Wednesday, August 18, 2010

For a limited time only

Few words strike fear in this mother's heart like "Hey, Mom, I've got an idea." Today, after a moment of panic, I looked toward the speaker of those words and found a purple Bumbo chair clamped firmly to his head. This kind of thing happens when a creative, ten year old boy has two younger sisters. Wary of his intimidating headgear, I listened as he said, "If you had 18 guys with Bumbos on their heads, you could really move some furniture."

I'm sure he noticed my raised eyebrow and dubious demeanor. Let's face it, he also saw the "I'm totally going to blog this" look. (We'll just call it "wry". )

He dropped to all-fours and pressed his baby-equipment-clad head firmly against the couch. He struggled for a few minutes butting heads with his formidable, upholstered enemy. My wariness migrated to complete maternal, slap-happy giddiness as I found myself laughing enough to shake the baby sleeping in my arms.

Breathlessly he expanded the explanation, "Now. Imagine a guy here, there, and there and some others around the couch and I'm sure we could move this thing." By then, Hannah was getting impressed and ready to buy this couch-moving miracle product for three easy payments of $29.95. "Yes, John! You could! And a guy there and a guy there and a guy there," she squealed. Note to self: never let her watch infomercials.

Then my purple-festooned son got that deal-clenching gleam in his eye. He lowered his voice soberly, "Of course, you could wear a helmet but they might crack. Bumbos don't crack. But they also aren't manly..." I'm sure it'll be even less manly when I tell him Cote peed in that chair last night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Waltzing Contentment

Tonight, I find myself oddly content. I don't mean to imply my life is hard by using the word, "oddly". I realize I have so many material things and societal privileges to be thankful for. But I also know that depression doesn't need a reason to set in. So tonight I am thankful for sore feet and a crying baby because those things help me to focus on the things that are important.

I am reluctant to say Cote's first tooth is nearly ready to burst forth. I've been wrong before. But I gotta tell you, it seems a lot more serious this time. I know the bottle of Oragel says that fever and a runny nose aren't symptoms of teething, but, hey, Bottle, you aren't an experienced mother of three. I know teething when I see it. Or I know it when it has hit me upside the head since eleven last night and my sister proposes it might be the cause of the tiniest Laughner's recent angst.

But a persistent, teething baby makes you pull out all the stops and focus on her: her needs, her comfort, her pain, her sweetness, her utter dependence on her Mommy to make it better. And suddenly all the busyness stops. The kids are in bed and I find myself longing for a moment to read a new book and to put my feet up and take a breath before our week begins. Yet, the baby won't nurse. Won't sit. Won't sleep. Won't cuddle.

There is nothing to do but tie the baby on in the best baby accessory ever. I could do without just about every other material baby equipment, including diapers. A good baby carrier is absolutely necessary. The sobs immediately soften.

My husband sits down at the piano and works his musical, Daddy magic. I find myself dancing barefoot with a worn-out, hurting baby in my dining room cum school room. The lights are dim. The light from another room glints off the light fixture which now seems a lot more like a chandelier. The baby's head becomes ever more unstable until it drops heavily against my chest and she sighs as sleep brings welcome relief.

My limp, sweaty baby helps me to focus my thoughts without the distraction of Facebook or Instant Netflix on the two children asleep in their beds, my husband playing piano and singing and my God who is the author of my contentment. I have purpose. I am reminded. Sometimes it take a little pain to see the beauty in something. It is perspective. Not the teeth. Not the trouble.

Nothing but a moment to hear sweet music and find your body swaying and to offer comfort to another soul to realize the singular purpose of your own, particular calling; to know the love of a Father who cares when we hurt, even if it's something so minor as a tooth.

Philippians 4:12 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."