1) a deep, abiding and fiery hope that it would indeed get MUCH easier once Naomi turned 5
2) doubt at the fact that it would actually happen and
3) annoyance that I had to wait SO long before any of the children would do things to make it easier for me.
Maybe it's the fact that God has continued to bless us with more beautiful babies-- and I am not trying to steal any hope away from fellow young moms right now-- but I am going to go ahead and say that having your oldest be over 5-years-old does not magically make things easier and it does NOT take you out of the "trenches" of motherhood.
While I realize that this entire blog is one giant demonstration of motherhood in the trenches, I'm going to go ahead and highlight a few recent incidences that have solidified to me my place here and that I should really just sit back and make myself comfortable because it is likely going to be a while before I exit.
Exhibit A: The tale of the bloody mouth.
On Saturday, a day which I incidentally kind of hate because I always feel like it should be some sort of a family day or a break for me and am always super disappointed when Mike sticks to his regularly scheduled work program- he legitimately has to and cannot afford to be taking that day off with us- but nonetheless, me no-likey.
Anywho, on Saturday, I was trudging though the morning as usual, lunch came and went and I was a tad desperate for nap/rest time when I sat to have a little leisurely book read with Lucy and Joseph- and that's when the screaming started. Naomi (the 6 year old) came running out with blood running down her face and Bernadette trailed behind wearing as much guilt on her face as there was blood on Naomi's. It became clear fast that there was a spat and Bernadette yanked a blanket out of Naomi's mouth and with it came (or almost came) 2 of Naomi's bottom teeth. I say "almost" because they were hanging there causing a gag reflex to well up within me every time I looked at them.
I screamed for Mike and had him tend to Naomi and then immediately there was a knock on the door and 2 friendly members of our parish were standing and asking to come in for a parish survey. They were super gracious and were not too horrified at the screams and blood that accompanied their visit and as soon as they left Mike managed to finally extract the teeth and the bleeding eventually stopped. And I was ready for a cocktail at 1 p.m. The trenches.
Exhibit 2: The baby dancing in the poop
That same Saturday, as the day neared it's end and we came closer to dinner, I realized that the house was in total disarray and that Joseph hadn't pooped for many, many days. These might seem like 2 unrelated things, but on this day they were all-too related.
My babies often struggle with infant constipation, which is gross but not as gross as the number of suppositories I've had to administer to each respective kid to keep them comfortable especially when their stomachs transition to solid foods (foreshadowing- solid foods=even more disgusting poop). The last time I had given Joseph one before this past Saturday it still took him almost 24 hours to, um, respond to it. Ok, it took him a day to crap. So this time I decided to give it to him and let him be by himself in his exersaucer for a bit while I swept the utterly disgusting play room and kitchen floors. I gave the suppository and got to sweeping.
About 20 minutes later Naomi came upstairs and asked if she could keep him company and since I was just finishing up sweeping, I said "of course!". Immediately upon walking out to him she asked in a horrified voice what on earth I had put all over the exersaucer. I replied confusedly and she responded that it looked like I had smeared peanut butter all over the bottom of it. I poured a glass of wine before I walked out to see, because I knew it was going to be bad and it was so SO bad.
Apparently my diaper application skills are not as stellar as my suppository application skills and while the poop producer did work- swimmingly- the diaper was only half on so where else could it all go but down the leg and into a puddle in at the bottom of the exersaucer. I walked out to a grinning Joseph, bouncing around, dancing in his own poop. The only thing them kept me from crying was the effect of the huge gulp of wine I had taken before I walked out. The trenches.
Then there was the time last week that I found myself nearly standing on my head in the crib so as to continue to nurse Joseph while laying him down so that he wouldn't wake up. While I feel like there are more days in this season of life where I feel like "I've got this" motherhood thing, that is more the exception than the rule, the same as it was back when I just had 2 babies. The fact is that most days involve no less than 17 butt wipes, 45 tantrums, 13 brawls over legos, and the fact that I am- the majority of the time- conversing with small people who are actually in a different character than themselves and make little to no sense at all. I'm exaggerating a little but only a little.