A lot like this:
And this, too:
Only Madeline (AKA Hopping Cricket) seems to be moving full-speed ahead these days. The rest of us are tired, tired, tired. I wish I could nap on the go.
Sleep when the baby sleeps? Ha! Try doing that at the start of soccer season and when you have three other littles, including a toddler who has decided that she wants “mama’s milk” whenever her baby brother doesn’t have dibs on the Dairy Queen (me). Not that I ever really embraced that wisdom. It was always more like “cram-everything-you-possibly-can-in-while-the-baby-sleeps!”
But with four kids I’m really recognizing my limitations. I’m embracing the “little way” – as in doing what I can and not fretting about what I can’t. And I can’t do all that much right now. I’m also trying to forgive myself when I fall way, way, way short of perfection in all areas of my life. Yesterday afternoon I lost it. A child’s irrational behavior caused me to snap. I feel sad about the way I treated her. Thank God for a child’s forgiveness and generous mercy. Sweet girl is quick to forgive. Now I have to forgive myself.
The good (miraculous!) news is I somehow have not fallen behind on laundry! And this new baby boy pees on everything. My pediatrician told me to tuck his penis down when I put on the diaper, but this has not stopped his super soaker from soaking sheets, sleepers, and my hand.
Oh, but he’s edible. I love how he cuddles with me when we sleep side-by-side at night and how he just grunts a bit when he’s ready to nurse. Grunt-nurse-sleep-pee-poop-sleep-grunt-nurse. These are our nights. But I don’t want him or my girls to grow up too quickly. My life is frequently an exhausting yet happy blur. Tired but inspired. I believe I used that mantra before to describe a season of my life. (Though yesterday late afternoon it was more like tired, overwhelmed, and very cranky.)
This is my now.
So I cover my little man with kisses. I breathe in his perfect, newborn scent. I mostly say yes to the toddler’s pleas for more Mama’s milk. I say I’m sorry when I’m not the mommy I want to be. I pray the sleep deprivation won’t rob me of the joy of the now. I hold all my children close, afraid to let go.
The days are so long; the nights sometimes even longer. But the years, my, they feel way too short.