Today, I’m just thankful for sleep. It may not seem like much to some, but to parents of small children, sleep is precious enough as it is. Now, add in to the mix three sick children over two nights, and I’m exhausted. On Tuesday night, quite out of the blue, the Scientist started complaining of a tummy ache. Of course, in his own words, he told us that, “[He wasn’t] quite sure how to describe it. It hurts a great deal, but it’s not from hunger.” When I told him that, at least, he wouldn’t have to do school work the next day, he responded, “Yes, but I’m sure I’d much rather do that than be sick right now. And you know how much I’d rather play than do school work, Mom.” Have I told you how much I love the way he talks? His “phraseology”, if you will? I do. But I digress. After about three bouts of vomiting, he proclaimed himself to be all better and fell asleep. This was around two in the morning. He slept the rest of the night on the couch. Three guesses where mommy slept too. That’s right, sitting upright, because we only have one three-seater couch in our living room. Finally, around 6 AM I got up, woke up the Husband, and we switched places. He took to the couch and took excellent care of the morning routine while I got some much needed needed sleep, albeit no where near enough. When he awoke, the Scientist was fine. He played all day and had not a hint of illness about him. Great! Wonderful! Excellent! All done!
Sure. Right. Because that’s how things ever work around here.
Fast forward to last night, after bringing all five little ones over to my sister’s for a birthday party (don’t worry, I apprised her of the situation and it was all agreed upon that, as the kids had all been together on Monday night, they were already exposed to whatever he had, it wasn’t a problem to bring them; this ain’t my first rodeo.) we came home and put all the kids to bed. Around 10 PM, we heard terrible retching coming from the kids’ room, and we knew. It wasn’t over. We went in to find the Ninja Monkey, poor thing, covered in yuckyness, and terribly upset. We cleaned him up, gave him a bath, brushed his teeth, the usual, and lay him on the couch to rest. After about an hour or so, he was back to his usual self. The husband, to his credit, had the whole thing cleaned up and spic and span within about 10 minutes. He’s good like that. Thank God, because I’m not. Yay! Good! All done!(?)
Yeah, right. Just as I was getting ready to put Ninja Monkey back to bed, a certain Pirate Princess came to the living room door. I went over to her, picked up to bring her back to bed, and then it happened. Now, one thing you must understand about her is that she is the best possible patient. Seriously. From a very, very, ridiculously young age, has always taken her medicine, even eye and ear drops, with no problems and no fuss. When she throws up, it’s exactly the same way: no problems, no fuss. She started to heave, and quickly put her hands over her mouth, to hold it in, until she could get a bucket. Once I grabbed the bucket, she politely threw up into it. She got a bath too, because having long hair, you guessed it. Not pretty. But, she dealt with it like the trooper she is. Finally, all clean and dry and warm again, she snuggled on the couch with her dad. Until, she made a gurgle, sat up, and grabbed the bucket to throw up again. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more considerate vomiting not quite three year old. Well, at least the Ninja Monkey was fine.
Of course he was. (See that? I was being facetious.) It basically just kept going on like this, back and forth between the two of them, with the Husband and I cleaning up as we went, and the pile of gross things growing with every bout. (It’s times like these when I’d be super thankful if we had our own washer and dryer. For now I’m thankful it’s only some dirty laundry and nothing worse). I count myself lucky that I only had projectile vomit hit my face once the whole night. Yay me! I sent the Husband in to bed around 2 AM and all of this finally ended, a little after 4 AM when they both fell asleep, he on the floor and she on the couch. I, of course, sat down to write this (this blogging thing, it’s like an addiction) and now I’m going play on the computer until the morning (because every other seat is taken up by children, sick and not sick.
It’s times like this when it can be hard to be thankful for anything. When I’m tired and achy and hungry and covered in yuckyness it can be hard to remember that this job of motherhood is mine by choice. I chose to accept God’s will in my and walk the path He chose for me. I chose to accept children openly and willingly and all that comes with them. It’s time like these when I need to remember that love is not a noun but a verb. It’s a choice we make, to love. You may not be able to chose who you are attracted to, but you certainly can and do choose who to love. Deciding to love someone means deciding to put their needs first, to do all you can for them because you want whats best for them, even to your own detriment at times. To love my children means to be awake, here, at 5 in the morning, with no sleep and no where to sleep, and happy to do so because I know it’s what I should be doing. Am I happy about all that gross laundry I’ll be washing later? No, I won’t lie. But I am happy to be able to care for my normally healthy children in their time of illness, and that’s something I’m truly thankful for.
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll probably be sound asleep. And so, I’m also thankful for a soft, warm bed, and a place to rest my weary head, because after a couple of nights like this, it’s just about all I have energy to be thankful for.