Here’s the song reference.
I have been told, privately, by several people, that Dailymomprayers paints an unrealistic picture of our daily life, where everything always ends up sunshine and rainbows. This is most emphatically not the case; however, I do make an effort to find that tiny nugget of joy, or the lesson, from each day and share it, to encourage both myself and anyone who happens upon this blog.
Yesterday morning actually began shortly after 3 a.m. for me. Tuesday and Wednesday were rather hectic around here, and I did not realize until I woke up at shortly after 3 a.m. on Thursday that I had not showered since Monday morning. The reason I awoke at shortly after 3 a.m. was the furious itching of my scalp, the only cure for which seemed to be an immediate shower. As I exited the shower, I heard Bo complaining from downstairs, where he decided to camp out for the night, so I headed downstairs somewhat after 3:30 a.m.; the poor old lad had apparently lost his balance and gotten his leg stuck under a bookshelf. After extricating him from his plight, I took him outside for a rather-too-early constitutional, then brought him upstairs so he could get to the big water dish (and raid Smudgie’s leftovers if he was so inclined).
Getting Bo a drink of water is not as simple as it sounds, as his feet tend to slide on the kitchen linoleum. He braces his feet against mine and take slow sips until he’s slaked his thirst. A little after 4 a.m., Bo finished his drink and decided to go for a slow stroll around the kitchen. Of course, his feet slid, causing him to crash one of the chairs into the kitchen table.
I am blessed with three children and a husband who can sleep through a nuclear blast.
I am also blessed with Mr. Man, who wakes at the sound of a feather falling from a robin in a tree four counties over. Frankly, I was astonished that my shower hadn’t roused him, so I wasn’t surprised when I suddenly heard a muffled, “Hey! What’s that noise?” coming from the boys’ room. Usually, he rolls over and goes back to sleep after a few minutes, so I helped Bo settle into a comfy (and quiet) spot on the living room floor.
By the time Bo was tucked in, it was about 4:30 a.m., and Mr. Man had begun a shouting match with one of his stuffed animals. While it was pretty one-sided, It was also at a volume that would have precluded my going back to sleep immediately, so I settled in, finished writing yesterday morning’s post, and started the coffee. I honestly anticipated falling asleep on the couch after I was done typing, and thought it would be a good thing to have the coffee waiting when one of the girls woke me again.
I should probably mention at this point that I fell asleep sometime after 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
At around 5:30 a.m., Mr. Man finally succeeded in waking up Baby Guy.
At around 6:30 a.m., I went downstairs and informed the boys that it was entirely too early for either of them, much less both, to be awake.
At around 7:15 a.m., Manie came into the kitchen to have breakfast and put his lunch together. I shuffled in to refill my coffee cup and mentioned that the house had been steadily awakening since sometime after 3 a.m. He pointed out that it might be a good idea for me to try to get some more sleep. I pointed out that while I concurred with his assessment, the noise level was rendering that impossible, and if I didn’t make the morning phone calls by 8 a.m., a ringing phone would increase said noise level further.
He shook his head and remarked that it appeared I was in for a long day.
A little after 7:30 a.m., I surrendered and shooed the boys upstairs for breakfast.
A little after 8 a.m., Bugaboo and Beanie bubbled into the kitchen.
A little after 9 a.m., after the boys had picked at their breakfasts, harassed their sisters, and spent so much time rubbing their eyes and yawning that I feared for the structural integrity of their skulls, I shooed them back downstairs and into their beds, with strict instructions to remain therein and quiet, preferably asleep. After tucking in the apparently exhausted boys, I returned to the kitchen, where I was greeted with a request for jigsaw puzzles by Bugaboo and Beanie. That sounded like a quiet pastime, so I stacked several boxes on the table with instructions to either assemble them with sisterly tenderness or work on two different puzzles at opposite ends of the table. Bo was in need of a trip outside, so I assisted him, then returned to bed.
Around 9:30, I headed downstairs, pulled Baby Guy off the top of the dresser, retrieved the pen George was using to draw pictures upon and tear holes in his sheet, sternly repeated my earlier instruction to go back to sleep or at least rest quietly, then returned to bed.
Shortly before 10:00, I re-emerged to advise Beanie that her bed is not intended for use as a trampoline. Back to bed.
Shortly after 10:00, I roared out of bed, threw on some presentable clothes, exited the bedroom, roared at two noisy little girls to get dressed and shod immediately if not sooner, went downstairs to issue a similar admonition (with more, shall we say, technical support) to two noisy little boys.
Around 10:30, I shooed the lot of them out the front door and into the van, uttering admonitions about the need for sufficient sleep for all members of the family and advising the tribe that if no one was going to either sleep or allow me to do so, we were going to go run a couple of errands.
Around 11:00, we arrived at the mall and bundled the boys into the double stroller. I informed Mr. Man and Baby Guy that they would remain in the stroller for the duration of our visit to the mall, which might or might not include lunch or time at the playground. Baby Guy and Mr. Man responded by informing of every single passer-by of their distaste for clothes shopping with their sisters at full volume, accompanied by tears and pounding of fists on the stroller sides. This continued through four stores, three of which had very sympathetic and efficient employees. We did succeed in acquiring first-day-of-homeschool outfits that were acceptable to Bugaboo and Beanie.
