remove the foul thing but my arm was trapped beneath a leg that was attached to a sock-less foot. I gently pushed it aside only to find another leg beneath it. I had no idea my son was such a talented contortionist. I considered sending him off to join the circus, it was a fleeting thought.
When I’d untangled myself from his wiry little limbs I was dismayed to find I still couldn’t move. My body was on strike. It pained me greatly to arise. I tried to shoo the little bugger off to his own bed but he is either a really sound sleeper or a really good fake sleeper. Either way, I was unwilling to attempt an airlift and carry him to his own bed.
I pushed him aside with both of my feet and tried to fall asleep again. Ten seconds into it I had to use the ladies room. When I returned, the little bed hog was once again sprawled out across the length and width of my bed with my blankets in a bunch around him.
Generally I look upon my sleeping angels with wonder and warmth. At that moment though, I felt no motherly fuzzies stirring in my heart. I just wanted to go to sleep and if that meant he had to be moved, so be it. I pulled the covers from around, over and under him and pushed him to the far edge of the bed. By the time I was snuggled in and comfy again it was three forty-five a.m.
I wrestled with the ever-moving child until my alarm sounded at six-thirty. The sun was up, but I was not greeted by the melodies of a sweet morning song bird. A nasty old rooster my neighbors keep was cock-a-doodle-doodling like he could actually awake the entire sleeping population of the world. I briefly pondered substituting rooster for turkey at our next Thanksgiving.
My mirror refused to look at me; I guess it didn’t want to hurt my feelings with what I would see. I decided coffee would help considerably. I awaited the brewed concoction of caffeinated joy anxiously. As I poured, I was more than dismayed to see only plain hot water filling my cup. I’d neglected to put coffee in the filter.
I knew I had to wake the kids for school, but I was afraid and so very tired. I gathered my courage and awoke them each as gently as I could, even the offending troll still sleeping peacefully in my bed. Shortly after they’d eaten breakfast they all plopped down in front of the television and began surfing for morning cartoons.
I walked right over there and turned it off! “Excuse me, but do we watch T.V. before school?” They all looked at me like I was some insane maniac just escaped from the loony bin. Before any of them could speak I realized I, in all my wisdom, had just awoken my children at six-thirty in the morning on what was to be the beginning of a three-day weekend.
I turned the television back on and cried as I slowly shuffled back to the safety of my bed. A few minutes went by and I felt movement near my feet. A little body crawled up next to mine and snuggled in. It was the troll. The same one who’d caused such misery just hours earlier had come to comfort me.
Would you believe I actually fell fast asleep? My rejuvenating rest didn’t last long, but it was a welcome relief. The day went quickly by and we where all once again tucked into our beds for the night. Sleep found me and wrapped itself around me in soft, calming comfort.
When I was awakened at three forty-five by an elbow to the neck I decided to count my losses and give up. I simply could’nt win this battle. I was sleep deprived and only semi conscious. I took every blanket off my son and yanked the pillow from beneath his snoring, teeth grinding head and took to the quiet sanctuary of the couch. I’d like to tell you I got the required rest a mother should have, but I cannot.
The clock above me kept ticking away the seconds and shouting out the hours, the refrigerator came to life and the couch began to grow strange lumps beneath me. The next morning I promised my son a dollar for every night he stayed in his own bed. He pondered it and added hot cocoa in the mornings to sweeten the deal.
I agreed. No price is too high for a good nights sleep. I thought I was in the clear but when the other children found out he was getting extras for doing what he should be doing anyway they demanded equal treatment under the Siblings Fairness Act, which states no sibling should be denied what another sibling has regardless of the circumstances.
I don’t know when they came up with the whole Sibling Fairness Act routine, but I got a chuckle out of it. I told them we would live like paupers if I had to shell out four bucks a night so they settled for the hot cocoa and we all slept happily ever after . . . for a few nights anyway.
Crystal R. Cook