There are a bunch of good pics on my camera which I haven’t downloaded because they include a couple that aren’t so good–of some baby animals the kids found in the woodpile that looked a whole lot like newborn rats. I’m too squeamish to look at them.
So today’s post will be unillustrated. Next time.
I’m deep in the throes of sleep deprivation, and it feels so prolonged, so never-ending, that I’m feeling semi-defeated by it. Last night, I was cleaning up puke (another story, not so long; it wasn’t mine, it was a child’s), off and on till 1am, every hour or so till the source was declared completely empty, when finally I slept. Then was woken every hour till sometime after 3 when I managed to string two full hours of sleep together, then it was back to the broken stuff–in and out of bed, answering multiple calls. I’m a firm believer that to feel really well-rested, you need three consecutive uninterrupted hours of sleep. This has become so rare as to feel like a meaningless prescriptive. CJ still nurses twice a night, or more, and Fooey is often up once to use the bathroom, and last night … well, when the puking started I really thought I might suffer a nervous breakdown. This is the fourth time since December that someone (usually a solid family majority) has gotten “the barfing thing.” Look, I know that life with six people in one house is complicated. I accept this. Life generally is complicated. Bodies are vulnerable and imperfect. I get all of that. But I feel suddenly sapped of my ability to appreciate the fun. There is fun, right? Everything feels so damn serious. I’d like to appreciate, for example, getting dressed up and dancing. I’d like to rest, to let my mind slow down, to read a book all the way through, to stand still in the sunshine, to sit down.
To go and whine no more.
He’s sprouted his first tooth! Given our other children’s record with cavities, we decided to waste no time. The bristles probably felt good on those gums. Fooey is this evening’s photographer.
Son CJ will be a year on March 29. He can now enter a room, say, the kitchen, and open all cupboard doors not rubber-banded shut and empty them in a matter of seconds. Last night, while I did dishes, he layered the floor with baking trays and muffin tins, which made a most satisfying crash as they landed. He then got stuck head-first in the corner cupboard. Then he practiced opening and closing the heavy kitchen drawers and attempting to heave-ho the largest of the pasta pots. Nothing delights him more than to march about hoisting high an implement at least three times his height: brooms, hockey sticks, et cetera. He also loves to toot on a plastic recorder or bang a drum, and will stop mid-stride at the sound of a good dance beat to bop up and down. I’ve also just realized he is talking to us using actual words–“da do” for thank you, “na-na” for nurse and/or mama, head shake for “no,” “ma” for more, et cetera. He waves bye-bye, and last night climbed the stairs in the dark (guess he’s put aside his fear of heights) and ran into big brother Albus’s room to wave an enthusiastic and loving goodnight.
Ah memories. Can you tell I’m trying to distract myself from worrying about another subject entirely?
Well, that was short-lived. CJ spent at least half the night in our bed. I’m not sure whether this was because I was too tired to move him out, or because everytime I did move him out he seemed to reappear again. I went to bed at the same time he did last night. 9:30. I’m pretty sure Apple-Apple was still awake (she has these torturous prolonged bedtimes, seemingly endless cries for water bottle or kleenex or jammies are too itchy or she’s too hot or too cold or she just can’t fall asleep.) Lucky for us all, once asleep she’s as sound as they come.
In any case, I was grouchy. Bed seemed the best option. The serenity following our holiday, which I’d optimistically planned to keep, uh, forever, has dissipated ever so fractionally amidst the hairiness of schedule, of having to be somewhere at a particular time. Mostly, it’s dragging children to events in which they have no stake that’s hardest. Fooey and CJ bundled up and tossed in the stroller to take the big kids to school. I’d complain too. CJ woken out of a nap and dragged along to Fooey’s music class, where for entertainment he has his mother, a banana, and an empty hallway. Et cetera. No matter how organized, how much time I’ve left, there comes a moment when I’m shouting, “Put on your snowpants, now!” and then regretting it instantly (Fooey hates shouting). Or worse, “We’re leaving without you!” Never true, and rarely motivating, as the kid has no interest in coming anyway. But I’ve been doing some deep breathing and back-tracking and attempting to focus on the larger picture: does it matter if we’re five minutes late for Fooey’s music class? Or for anything? I don’t want to become cavalier about responsibility, just realize that rushing accomplishes little except to put everyone in a lousy mood.
It’s interesting how my mood really affects the mood of the household.
It’s also interesting, if unrelated, that our family ate an entire loaf of homemade bread for breakfast yesterday morning–and CJ and I ate oatmeal instead. That’s slightly alarming when contemplating future appetites, and my own plans to bake all of our bread from scratch. Because I’d gone to bed early last night, I woke up early and started a fresh batch of bread. My life revolves around food.
So far, so good, in the eating out of our stores experiment. I’m planning to do a regular Sunday update and round-up on food.