Around 12:00, we were homeward bound, both boys still full-throatedly voicing their opposition to anything and everything connected with our outing, the van, their sisters, and anything else that did not involve copious quantities of chocolate. I was beginning to sympathize.
Around 12:30, we had finished lunch, and both boys were again rubbing their eyes and yawning heartily. I tucked them into their beds, helped Bo get outside, brought Bo upstairs, and had a little chat with the girls about acceptable options for the next hour or two while the boys were sleeping. The girls helpfully informed me that even they could hear the boys were not sleeping. I helpfully informed them that notwithstanding that bit of trivia, it happened to be quiet time, and while I would be more than happy to turn on the Pirates-Nationals game to assist them with closing their eyes, my expectation was that each and every member of the family would practice both horizontality and silence. Pillows and blankets were duly arranged in the living room, I assumed my spot on the couch, Bugaboo claimed the loveseat, and Beanie decided to curl up in the hollow of my legs. Both girls were saggy-eyed and yawning, so a nap appeared to be in order.
Around 1:00, I asked Beanie to please stop kicking me, then rose, headed downstairs, put the boys back in their beds, and informed them that while the block tower they had built was impressive, neither it nor the noise made by the blocks they were throwing at it in their attempt to knock it down was conducive to sleep. For anyone. My tone and word choice probably weren’t conducive to sleep either. I put them back into their beds, went back upstairs, and origami-ed myself back onto the couch around Beanie.
Around 1:30, I again advised Beanie that I don’t like being kicked or head-butted, and suggested that if she was having trouble getting comfortable on the couch, perhaps either the floor or her cozy bed would be better alternatives. She decided on her bed. Bugaboo chimed in that she was doing likewise, as the baseball game was so fascinating that she could not fall asleep. As they bundled up their blankets and pillows, I returned to the boys’ room, rescued the painting Mr. Man had Baby Guy climb to the bookcase to take down from the wall, rescued Baby Guy from the top of the bookcase, put them both back in their beds with an even sterner admonition to take a nap, then returned to the couch.
Around 2:00, I entered the girls’ room, informed them that while I was delighted with their powers of imagination, repeatedly slamming a bed into the wall to imitate the rocking motion of a ship at sea was not an acceptable activity when anyone in the house was trying to sleep, particularly if that someone happened to be me, told them that closing their bedroom door did not buffer sounds of that nature, explained that whining was not an acceptable response to my sensible advice, and admonished them both to get in their beds, close their eyes and mouths, and take a nap. As I finished my instructions, I heard a crash and a wail from the boys’ room and headed downstairs. Mr. Man was counseling his younger brother in the ill-advisedness of attempting to play with his older brother’s toy grill, particularly when said elder brother was sleep-deprived. From the position of the various objects on the floor, it appeared that this counseling had involved several items of play food and a stuffed bear. I issued further admonitions of various kinds, punctuated by several words and phrases I’d rather they didn’t repeat, put them back in their beds again, and stomped back upstairs. Bo needed a drink by then, so I helped him obtain one. Smudgie needed a hug, so I gave him one. A quick check on the girls revealed that they were both snoozing. There was quiet belowdecks. I returned to the couch a little before 3:00.
Around 3:15, a thud coming from the boys’ room shook the walls, so I arose again, jumped down both flights of stairs, and flung open their door to see Mr. Man climbing back up to perch on the headboard of his bed, preparatory to what I surmised was another mighty leap therefrom. Baby Guy was clapping and cheering in delight at his brother’s mad acrobatic skills. I sighed, surrendered, filled four cups with milk, put out a big bowl of carrots for a snack, and settled in to read the crew a couple of stories around the kitchen table. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day somehow managed to avoid being on the reading list. I didn’t even consider The Napping House, as I think it would have sent me completely over the edge. By a little after 4:00, the kids were off finding things to do and games to play, so I started working on dinner and a little desultory kitchen cleanup.
Around 5:00, I went to sit on the couch and catch the news headlines. Mr. Man plunked himself down on the opposite end of the couch, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and promptly fell asleep. Almost simultaneously, I heard Baby Guy crying downstairs. Before I could get up to see what was the matter, Bugaboo, my chief champion snitch, burst into the living room, shaking her head and sorrowfully reporting that Baby Guy had climbed into his bed and fallen asleep, right in the middle of playing chef with her and Beanie, and that Beanie had taken it upon herself to rouse him from his slumbers.
I paused for a moment, then started to speak.
I closed my mouth and paused for another moment.
I gathered my oldest daughter to me, hugged her tenderly, and, with what I hope was a smile on my face, told her that she and Beanie had carte blanche to do whatever did not involve theft or assault to keep their brothers awake until after dinner.
Today’s prayer: Lord, I didn’t do very well with patience, perseverance, or doing unto others as I would have them do unto me yesterday. Please grant me the grace of a patient heart, one that bears annoyances with mildness. Thank You for the blessing of four energetic children, who look to me for an example, and help me set one for them that shows them that handling the minor adversities of everyday life with grace and joy are essential to the ability of those around us to see our love for You. Keep us all mindful that love for one’s neighbor starts with love in the home, and that we are called to forgive each other as You have forgiven us.