Saturday, March 1, 2008


It's 1:26am. For the second night in a row, my children are awake at 1:26am. So far, just two of them, but hey, the night is young.

Four kids, three bedrooms. For the past month or so, we have been playing musical beds in our home, trying to come up with a method that works. Shepherd and Sissy have just started sharing a room, which is a whole new world of headaches.

So the darkness is pierced by her wailing. She's thirsty. Now Shep is awake of course, and he's thirsty too. I get them both water, tell them to go back to bed, say blessings over each of them, snuggle them in the dark, and come down the stairs.

More crying. She's wet. For the third time this week, she has leaked through her diaper onto the bed. No, my three and a half year old isn't potty trained. We have issues, to say the least.

Go upstairs, take off her jammies, take off the pullup, go in her room to get new pullup hoping not to wake up sleeping Maggie in the process, and go downstairs to grab a nightie from the endless pile of laundry on the couch. Back up stairs. Change her in the hallway, send her back to bed.

It's really dark up there, because we have had to remove the hall and bathroom light bulbs in a final attempt to curtail nighttime mischief. To turn on a light, I would have to go through Ingram's room, through his bathroom, and unlock the connecting shower, which would probably wake him up. I am trying to avoid this.

Sissy takes about two steps and announces, "There's something on my foot." In the darkness, I feel her foot, and am greeted by the unmistakable feel of poop being squished through my fingers. The unmistakable and familiar feeling - all. too. familiar.

Mustn't say the very obvious word that would both release frustration and perfectly describe the state of my hand. Don't say it. Especially in front of the children. Clench teeth instead. And THINK it really, really loud.

Flick handful of poop in potty while Sissy balances on one foot. One handedly, set her on counter, then navigate through the four doors and three rooms required to turn on a light. Wash hand. Wash foot. Think about Jesus washing the disciples feet and try to see some kind of holy moment in the middle of this. Not feeling it. Wash hand again. Still stinks.

Put Eva Rose in bed. Turn off light and lock the bathroom door.

Wailing. Now she can't find her paci.

Yes, my three year old still has a paci. You are welcome to come take them away. And while you are here, perhaps you could potty train her, because obviously I can't.

Turn on light in her room, search for paci. High and low. Promising that we are getting rid of this dumb paci. Find it. Lights off. Kisses, hugs, go to bed, no talking. Go downstairs. Try again to get the poop smell off my hand. Not working.

Wailing. This time it's Shepherd. He needs his toy crane. Of course, he does, at 1:34am. Shout up the stairs, threaten bodily harm. Hear lots of banging. And talking.

Up the stairs. Make good on threat. Swat Sissy. Swat Shep through his footie pjs, while he pretends to be asleep. Expound on the fact that the the entire neighborhood is asleep. GO. TO. SLEEP!!

It's 1:53am. I still hear banging upstairs. And talking. And my hand still smells like poop. They are wide awake, let it die down, fold some laundry.

2:02am. Hear guitar playing. Up the stairs. Discipline. Exhort. Turn around and in doing so, knock off the contraband cup of water that Shep has gotten and set on the bedpost. Threaten. Exhort. Downstairs.

2:04am. Hear voices. She's knocking on the door. Shep's furious at being kept awake. Back upstairs. Discipline. Promise to take away her teddy if she makes me come up here one more time. Down stairs. Wash hand. Smells slightly better.

It's 2:09am. I'm wide awake. Might as well go fold some laundry. First, I'll wash my hand, one more time.

2:16am. I just heard a bang. I go upstairs.

I have no idea what to do now.

Sissy sits up in the dark and says, "Sorry Mommy. I didn't meant to hurting your feelings. I love you Mom."

I step in the wet carpet and find my way to her bed. I hug her. Long. She hugs me back tightly in the dark.

Back downstairs. My hand smells a little better.

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