It will give you a small glimpse into my mental state, perhaps, to know that somewhere around 4:30 am Friday night/Saturday morning it occurred to me that I would rename my blog. It would now be: They only throw up at night. And other stories.
I was quite confident about it. Several hours in to what would prove a miserable night for Mette (and an at least equally miserable night for me) it struck me as dreadfully clever, quite catchy, and a wonderfully literal and metaphorical summing up of the entire motherhood experience.
(Likely it seemed less wholly true to Daisy [who was tending when another incident occurred in the middle of the following day]. But it certainly seemed true enough again for me Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Sigh.)
After a decent night of sleep last night however . . . I can see that perhaps the title was not quite so inspired as it felt in those moments.
In other news, I have just sent Summer to put Mette for her nap. (???)
Although she is doing her very best to be both gentle and stern all at once, and to properly assert all the authority her extra nearly-13 months on Mette might allow her, the endeavor is mostly, from what I can hear, failing miserably (as I suppose I knew it would); but putting Mette to bed is nearly always an ordeal, and I thought, at the very least, sending Summer to try her hand at the job would buy me a few minutes to try and clean some of the waxy “window crayons” off of several windows in our house (a job that takes roughly one billion paper towels, an entire bottle of Windex, and . . . most of your will to live). (See windows in the background of the picture later in this post where Goldie is lighting Jesse’s birthday candles.)
Those window crayons are very much like the child-sized toy bus and scooter on the floor of our kitchen closet. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them. But I also . . . have never once had any of my kids get them out without my shouting, within seconds, for them to put the awful things back at once!
Jesse Frank had a birthday yesterday. He is now ten years old. And, if you do your math, you will be shocked to discover that living that long again will put him at age 20. (But its probably best not to do your math in these instances. It doesn’t matter how clearly you put it down on paper, or how many calculators you have handy, figures that add to such ridiculous sums will never make proper sense.)
He was living in a state of equal parts excitement and dread for days leading up to his tenth. And no reassurance from me could shift the balance solely to “excited” for long. A birthday is a glorious thing after all, but, there is the chance it won’t be a good day. And who can face that after all the build up?
“Why wouldn’t it be good?” I questioned.
He and Anders might fight. Someone might be mean to him. The little girls might break his presents; why, they might simply crowd around too much – infringing on his present-playing enjoyment!
But, it turned out to be a very happy day with very little that went amiss. True he still had to go to church (which struck him as a slight loss), but the bishop, who generally gives birthday kids one treat, gave him TWO (it was the bishop’s birthday as well it turned out – a situation that called for such extravagance); we had caramel topping for his ice cream; Mike read the Hobbit to him (which he loves far more than I would have guessed – sometimes I just look over and see him smiling delightedly to himself as Mike reads); and, he managed to trick us into letting him stay up until 10:30 to work on his new Star Wars Lego ship.
In any case. Off I go. (But not before telling you that Mette is, at this point, not in bed at all. She has come upstairs, thrown several rolls -- that were meant for dinner – out to the chickens, received a giant pile of dry-roasted peanuts from Summer, and is now sitting on the floor across from me – drinking out of a water bottle and asking me to cut an apple for her. But that’s the glass-is-half-empty way of looking at things. The half-full way of seeing this? Well, at least she isn’t throwing up.)
Wait. Don’t go yet! Here is my dearest, little Hansie boy. Oh I adore this person. (And how he closes his eyes at you if you try to sing to him because he doesn’t know how else to respond to such a thing as being sung to.) We all were in love with his hair that stuck ten feet up into the air. We never made any attempts to tame it. But, alas, it eventually got a bit too out of control and had to be cut. He screamed as if death himself were upon him. And so Mike buzzed it as fast as he possibly could – while I lost all feeling in my arms restraining the little fellow from flight. (Also, never buy your kids Lucky Charms . . . because no matter how many promises they make, they will only eat the marshmallows. And also, never buy them Fruity Pebbles because. Well. Just don’t. Unless you like sweeping. Then, by all means.)