The Shortest, Longest Days of my Life

20 days down, 345 to go!

Dear Day 20,
Wow, you sure know how to go out with a bang…and a splash! As if I hadn’t had a long enough day as is, you seemed to find it necessary to have my 2 ½ year old bang against his door incessantly for 20 minutes in protest of bedtime at the same time that my 6 month old “decided” to throw up at least 6 ounces of Nutramigen Formula on me. And when I say on me, I mean at my chest in the exact perfect location so that it could splash up into my mouth (which was ajar in disbelief as to what was happening) while simultaneously gush down into my shirt and then trickle down to rest in my belly button. I generally prefer to celebrate accomplishments, like making it through Day 20, with something bubbly, like champagne, not something that smells like regurgitated cat throw up. When we get to 200 days without yelling can we please celebrate in a little more dignified way? We have 180 days to plan something grand. Let’s get cracking…


The Orange Rhino


Wow. What a day, what a night. The day turned out better than I expected. But I had my moments where I thought I would lose it. Oh did I have my moments. Like this one:

Rotten milk anyone?










And this one.

You're kidding me, right?









Oh and this one.

Wow, these go around so much faster when covered in throw-up....

God knows who took the milk out of the fridge and how long it had been sitting there when I found it. And god knows why #3 thinks that my fridge is a jungle gym. And god knows why babies like to have explosive dirty diapers and throw up in the Exersaucer  – taking my third arm out of commission for the day so that I can clean no drain and sanitize it. I had a lot of those moments today. Moments where I just wanted to scream,
“What the ….?!” Lots of these moments added up to a very very long day.

But then there was the moment after my baby threw up where even though we both were dripping in vomit, he looked right at me, oblivious of the smell, and smiled. Or when I finally went into #3’s room after 30 minutes of hysterical cleaning (I had to clean up the nursery rug and shower or I was going to throw up too) and he said “Schnuggle mommy. Mommy schnuggle. Mommy head down. Pillow. Hug me” and then he reached over with his arm to pull me close to him.

Even though I had told myself tonight was the night, that I was done with #3’s new refusal  to put himself to sleep since I know he knows how, when I put him back into bed and his arm reached up, I couldn’t do it. He had me at “schnuggle.” And so I sat there and watched him fall asleep. And even though I told myself I wouldn’t rub his back or play with his hair, I would just sit there with no contact or talking…like my sleep book would tell me…I couldn’t do it. He just looked too sweet.

It’s amazing how at 2 ½ years old he can still look as sweet as the day he was born. It’s amazing how 1 minute earlier I was ready to scream at the top of my lungs “SHUT UP and go to sleep” and let Day 20 slip away. And how now 1 minute later, I don’t want the moment to end. I am really grateful I didn’t yell at this moment – because then not only would I have made #3 more hysterical and thus it would have taken me that much longer to get to my leftover Birthday cake, but also I would have been too worked up to appreciate watching him fall asleep (not to mention he would have fallen asleep feeling hurt and unloved. Certainly not the way I like to fall asleep…..)

I remember clearly saying to my mom when my oldest son was about 3 months that these were the longest, shortest days of my life. And that is what makes them the hardest. It’s not my lack of sleep or the kid’s behavior that makes the days hard, it’s that they are filled with such highs and such lows. The highs make the day short – because there just isn’t enough time in the day to stay in the moment. Like when my baby turns and reaches for me to be held or when #2 says “mommy, I love you for helping me take off all my clothes so I can poop without getting them dirty.” And the lows, like #1 and #2 fighting over legos at 5:40 in the morning, well the lows, can make the day feel like it’s going to eat me alive! Until of course a high comes along, and then all is well with the world of mommyhood.

Being a mom is like riding a horse on a merry go round. One minute I am ready to jump off and make a run for it (to the spa perhaps?!) and the next i just want to stay put and never get off. I never know how to feel, it’s mentally exhausting! Up and down, up and down, up and down. Somedays are filled with so much love and so much anger/frustration at the same time that I’m wiped out by noon!

And not only is being a mom tiring, but it’s infuriating. I want to enjoy each moment (well the good ones) but it is so hard because the bad, or rather challenging moments, suck the life right out of me leaving little left to enjoy the good moment that is coming up any minute on a good day, an hour or two on a bad day. And sometimes I am so zapped from the bad moments that I don’t even realize when a good moment is happening…and then passing…like this morning when I was *busy* being annoyed that #1, #2, and #3 were getting soap and water everywhere while washing their hands. I was too entrenched to realize something awesome was happening right in front of me. They were “washing off germs together”, without being asked to, so they could play with the baby but keep him healthy. Sigh. THANK GOD I was just annoyed at that moment today and didn’t yell at them for being so considerate. Then I really would have felt like an a*s.  Instead I only felt like a partial a*s for being annoyed in the first place. Making progress. Making progress. 

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  1. Pingback: You never know… | The Orange Rhino Challenge

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