Thursday, May 28, 2009
My day began with exhaustion, but it's Thursday, and that's normal, as I climb the wall to Friday.
My day got just a little bit more deflated when Conor, who apparently decided that he couldn't sleep when he was put to bed last night and went downstairs with his blanket, turned on a movie, and laid on the couch sucking his thumb until his Dad found him around 11pm and shuffled him, crying, back to bed, came downstairs at only 6:30am. Too early for me to see him. I need some time in the morning to warm up to motherhood on my exhausted days.
But then my day spiked to horrible, when Conor, who was carrying a fist full of "guys" dropped his Lego skeleton guy, which slid across the kitchen floor, just in time for me to land full weight on it with my bare foot. And I screamed. I even said, "Stupid, freaking Lego guy" as I picked it up and hurled it into the living room. And then Conor cried, because really, his day must have started out exhausted too, and the last thing he expected when he came to me with his Curly Supreme Bedhead for morning love was to hear me yell and throw a Lego skeleton guy past his face.
My foot throbbed for about 30 minutes. (This is why my own dad always called them 'foot-os' instead of 'leg-os', but I digress.)
I worked, quietly steaming, through preparing blueberry waffles, strawberries, and wedges of cantaloupe for breakfast. The pain in my foot only helped me further fine-tune all the other rotten things in my life as they flew through my mind in a flurry of woe-is-me. Children ate, and I shuffled them over to the couches for scripture study. It was pretty much a going-through-the-motions kind of morning as far as spiritual nourishment goes.
And to make it harder, we're in Isaiah.
Reading. But then Conor won't sit and eat. He wants so badly to sit at the table with the kids, but then we all finish, and he's still taking a bite, and then getting up and running around the room. Which. Drives. Me. Crazy. Especially when I wake up exhausted, as I mentioned before. So I threaten him with his high chair. To no avail. And, since I never issue a threat I don't intend to carry out, into the high chair he went. Which is not as much fun, because it's in the kitchen, away from the table, because it faces the television where he can watch a video while he eats his lunch. But not his breakfast, because now he was in trouble. (And please don't leave comments about what a rotten mother I am letting my toddler watch videos while he eats, because, well, if you've been reading, I am exhausted, and I can only handle so much. This confession can be filed away in the minds of anyone who dared to claim that I was 'perfect'.)
But then he sat there with his plate of waffles, all cut up for him, and the bright colors of his fruit, and he just cried. And the big kids started laughing at the chaos of it all.
And then I lost it. I didn't mean to. I just started sobbing. Blubbering something about how I needed them to STOP and cut me some slack, that my foot hurt, and I'm tired, and I'm just trying to do the right thing.
I sniffled my way through the rest of the verse, and then couldn't manage any more, so Lyndsay finished up the chapter. Dylan said a sweet prayer asking Heavenly Father to "please help us not be overwhelmed," which I'm pretty sure was aimed just at me, but I was grateful anyway.
After dropping the three older kids off to school, I took Conor to his Speech Therapy at "Pat's Office", as he calls it. He loves "Pat's Office". I sat in my car for the hour, barely keeping my eyes open with that kinda-nauseated-tired feeling and studied nucleic acids. DNA, RNA, chromosomes. Oy vey. My head was spinning with the complexity of it all. And then when I go in to pick him up, Pat tells me that maybe Conor should start seeing an Occupational Therapist for a possible sensory integration issue. Seems he's a bit clumsy. Walks into things, steps on things, I don't know. I just started to laugh. "Forgive me," I said deliriously. "It's just been a crazy morning, and I'm so tired, and I'm not used to my kids needing any therapists at all, and suddenly this little one needs one of each. I can't help but laugh! I don't know what else to do."
"Well, since you're in the system," she said, consolingly. "And maybe you could take him to the park every day and let him swing. That will help the channels in his brain orient themselves better till he can really get a feel for where his body is in space."
Oh goodie. Let me squeeze that in. Two speech therapy visits, one developmental therapy visit, now an occupational therapy visit, and daily visits to the park? What a life this kid has! Therapists getting paid thousands of dollars to play with him. And I don't know whether to feel grateful that I don't have to pay for it, or like an utter failure that he even needs it. He skipped out to the car with his ABC cookies. U and S, I believe. That spells 'us'. That's what we are, for sure, he and I, always together. My little buddy.
I drove home, no, I drove to the stinkin' park, because that's the kind of mom I am. (Actually the kind of mom I am hates parks, but I am the kind of mom who will do whatever is in her child's best interest. Well, except for eating in front of the TV, that is.) I put him in the swing and pushed him back and forth. He was losing interest after a bit, so to keep it exciting, I said, "Reach for the birds!" Which he did, right before he fell out of the swing, going high. Stupid, exhausted mother. I didn't mean with your hands!, but then what's the point? He's 2! He claimed to be done, but I didn't want him to have some fear of swings, now that his mother practically encouraged him to fall out of one, so back in the swing he went. Face the fear! A few times, back and forth, a couple of laughs, and that was enough of that. Then I drove home, thinking of DNA and chromosomes and my poor baby, and how this all happened, and why is talking so hard for him, and what's this now with sensory integration, and should I feel guilty or place blame, and I know the answer is none of the above. (whew!)
I know he's perfect, just the way he is, and we all need a little help now and then. I am grateful he can get it, despite the sinking California economy especially. I know whatever trials we face are for our good, for our benefit. And I love my Conor with all of my soul, like the other three I have. All of their imperfections are perfect for them, perfect for me. And with that comfort, doused with a measure of peace, I suddenly realize that all is well, and that Dylan's prayer has been answered.