As you all know, Paul returned Saturday evening from an 11 day trip. I awoke the next morning feeling like I was buried under bricks. My head hurt, my body ached and the day yawned in front of me. I it when I don’t have the energy to live my life.
Sunday after church and lunch I put a movie in for the kids to watch and collapsed on the couch. Paul soon excused himself to go slip into a coma in the bedroom. This was distressing as I too was feeling narcoleptic but was constrained by the responsibility we have to protect our children. The older two could be trusted to stay alive if Paul and I both took a nap, but the Bean would be headed for a gravel pit to drown faster than you can say…well, in a really short time, and that doesn’t work for me.
Pulling out the tiniest ounce of charity I decided to hold down the fort while he took a nap and then I would swap out. That was the plan.
The actuality saw me paralyzed on the couch trying to keep the children entertained watching the movie, breaking open peanuts and dipping them in frosting. Aside from sick stomachs and a deep sense of self loathing everything would have been fine if the children hadn’t had their own schedule of standing outside our bedroom and engaging in passionate arguments every time Paul started drifting off to sleep. If either Paul or I had had any amount of oxygen getting to our brains one of us would have considered the possibility of him moving to our small office that is down a hall and has two doors acting as barriers to the chaos which can be our home. Sadly we were both immobilized by exhaustion so he continued to suffer in our bedroom and I continued to beach on the couch calling out feebly, “Stop. Be quiet. Come here.” Occasionally I summoned the strength to go to whomever was causing the ruckus and dragged them back to the living room.
Paul finally emerged from the bedroom and fell into a chair looking decidely pinched and crumpled. Rather than beaming love and gratitude he was fixing me with a beady stare.
“Did you sleep?”
“Not at all?”
He heard this as a sort of challenge. I was just scraping the bottom of the barrel for another answer. I got instead a lengthy and somewhat crabby explanation of exactly why he HADN’T slept A BIT. It involved children and shrieking and, I will spare you the details as there weren’t any. The whole explanation was shrieking children but he managed to drag it out much longer than it takes to say that. I should have put down the peanut I was eating at the moment, slipped off the couch, crawled past the frosting and out of the living room, through the kitchen and down a couple of halls to the laundry room and buried myself under a couple of loads of laundry, but that would have taken more energy and stamina than I could imagine, let alone muster.
I don’t remember much of the rest of that day. I know I didn’t get off the couch for a couple of more hours. I remember Eden was perched on my stomach the entire time as her lungs were nolonger required outside our bedroom door. I have a dim memory of picking up the living room but have completely blocked out feeding the children dinner and putting them to bed.
We hobbled through Monday.
Tuesday we woke at six to Lydia saying, “Eden wet the bed.” I offered her a dollar to throw the bedding and pajamas in the laundry and to clean up Beanie. She agreed immediately but the soacked toddler put up a fuss and began to shout for me and a cup of milk. I asked Paul if he would get the cup while I washed and changed the girl. The day continued in that vein.
Wednesday we both woke a little after four, feeling somewhat human, and yet disappointed to be awake. Do you think even one of those children woke up? No, my friends, I had to rouse them out of bed at 7:30 to get to my MOPS group in time. Yesterday was a long but good day.
Blood once more pumping to my brain, I wondered why I hadn’t asked for more help. Why I made up other people were too busy to be asked or had already helped me enough. I had considered farming out all three Saturday night so that Paul and I could go to bed early and sleep in Sunday before having our day as a family, but asked one person who couldn’t and dropped the whole idea. I really didn’t expect Paul or myself to be so exhausted, but we were. I need to do as much preparation on the front end before I find myself consumed by tiredness and irritability.
For now, I need to grab some books, corral my colleagues and do some reading.
Hope everyone is joyful and well.