Smack in the Middle Kind of Day

Today was a tough one…

Forgive my brash phrasing, but I feel like I’ve been rode hard and put away wet. From the moment the kids woke up this morning I’ve been “on” without a break and now I’m exhausted.

5:30 am . . . . . Jesse wakes up hungry. I sit up in bed and feed the baby, browsing Facebook and Google Reader on my phone to stay awake.

6:30 . . . . . Put the baby back to bed, try to catch another couple of Zzzz.

7:00 . . . . . Jeremy comes in the room and everyone’s up now.

7 – 9 . . . . . Shower, dress both kids, feed both kids, do my hair and get dressed, re-dress Jesse because he drenched his first outfit in spit-up. Run around the house looking for baby shoes, don’t find any.

9:15 . . . . . Leave the house 15 minutes late, head for our Tuesday playgroup.

9:30 – 11:30ish . . . . . PLAY PLAY PLAY. Well, I wrastled Jesse a bit, tried to keep an eye on Jeremy, tried to carry on several conversations with my friends as they played with their well-behaved children. We had a great playgroup meeting this morning, but I left tired.

12ish . . . . . Walk in the house and immediately start making lunch. Fight with Jeremy to eat the lunch. Lose the battle. Feel quite defeated by the 4-year old because he won’t eat cheese. [What kid doesn’t eat cheese? Seriously. I thought most kids’ diets are made up of about 90% cheese or something.]

1 – 3 . . . . . MORE PLAY. Wii games, Don’t Spill the Beans (which Jeremy refuses to play correctly), books, baby toys, a couple episodes of The Spectacular Spiderman (the kids cartoon). All the while Jesse absolutely will not stop pooping carrots and wails anytime he is put down for even 3 seconds.

3 – 5 . . . . . Jason goes to work, I am left unrested with two kids who don’t think they’re tired. I finally coerce Jesse to sleep, turn on some Veggie Tales for Jeremy, and start working on my menu plan for the week. How two hours went by so quickly, I have no idea.

5:00 . . . . . Jesse wakes up angry because I tricked him into sleeping. [I know, those of you who know him are confounded that Jesse could ever be angry. Let me assure you, he has my red-headed flash temper and when he gets angry, he is angry!] I take nearly an hour to feed, console, rock, bounce, sing to, and otherwise attempt to pacify the small one. Eventually something worked, or perhaps several of the things acted in unison as the sun passed exactly into the correct succession with other celestial bodies and a shaman somewhere in the world took pity on me and said a blessing – however it happened I’m grateful. During the pacification attempts Jesse whacked me in the eyebrow with a maraca, kicked me in the throat, alternated between pushing away from me violently and pulling toward me via my shirt and every facial feature (eyelid, lip, cheek, earlobe, nose and neck), all the while yanking my hair constanttly. Oh, not to mention he bit both my nipples really hard, with teeth!

6:00 . . . . . Cook dinner while working with Jeremy on his homework book and doing my best to keep Jesse from losing his $h!t because he’s strapped into his highchair. Throw in realizing that our computer chose to wig out and I find a blue screen of death staring at me. I successfully restarted is normally, but I really didn’t need that tonight.

7:15 . . . . . Jason comes home, we eat dinner as a family and he goes back to work. This 30-minute stretch is the most calm we had all day. It’s, no kidding, the calm before the storm. The only breather I get before the children go postal.

8:00 . . . . . At this point Jeremy is very nearly vibrating with exhaustion as he is overly tired and his little 44-pound body is doing it’s best to expel every last bit of energy before he collapses. Jesse is in exactly the same boat but one-ups his brother just slightly by refusing (still) to be put down at all. I allow Jeremy to play two rounds of Wii boxing because he desperately needs to release the last of his energy which is boiling just below the surface. Jesse is furious because he is trapped in his toy corral. (Jeremy does a lot of hopping and moving around while boxing, the last thing I need at this point is for him to squish his little brother.)

8:30 . . . . . Pajamas and a book (of course he chose a long one). This is usually the best part of the night because Jeremy gets quiet and cuddly. But, let’s throw in a big ol’ except right here – Jesse is wound up like a tangled yo-yo and tries to leap from my arms to attack the book. I try to nurse him while I read; he holds on with his teeth while simultaneously pulling away from my chest (who knew nipples could stretch so far!) to get to the book that I am holding an arm’s length away (my arm’s length). I let out a cry of pain and frustration, Jesse releases a cry of anger, and Jeremy covers his ears with his hands. I close my eyes, breathe, and count to 5. I hug my boys close to me and finish the book.

9:00 . . . . . I tuck Jeremy into bed. He gives Jesse a hug and kiss and says “I love you brother.” My heart shatters.

9 – 9:30 . . . . . Jesse gets some nursing. He fell asleep about 5 minutes in but ate heavily in his sleep until his chunky 24-pound body took a deep breath, shuddered a little and gave up.

10 pm . . . . . I have not been this tired in SO long. I contemplated just falling into bed fully dressed, but I needed to get this out or my mind didn’t have a chance of shutting off.

All this time I have been also considering what I wanted to do to relax before going to bed:

  • I could knit, that always feels good.
  • I could take a soothing bath with the new lavender bath salts we made at MOPS last week; that would calm my mind.
  • I could read over and try to answer the questions from last week’s bible study.
  • I could watch a mindless chick flick; that would drown my thoughts.

Then I thought of all the things I need to do:

  • Clean the kitchen (again). I already put the plates and things in the dishwasher and ran it, but the pots and pans are still on the stove.
  • Install and set up some security for my blog. Though I have thrice now un-hacked my website, I don’t particularly like doing it as it aggravates me highly.
  • Pick up the house; there are children’s toys strewn everywhere.
  • Finish Frank’s laundry.
  • Start planning next week’s MOPS newsletter.
  • Write today’s post for the Mobile Spouses’ Club blog.
  • Review this month’s budget. Have we totally blown it?
  • Unpack the suitcases from that Christmas trip we’ve been home from for two weeks now.
  • Call my mom and grandmother to thank them for the birthday cards I received a week ago.

That list could go on for quite a while. I think all I really wanted to say here is that some days are good days, and some days are bad. Some days are smack in the middle and seem to leave you the most tired of all. A mother’s work is never ever done, but sometimes the kitchen can stay messy til morning, your blogs and newsletters can wait til the weekend, a home that houses small children will never be perfectly picked up, the laundry will continue to grow. Eventually we’ll wear all of the clothes out of our suitcases, I’ll wash it, and put it all away in our rooms. It’s too late to call folks now, so it’ll have to wait another day (again) (sorry Mom!).

Right now Mama is tired to the bone. I’m going to leave all those things for another day, take a hot shower, and go to bed. Tomorrow we’ll start all over again. I’ve got a morning bible study class which will be a wonderful two hours for me for a few reasons: 1) I’ll see several of my good friends; 2) someone else will watch my children for a while; 3) and lastly, I’ll spend some time getting some much-needed spiritual refreshment.

And now, finally, “Goodnight ya’ll!”

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