I was a Super Mom last night. Yup, one of those nights when you have to use every ounce of energy God gave you and then find the reserves to use and then just keep trucking….Women were designed to be Super Moms.
The evening started as routine for us these last few days. Both kids fighting a cold and nasty cough which seems to escalate when they play outside or just as they lay down to go to sleep. They both got their Allergy medication and extra vitamin C. Their humidifiers were on and diffusers locked and loaded with enough cinnamon and orange to stop any cough. In the midst of the hectic evening routine my son somehow got Cinnamon Essential Oil in his eye and I left the humidifier, filling, I mean, overflowing with water, while I tend to my son. My Husbands finds the flood now across the kitchen floor because my mind shut off all unessential tasks in order to tend to my screaming child and forgot about the running water.
Both kids in bed and sleeping. It was 6:59 EST.
I go to finish dinner dishes, Dad to iron his shirt and we meet in our room to finish the 2 loads of laundry that needs folding and sorting. I remind him that there is a dead mouse in the dropped ceiling and he needs to find it before it stinks up the house and he kindly smiles and reminds me that he is getting his hair cut the following afternoon.
I jump in the shower and selfishly smile because there are no littles barging in and creating a cold draft of air into my steamy hot peace and quiet. As I go to get the homemade brown sugar-vanilla scrub from the recycled chopped garlic jar, I heard something. That must be one of the dogs.
It was my son. In the hallway and outside the bathroom door.
Immediately, as his mother, I forget I am soaking wet and try to dry my feet and turn off the water fast enough to get to him and soothe whatever need he has. Through the wall, to the other bathroom I hear a slam of the toilet seat, and flush and then footsteps of my husband as the smell of hand-sanitizer fills the air.
Dad got him.
I took a breath and started again to finish a normal nightly routine. 7:43
The Hubs and I finally get settled and look at the clock laughing that we are old and in bed some nights before 9:00. He shuttered at the idea of our friends finding out, but we are an early morning family, because right now, that is what our children need.
8:37 Cries from my Son’s room.
I go in this time thinking it will be a quick turnaround but something is wrong. He start tossing and turning and crying, which is normally soothed simply and quickly by my presences alone. He was grabbing at his right ear and telling me time and time again he wanted to walk. (i.e. be bounced in my arms and walked endlessly up and down the hallway).
I walk, but he continues to struggle to settle. I circle his room and he keeps rubbing his ear.
So if I know his ear is bugging him and he won’t settle then I need to soothe his pain.
Pulled out a single dose of Bubble Gum chewable for the little guy and he happily took it.
I got into his bed this time, even though his mattress is really tough on this 33 week pregnant body and he found ‘skin’ like all long-term post-breast fed children do (pinching my neck). He started snoring and his pacifier fell out of his mouth, signaling me that I might be able to sneak out.
His grip on my neck tightened and he immediately started crying in pain again.
Too soon to go.
We repeated this dance 3 more times and each time he awakened, it was more sever crying.
I got a kick from the unborn and it was time to get up and get some reinforcement so I could empty my bladder.
With myself on the edge of our California King and my Husband on the other side my Son tossed and turned with fury for hours.
9:48 His knee in my face
10:02 His foot in my kidney
10:36 His finger in my eye
11:16 His rear end in my neck
11:45 His forehead touching my forehead. I felt his labored breaths go directly up my nose upon every exhale. I imagined all the germs, spit, snot and whatever else he had in his dirty toddler boy mouth, infecting my pores. It was nauseating.
12:05 His hands in my armpit
12:36 His toes in my ear
1:06 He wakes crying again. We toss and turn in what room he left me in my own bed. My husband grumbles as if this is the first time he has been awaken by the beast all night. I don’t think he realized I had not yet actually fallen sleep. His crying is more directed this time and I realize he was just as tired as I was.
This is when your Super Mom powers kick in. There is something that changes in a Mother when they realize there is a problem to solve with their children no matter how much or how little sleep they have gotten. My Son was just trying to tell me something and I needed to pull an Inspector Gadget and figure it out. It is these moments in parenting that separate those who can handle the big guns and those who cannot.
He did not want to sleep, but kept asking to watch ‘Mickey Mouse Cub-house’ instead = sleepy boy = sleeplessness.
Rubbing his left ear now but refusing to take any more medicine = he was so tired he was obviously not thinking clearly.
As he nestled into my body to try to comfort himself I felt how hot his forehead had become = fever. Possible ear infection.
I added up the hours between medications and decided we were due for Tylenol at 2:30.
Clock Check = 2:16. Close enough.
He refused the chewable, so I grabbed liquid and bribed him with ‘Mickey Mouse Cub-house.’ He took the meds, we together, got back into his bed, and pulled out the tablet. Unfortunately for us, the Watch Disney Jr application had updated and I needed to re-load….No Time. We swapped out for PBS Kids and I prayed he wouldn’t catch on. With just 16% left on the battery life I closed my eyes and prayed for some time to sleep. I left him, watching Curious George and headed back to my room.
2:36 I closed my eyes.
3:01 the battery died. I heard my son trying to turn on his lights and get out his toys. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed my tablet, desperate for more sleep – or any sleep. 71% battery…
‘Mickey Mouse Cub-house’ worked, I stayed in my son’s bed this time, but not before checking on my daughter and getting a nice cold glass of water for myself and my Son.
My daughter was sideways in bed so I tiptoed over to adjust her. I noticed she was covered in sweat from head to toe and I thought….seriously? I am going to have two sick kids tonight? I gently placed her head on the correct end of her bed, kissed her, said a quick prayer that she was be healed in her sleep and left to go back into my son’s germ infested gas chamber.
3:21, I made myself as comfortable as I could and closed my eyes.
Bang. The IPad has fallen between the wall and the bed. Disaster. Again. 3:53
He started crying again, part due to how tired he was and partly due to the fact he couldn’t breathe well. My husband appeared in the door way and said “are you going to sleep or what?”
I wanted to chuck a shoe at him, but fortunately for him, my son’s slippers were not even within reach.
“Good-night love.” I said instead trying to kindly shoo him away.
Men were not made to be Moms. They need sleep, they need pain meds, and they need as much TLC as your children do. They were made to be strong in other ways; opening pickle jars, taking care of their families, trying to pick up and wrangle the children when Mom has had enough, to be an example of kindness and faith for the family and to be the protector. Men were not meant to be Moms.
I heard my soon yawn and I jumped at the opportunity of sleep. I pulled him in as close as I could get him; the tip of my nose touching the side of his and my eyelashes getting tangled in his as he cried. I remember feeling thankful at that moment for this little guy who wanted nothing more than his mamma. I was his Hero. I was his Super Mom.
I felt his whole body go limp and his pacifier fall out of his mouth and hit me in the lip.
I snuck out of his room and into my own bed. Grabbed as many pillows as I could find, propped myself up and closed my eyes. I prayed to quickly fall asleep but my concentration was broken by the unborn; with a severe case of the hiccups. It was 4:16
A Mother’s work is never done. Honestly, running on fumes at the moment and I wouldn’t have life any other way.
So the next time you are up all night pulling a Super Mom move, remember that these moments are a gift. Although they seem frustrating and annoying at the time, remember that these moments will be gone all too soon. You will wake up one day and it won’t be ‘cool’ to be so in love with your mom, they won’t need you to pack them a lunch with a heart carved into the peanut butter. They won’t need you to bathe or to pick out their breakfast.
The ONLY curse in parenting is that time doesn’t stop and they grow up too soon. So when God gives you these extra little moments to spend with your children….don’t resent them; cherish them.