I mean, no one gets to write a blog post about motherhood going well without having to pay the price. Immediately.
Just so we're on the same page.
So in this little cause-and-effect scenario, I started by writing about how I love my kids and we've had a good week and all that mushy stuff. Then, just to seal the deal, I painted my nails and straightened my hair. Do you know when a mom's plans will go awry? It's definitely when she has a new outfit or new shoes or has painted her nails or done something fancy to her hair. These are triggers that unleash plan-wreckers.
My plans weren't lofty. I was just planning on getting a good night's sleep Saturday night so I could get up Sunday morning and get myself and all three kids ready for church. I teach an adult Sunday school class at church. I had spent a lot of time on this week's lesson, and I was prepared.
Since my husband has been gone, I've been letting the kids take turns sleeping with me. We don't usually do this when he travels, but I have been having such a hard time sleeping without him this time that I thought we'd give this a try. Anyway, last night (Saturday night) was Griffin's night to sleep with me.
I finally fell asleep around 11:30 or so, but I woke up in the middle of the night when my little snuggle buddy seemed to be too warm. He woke up too and said, "Mom, I don't feel good."
I got up to get the thermometer, which confirmed that he had a fever. I got up to get him a puke bucket when he requested it. I got up to get him a cup of water. I got up to get him a Tylenol. I went back out to exchange the pill for the liquid when he changed his mind. I went back out to the kitchen to wash the little medicine cup. Then I finally snuggled back into bed with Griffin.
But he couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and retrieved his book light and a book for him to read. Then I spent a lot of fruitless time trying to fall back asleep despite his light and movements, as well as my anxious mind trying to figure out what our morning would look like since we can't just skip church when someone is sick.
Eventually Griffin decided to go back to his own bed to see if that would help him sleep. Just as I started to quit trying to figure out the morning and just fall asleep, I heard Griffin get up and go into the bathroom. I thought he was puking, so I shot out of bed and bounded toward the bathroom. It turned out that he wasn't puking, but he was, uh, "going number two," as my kids would say. But he was having trouble. So I had to rub his back and encourage him. Encouraging someone to poop is not the most glamorous part of parenting.
Griffin was finally successful. I reminded him to wash his hands, and I headed back toward my bedroom. Until he yelled for me in a panicked voice. The toilet was overflowing.
I took care of that little situation, sent Griffin back to his bed, and climbed into my own lonely bed. The little bit of sleep I got after that was filled with dreams relating to Griffin being sick and me trying to figure out how to get to church and also take care of Griffin. That restless, weird-dream sleep was brought to an abrupt halt when Jared sent me a text saying he was ready to call me. When he's on the other side of the world, I just adjust my schedule to be able to talk whenever he's available. I was able to talk to Jared just long enough to explain my predicament while getting the kids breakfast and starting the process of getting myself ready.
- I could either have Griffin sit with me while I taught my class, or I needed to ask someone to teach for me.
- If I got a sub, I would need to copy all my teacher materials for him (my sub happens to be male).
- I still needed to make photocopies of the lesson sheets I made for the "students" in the class.
- A boy from Nolan's basketball team was planning to come to our church for the second service, and I had talked to that boy's mom about our church at their game on Saturday. She was counting on Nolan to be there to help her son feel more welcome, and I was hoping to see her at church as well.
I was able to text a friend to get a sub to teach my class. A friend sent me a text to check in on us, and she offered to help with our crazy situation. I drove to the church a little before the second service (my class is during the second service, and we were expecting Nolan's friend for the second service). My friend came out to meet us at the door so she could take Nolan and Nora to their classes for me. Another friend came out to meet us and get all my papers from me so she could make all my copies and make sure the materials were delivered to the class and sub. It all felt insanely weird to me, but I left my kids and my lesson in capable hands and took Griffin home so I could dote on him and care for my sick little one. A little after noon, we drove back to the church and my friend brought Nolan and Nora out to our car.
We made it. I have no idea how my class went, but I trust that it went well. Nolan and Nora had a fantastic time at church. Nolan's friend did come, and Nolan was so happy to see him participate in their kid church service. I got some rare one-on-one time with Griffin, and I took advantage of the opportunity to snuggle him.
I may have a very hard time asking for help, or even accepting it when it's offered, but I am so blessed to have people in my world who are willing to help.
Blessed as I am, next time I'm feeling good about life, I might just keep it to myself. I don't have the energy to deal with the backlash.