Browsing Posts tagged exhausted parents

Yesterday started like any other day.

Chloe stormed into our room at 4:35am shouting at me to change her wet diaper, her wet pajamas and her wet bed!

I wasn’t entirely sure how her p.j.’s and all bedding had become soaked until I remembered, Greg had put on her diaper prior to going to sleep.

At that time of morning, I wasn’t able to strip her bed and re-make it but I was able to muster up enough energy to wipe her down, change her diaper, her pajamas and invite her into Mommy & Daddy’s bed for the final 1.5 hours of coveted rest.

Chloe: I don’t like this bed! I don’t like this blanket!

In that moment, I didn’t like anything or anybody. I simply wanted to go back to sleep but it wasn’t meant to be so 4:35am, with someone kicking and shouting at me, would go down in my journal as the worst start to a day—ever and I’ve been in labour three times.

I realized by mid-morning, Chloe and I couldn’t hide our exhaustion. I was skipping not just words but full sentences and even pages in many of her books. She was even too tired to call me on it. She’d just gesture toward the book and then with a lengthy blink, forget why she wasted so much energy.

When I walked her up and down the street in her stroller, the fresh air while necessary, coupled with exercise, made me more tired than she was.

She chose clothes from her summer items and when I challenged her on whether or not she would be warm enough in a skirt and tank-top on a cool, fall day, she replied, “I can wear a dress! I’m a waitress!”

I took her to the school to pick up her sisters where she removed her diaper and held her skirt above her head for the duration of our wait. This is one strong-willed waitress. Someone from across the parking lot shouted, “You should blog about that!”

By the third hour as spectators at her sister’s swimming lessons, splitting our time running intervals up and down rec centre ramps, the other half outside where I was unable to find a sliver of grass in tag that wasn’t demarked “t,” we were fit to be tied.

That’s when she turned to me and asked, “Mommy, what does ice buy?”

I don’t know why I laughed, I guess because it was better than collapsing into a puddle of my own tears.

Me: What does ice buy? Ice doesn’t buy anything sweetie.

Chloe: What does ice buy?

Me: Does ice buy water?

Chloe: No, what does ICE BUY!!!!????

It took every ounce of strength in my body not to hurl myself over the waiting area ledge and start synchronizing my efforts along with the team but I knew I would just sink.

Then I heard a little girl a couple of rows over say, “Okay, my turn. I spy with my little eye, something that is blue.”

What is eye spy!

Night-night.

Once every fourteen years (approximately) I sleep in past 7:30am.

To try to put into words the number of factors involved in actually having this happen would be an absurd undertaking.

What is so unbelievably unique about what I am going to tell you is that our entire family of five slept in until 8:30am on Saturday morning. This has never happened before, at least, not in our lifetime.

Here is why this miracle is almost beyond the realm of possibility.

  1. The sleep in took place on a Saturday morning meaning, we didn’t have to rush to get ready for school, we weren’t late for anything, Greg didn’t have to be on the golf course pencil deep in the Penske file so the odds of the sleep in happening on a Saturday are 1 in 7.
  2. For the entire family to sleep in including one elderly person on the cusp of his fortieth birthday, one turning thirty-seven, an eight, six and two year old ALL, SIMULTANEOUSLY sleeping in? There are no words. Odds must be 1 in Google.
  3. None of us were sick. I repeat–nobody in the house was suffering from fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, third nipple chaffing, hot-dog fingers or any other fast talking symptoms you hear at the end of every American drug company commercial. None. And yet, we slept.
  4. To our knowledge, none of us had been drugged in the night though that might be a question for the surveillance tapes.
  5. Outside factors did not affect our rest i.e.; no neighbourhood dogs were being beckoned to return home by an acapella group through a megaphone, no trucks were stalling on the roads nearby, no sirens were blaring, no coyotes were consummating their marriages, no birds were chirping, no raccoons were knocking on the front door looking for a play date with the girls. All was quiet like the sound immediately following a natural disaster when you wonder if you are the only survivors because it’s just that quiet.

I woke up refreshed. I knew what month and year it was. I was hungry having eaten the same bowl of oatmeal at 6am for several years–I was 2.5 hours past my regular feeding. I was scared. If we were the last people on earth, would we care so much about the dandelion infestation?

I was happy and it wasn’t even Mother’s Day.

Some nights, after the bath, snack, bedtime, panic room sweep for bugs routine, I am too tired to think about even attempting to accomplish the smallest task.

During the day, I tell myself, while my lips are moving so I look insane, “When the kids fall asleep, I’ll work-out on the treadmill, I’ll do a week’s worth of menu planning, I’ll write, revise and write some more.”

When the kids actually do fall asleep, not only can I not bring myself to run on the treadmill, I can’t even fold my gym clothes and lift my arms high enough to put them back in the closet. The word “Menu” is written on a piece of paper and starts and ends with “crock-pot.”

Last night was one of those nights.

Ellie was clutching a small, cloth bag she was calling her purse and pulled out a loonie.

Any time one of our kids shows me money I don’t recall gifting to them, I like to get the details on how it came into their possession but I was just too tired to pry.

Ellie was clearly excited to tell me so after trying to listen with one eye open, hindered by the constant humming of the zzzzzzzzzzzzz sound from within my own head I began to walk towards the door.

Ellie: Mommy, do you want to know how I got this money?

Me (yawning): Yes honey, how?

Ellie: Daddy paid me $1 for beating him at Snakes ‘N Ladders five games in a row. He said by accepting money, I’ve given up my amateur status and now I’m playing as a professional. He said something about a tour?

Nighty-night.

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