Today has been hard. I’m tired, frustrated and feeling a bit ungrateful. My day started at 6am when I realized both Lena and I were sleeping in a puddle of poop that had leaked out of her diaper. Off came the sheets, the mattress cover and our clothes. A few more poopy diapers later, and we were off to our Friday morning class.
As I was bouncing Lena on my knee, I noticed her pants looked wet. Of course, more poop leaking out the side. She didn’t seem particularly interested in class today which is unusual for her and spent most of the time doing anything EXCEPT the organized activity at hand.
We headed home, made lunch and listened to some music. She didn’t want to actually eat the food but instead she wanted to take a bite, chew it enough to become mushy, then spit it out onto her shirt/my hand/the floor. In between, there was lots of whining and grunting going on.
Nap time came and she decided she would rather jump on the bed. I pretended to sleep to see if it would inspire her to follow suit and instead, she tried to pull my eyeball out of the socket. I noted I needed to cut her fingernails as she tore out pieces of my flesh. A couple chunks of hair and hits to the face later, I gave up. I had three loads of laundry to fold and in desperation, I set her up in our bed watching the Andy Griffith show just to get a few things done.
A few more hours of crying, whining, and defiance took their toll. Then I got a text from Jason saying he had been put on a 12 hour shift and also had to work tomorrow. Ugh. My last bit of patience and optimism were depleted and I found myself speaking more harshly than usual. In turn, I got more frustrated as I felt my parenting for the day left a lot to be desired.
I decided to try one more attempt at a nap in the hopes of having a little bit of time to myself to regroup and catch up on housework. An hour later, I woke up with my little girl curled into my arms and my chin resting on her head. So much for getting anything done though the nap and cuddle time was much needed. As soon as I moved, she was crying again and refused to fall back asleep.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had such a grueling day and I am utterly exhausted. I was counting the minutes until Jason got home so I could just have a little break and try to change my attitude. As he was laying her down, I happened across a blog post that has humbled me and put this entire day into perspective.
A fellow mom lost her little boy to Sudden Unexplained Childhood Death at 14 months 4 days old. His name was Patrick James Doyle; a healthy baby boy who simply died in his sleep with no warning or known cause. Reading this family’s story had me in tears and both thanking God for His blessings in my life as well as asking forgiveness for my ungratefulness.
Some days are hard. They knock you down, they suck out all your energy and they leave you questioning your abilities. But none of those trials compare to the loss of a child. Even the worst tantrum I can imagine would be better than no tantrums because something had happened to my baby. I can’t even begin to imagine that level of despair.
I wish there was some way to bring Patrick back to his family. The next best thing I can do is make sure he isn’t forgotten. These words by his mama have shaken me up and reminded me what is truly important. I am blessed beyond measure and I am forever grateful… even when I can’t quite see it through my frustration.
Your dirty diapers, teething woes, breastfeeding and bed sharing frustrations are my dream. The life you are struggling through now is the life I have prayed be returned to me, warts and all, from the depths of my aching soul every second since his passing. What your life looks like now is what it would look like if you had somehow been through what I have and been granted that wish, when somehow, I have not.
You are living the dream. Make it a good one.