Monday, August 29, 2011

Nakey Baby

  • We never slept through the night this last week.
  • There was extra laundry to do.
  • Going to the bathroom or taking a shower was more of a "community" event rather than a solo adventure.
  • Cleaning and cooking just DIDN'T happen.
This could only mean one thing.

Our 1-year-old grandbaby blessed us with her presence for a week. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had forgotten a lot of things about having an itty bitty one in my home round the clock. BUT, I did quickly re-learn what had been stored in the recessses of my mind. Things like ...

No matter how cute the baby is when she's "nakey", it's best to not let her run around and play that way. Nakey babies tend to pee pee on the carpet. Once the carpet has been baby-sprinkled, she won't be very happy when you take away her freedom and insist on her wearing a diaper. Your next act will be to be scrub the carpet with carpet cleaner while simultaneously trying to comfort a very unhappy, now-diapered little one.

She'll ACT like she's okay with drinking from her sippy cup, but she's just biding her time. Once you relax, the sippy cup will be thrown to the floor, the baby will be lying on the floor screaming, and you'll be frantically scrambling to find the bottle. Honestly, what the baby wants, the baby needs, right?!? At least, that's the case at Nammy's house.

Sleeping with a small child is like trying to sleep with a windmill ... or an octopus ... or in the midst of a tornado ... or next to an Olympic prize fighter.  And, the littler the baby, the more space she'll take up in the bed. Also, babies sweat while they're sleeping... a LOT. Since the baby is sleeping on you, you'll wind up sweating as well. But since there's nothing more precious and adorable than a sleeping baby who wants to cuddle with you, you'll put up with being punched and crawled on and sweated on during the night.

And you know what? It was all wonderful ... and great ... and I wanna do it again. I liked having a baby around our house. Every single nook and cranny was filled with the sweet smells of a baby freshly out of the bathtub ... her infectious giggles ... her mimicking us of brushing our hair ... her little hands patting my arm and shoulders as I rock her to sleep. I loved every single moment with our dimpled grandbaby, and I'm grateful that she was patient enough to teach me while her Nammy re-learned living with a little one. I've got news for you. There's nothing better!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Being Mommy

We had a full-sized bed that was just perfect for Wes and me. One of my most vivid memories was waking up when I was 8 months pregnant with our daughter and all three of our boys (aged 3 through 7) were in bed with us ... along with our cocker spaniel puppy. How we managed to fit all of those people, including the incredibly pregnant mommy, in to a full-sized bed was beyond me. I still remember waking up with a backache because of the incredibly awkward position that I was laying in ... AND I understood the definition of a "full"-sized bed.

And, of course, there were other memories of being a mommy of little ones. Like the time two of our boys woke us up because one of them had wet the bed, gone to get in bed with his brother, and then wet his bed ... so they were looking for dry territory. THAT was the night that I was awakened by someone wetting our bed (and my back!).

I remember doing several loads of laundry a day (obviously!) ... watching Sesame Street or Barney and singing along to all of the songs that were sung ...drawing with chalk on the front porch to welcome Daddy home ... walking through the house, scouring the floors for little items that babies could choke on ... putting rubber bands on all of the cabinet doors to keep them closed ... occasionally being able to take a shower or bath all by myself and thinking it was heaven ... having ALL of the children actually asleep at the same time for a nap and gratefully taking a nap myself ... putting a blanket on the floor, turning off the TV, and just watching our little ones play ... taking a blanket outside for the baby and me to lie on while the older kids played in the sunshine ...

Those were wonderful times. But I also remember feeling isolated, feeling like I had no one to really talk to (unless you counted little ones who just wanted to talk about Teen Age Mutant Turtles or Bert and Ernie). When Wes would get home, I'd literally follow him around the house, begging to hear every moment of his day and wanting to talk to him about mine. I even have one memory of lying on the floor outside of the bathroom, talking to him while he was in there. He finally asked if he could just have a little bit of time when he got home without his wife trying to talk to him through the bathroom door. 

I felt isolated, but I wasn't alone. I had an incredible support system -- a husband who loved me, parents who were always available, and girlfriends who were raising lots of little ones just like I was. I was blessed. I was fortunate.

Maybe that's why God has given me such a heart for young moms who didn't have the support system that I did. Moms who are doing this on their own. Moms who are being mom, dad, and grandparent all in one. Moms who are young and are still learning and growing on their own. When THEY talk about isolation, they know what they're talking about. My heart is for them to NOT be alone, to have people walking alongside them in love, for them to love the incredible job of being a mommy. So, I've found a ministry where I can do that exact thing. I'm excited to be able to share this journey with them.

Being a mommy IS a job full of "incredibles" -- incredible amount of work, incredible amount of joy, incredible amount of energy, incredible amount of rewards. There's no other job like it in the world.