In the past eighteen hours, I've bathed a child by moonlight whose feet and face were covered in vomit, I've mopped half-digested lasagna from my bathroom floor as my husband sponged the hallway carpet, and I've rescued sweaty strands of hair from being drowned in the contents of a blue tupperware bowl, affectionately known as the puke bucket.
I've also massaged swollen gums where tiny teeth refuse to break through, and I've administered pain medication and soothing whispers and kisses and cuddles. I've slept fitfully side-by-side with a little patient who has no comprehension of why his mouth hurts whenever he nurses...or sucks on his binky...or rolls over in his sleep.
In the past eighteen hours, I have taught math and writing and phonics to a handful of children, answered several ridiculous questions with obvious answers, and laughed at, joked with, reprimanded and redirected various small people in their tasks for the day. I've analyzed behaviors of Attachment Disordered kids, tried to heighten and not hinder the bonding process, and both marveled and lamented the progress we're making. I've also checked over assignments done with half-effort, dealt with less-than-savory attitudes from pre-adolescents that know mostly everything there is to know, and spent a good deal of time teaching a three-year-old to distinguish a "D" from an "E" and a "G".
I've laughed a lot, gotten frustrated a little, and lost my temper for at least a few moments. I've sung no less than fifty stupid little songs about cute babies and arguing and being patient and going poo on the potty and getting out of bed and having a good attitude, and spent the better part of an hour online trying to figure out how to download treats for my son's virtual pet.
In the past eighteen hours, I've made a pot of coffee and three square meals, doled out snacks of gingerbread marshmallows and oreos and milk, and bathed another child who lost a battle with a milk jug. I've changed a half-dozen diapers, wiped little backsides, and constantly reminded a toddler to use the potty, handing out high-fives, gummy bears and stickers when he's been successful. I've loaded four kids into the hugest van ever to retrieve the aforementioned pre-adolescent from school. I've put kids down for a combined total of five naps, and never did manage to take one myself, even though (with all the puking and the teething) I've been running on only a few hours of sleep.
And now, all but the baby are in bed. Sleeping, I hope, but at the very least tucked away for the day. Unless someone gets sick, that is.
I'm really, really tired. And I have a confession.
This Mommy-thing doesn't come easy for me.
I'm a selfish person. I love to spend time on myself, doing what I want, not being forced to do anything else. Anything icky. Anything out of my comfort zone. Anything that makes me work harder or give more or be more Christlike than I ever thought I would have to be. I rather enjoy thinking about me.
But the strange thing is this: the more children our home is blessed with...the more I am forced to give of myself...the less selfish I become...and the happier my life is turning out to be.
Kinda opposite from what the world tells us, don't you think?