Nuggets of Sweetness

I'm told this too shall pass.

All I can say to that is [shoulder shrug], okay. I guess I'm supposed to want it to---these days with young children are long and hard. At the same time, I find myself grabbing on to little moments.

Honestly, this isn't really like me. I tend to endure things, always seeing the next task I have to do, that next segment of free time after the kids go to bed that I pray I'll actually get to spend NOT doing laundry or cleaning bottles or packing lunches or cleaning up something.

Chris and I have been muddling through what I believe is a typical day-to-day existence for a young family of four, punctuated with colds, business trips, infant poop drama, and work.

We are sleep deprived. Lorelei has been on a 10-day ban on sleeping through the night due to an icky cold that I also had. Now, when you're fighting such a cold, it's preferable to not have to get up and nurse three times per night. But I knew how crappy I felt, and I was certain Lorelei felt equally crappy. If my throat hurt, I assumed hers hurt too and would give her a dose of baby Tylenol. I filled her room with the mist of the humidifier, and Chris did more than one 3:00 a.m. snot-sucking procedure on our girl (Nose Frida--best baby nose product in existence).

Through this looooooooong cold, sweet Lorelei never got a fever (or developed an ear infection, a la Charlotte), and though ostensibly uncomfortable, she continually gave us smiles, as though to say, "Thanks for getting up with me, Mommy. I know you feel like poo, too."

Chris and I are tired. Wait, he's not, because he's in Dallas for work, free from the chains of baby monitors at night. But he WAS tired, getting up to change Lorelei's diaper and bring her to me to nurse, night after night.

Then, last night, with Chris still in Dallas and Mommy so tired she thought she might croak, little Lorelei slept until 5:25 a.m.



Alas, her big sister selected THAT SAME NIGHT to get up a total of three times between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., destroying Mommy's first shot at a decent night's sleep in so, so long.

And yet, a weirdly serene acceptance to all this seems to have fallen on Chris and me. Either that, or we're too tired to dwell on the mountains of daily tasks our girls require, the TIME they take, the relentlessness of their needs, or the unpredictability of their sleep or health. Scorekeeping ("I changed her diaper last time!") and snapping at each other (sleep deprivation--need I say more?) seem to have dissipated, which means either Chris is doing more, or I'm being awesomely non-shrewish. Maybe both?

This morning, although I thought Lorelei might be up for good, she soon fell asleep as she nursed. I rearranged my fleece-clad girl on my chest, breathing in her Baby Aveeno + Lorelei smell, loving the increasingly heavy, cozy weight of her against my body. Gently, I finally returned her to her crib, hoping to get the coffee made before Charlotte woke up.

A few minutes later, as I attempted to caffeinate, I heard squeaking. I looked up, and Charlotte was pushing her baby stroller (with baby doll) down the hallway, toward our room, with a guilty grin on her face.

"I pooped, Mommy," she announced, "but my clock is green!" (Her clock turns green at 6:00 a.m., which is when she's allowed to get up--not that she obeyed this rule last night.)

"Okay," I said, getting out of bed. "Let's clean you up and put on some undies."

Charlotte looked up at me with those giant brown, lash-rimmed eyes. "Mommy, hold my hand, okay?" Together we walked hand-in-hand to her room, and I couldn't help but love how my girls' Charlotte-ness and Lorelei-ness made (potentially record-setting) poops and interrupted (or sheer lack of) sleep practically endearing. I love that they give me little nuggets of sweetness, right around where I might otherwise might find my breaking point, or at minimum, my exasperated sigh point.

Of course, that's not to say that I don't dearly hope Lorelei sleeps through the night tonight, and that Chris handles Charlotte's next diaper explosion. A mommy can hope, right?


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