I go to bed too late. 11pm is too late when you have 3 little ones that might wake you up on any given night.
At midnight, the littlest wakes us up. He’s hungry. Daddy rushes in so that the others will stay quiet.
Then, the worst hour of all comes around. Why is it that everything bad seems to happen around 2 am? I hear, “Mommy!” It’s my Kyle. I go in to see what is wrong. He’s crying that his ear hurts. I don’t doubt it, but am confused. He hasn’t been sick. So, I give him some Tylenol and tell him to go back to sleep.
I have 2 hours of peace, and then I hear it again. “Mommy!” This time, I was a little more worried. Again, he complains of his ear. I take him into our room. He gets in bed with us for a minute. Then, we all realize that is not going to work for anyone. So, my husband is up for the day.
He tries to lay back down in his bed with him, but that doesn’t work either. TV is turned on way. too. early. But, we’re all just trying to get that thing that is so elusive to us as parents to little children. Sleep. Around 6 am, I hear them in the dining room. I get up. Daddy is checking his ears. Sure enough, he has a burst ear drum. I’m wide awake now. My husband has to be at work at 7am, so he hops in the shower. I bring Kyle to bed with me.
He’s crying, and thrashing. Saying his ear hurts. I ask him, “Do you want me to sing you a song?” He nods yes as he settles into the crook of my arm. I start singing in my raspy, not pretty at all, morning voice. His breathing gets heavy. I keep singing. I know he is asleep. Within seconds.
I lie there thinking about how just snuggling with me and hearing me sing a song was a comfort to him, when he was in so much pain. Even though I sing the same song every time. In the same, not very good singing voice. It becomes a comfort to me too. And, humbling.
I realize (as I have many times before) that I am the mother now. I am the one that has to and gets to give everything. I am the only one that can make it all better. I am the only one that can slow his breathing almost instantly. It is a weight to carry, but one I am grateful for. Even with almost no sleep.
He wakes as I try to move him to his own pillow. Thrashing and crying happens again. I rub his back and start singing. He snuggles in closer. And, falls asleep almost instantly again. The last time he wakes, I know there is no going back to sleep. We get up, turn on the TV and hope for a decent day. It’s snowing outside, I realize gloomily.
I give him some Ibuprofen. 30 minutes later.
“Mommy. You can get that outfit at Sears”
“Mommy. I feel better. My ear doesn’t hurt at all anymore”
“Mommy. Did you see that?”
“Mommy. I want that!”
“Mommy. I want some more cereal.”
These little moments are priceless, I realize. They are the ones I dread, but they are the ones that grow the bonds that are between us as mother and child. It isn’t about being ungrateful when I complain about motherhood. It’s about feeling like I can’t possibly be everything to everyone at the same time. But, in these rare moments, when we are forced to be still, I breathe and listen to their breathing, and know that this is what it’s all about.
And, if you’re looking for a little chuckle today, and you are a parent to young children, you should definitely go here. Because it’s not about bitching and complaining that we have to take care of our kids. It’s about understanding the weight of it all, being humbled and overwhelmed and grateful for it. All at the same time.
Poor baby. Ear pain stinks. Cdawg has an ear infection, has had four shots and blood drawn this week. Not his favorite spring break ever.
Geez. I can imagine, poor kid!
Amber Perea says
Awwwww, poor little guy! I’m,glad he is feeling better!
Also, if you noticed that I liked 2 or 3 of your posts at the same time last night, somehow I unfollowed you at some point. I was thinking you hadn’t written in a few days and that was so unlike you I almost sent a search party to Utah! 😉
ha! I saw that you became my follower again…and I thought, “Weird.” 🙂 No worries.
Very sweet post, and oh so true. I too have had that moment where I realize “I’m the mom now” and how scary/humbling/exciting it is all at the same time. Lovely:)