Parenting is all about seasons. Its always shifting, an ebb and flow, quicker than we'd like it to. Nothing is constant. Besides change. Change is constant. Some seasons are easier than others and you soak those in with vigor because you know they won't hang around for long. I knew when Channing really started to move, things would be harder. It's just a fact. Babies on the move make more messes and require nearly constant attention. I was slightly dreading it and here we are, living it, whether I like it or not. Add to the crawling, teething, mess-making baby a spirited three-year-old who often wakes up in the middle of the night and gets up at about 6:15 every day and a very active five-year-old. So this is an exhausting season for us. There's no nice way to say it. Jon and I are constantly exhausted. I am utterly and completely spent at the end of every. single. day. Some days I feel good about all that expended energy. Maybe we had a great adventure outside or went to the library or laughed a lot. But a lot of days I don't. A lot of days are grouchy, crabby, cranky, crying days and those are beyond exhausting. Those are the ones you need 12 hours of sleep to recover from but of course that never happens so you wake up the next day with about half the energy you need to face it and do the best you can. This sums up those days:
(I think this print is a lot cuter with coffee but, alas, I'm a tea drinker, so this is my truth.)
Channing is the worst teether in the history of teething babies. (At least, in the history of my teething babies.) His come in so slowly. Dawson seemed to get a few in at once. He's gotten sick with every single tooth, with a terrible cold. He's had a horrible runny nose and slight cough for about two weeks now. So he's just super cranky at home. And when Dawson woke him up from his nap yesterday afternoon, I was absolutely losing it inside. Like, I was ripping all my hair out and screaming and punching somebody in the face. Luckily for whomever I was standing next to, I held it together.
Jon and I needed to
get away from our children spend time alone so we hired a babysitter and went on a date last night. I was super tired and was thinking I'd like to hire a babysitter so I can just go lock myself in my room with a pint of ice cream for the rest of the evening. But of course, it was so worth it. I should be thankful my husband even wanted to go on a date with me after the way I'd treated him for a few days. I think I'm generally fairly easy to live with and our fights, if you can even call them that, are very few and far between. But for a few days of the month (every month) I'm a pain. Start those days off completely lacking sleep and I'm just downright nasty. I need to start warning him to plan his work trips around those days!! :) But he's quick to forgive. And we always have fun with each other when we're out alone. Always. He's my bestie.
Are there many things sweeter than finding your boys together,
reading a book? Me thinketh not.
And I find this little lump looking at books on his own a couple times a day now!
He loves this cheesy puppy book the most.
(Confession: staged photo. I dragged him and his book over into the light for this one):
It dawned on me this morning, as I was mulling over these last few rough weeks we've had, that my mother-in-law has been out of town and hasn't been able to take the boys for the past three Fridays in a row. It is amazing how much that one seven-hour day a week to do whatever I want (whenever I want) completely rejuvenates and refreshes me. She is such a blessing to me (and my other sisters-in-law) for all of the time she pours into her grand-kids and the breaks she gives us. My mom used to do the same thing when they lived here (sheesh, I was spoiled!!) but they moved away two years ago. I'd love to have even another few hours kid-free but its very hard to find someone to exchange kiddos with. I mean, you sort of have to have the same number of kids for it to be fair, and let's face it: two kids aren't always equal. So someone might get the short end of the stick on the deal, and then what?
Let's hear it. Do you have an arrangement with anybody to trade kids? Any good experiences, or bad? Please share.
I honestly don't know how to get through these days without a lot of breaks. And a lot of caffeine and Jesus.