Sunday, August 31, 2008

Survival and then some...

Since Riley was born I've had people in the house to help me at all times. The only exception to this has been when someone takes the older boys out of the house on an adventure, and then I'm left with just Riley--who is a full time job in and of himself, but just ONE full time job, and not three as is the case when one has all of the children (the day I wrote the 'shitty day' post I had both Riley and Matthew...but that is a subject for the next post, as it deserves its own). Brent has been on holidays since August 20th so after my mom left we've been a team 100% of the time.
This afternoon he left me to go participate in some fracking fantasy football draft thing I know little about (and care even less), except that it took away my partner in crime for the last nine hours.
Dudes. I was SO AFRAID.
This morning in church I was trying hard to believe I could pull it off...
if 12 hours of labour with Riley taught me anything, it was to take things one step at a time, so I decided to do that this afternoon. Stave off anxiety by living very fully in the present moment (for what is anxiety but a wholehearted attempt to throw oneself across time into a future we have no control over?).
It worked. Oh joy, it worked.
We finished lunch, which Brent made for us before taking off, and then packed and departed for the park. I'm sorry to say I drove, but I'm still healing from a marathon or three (did I mention those 12 hours of labour?) and we must sometimes make the environment pay for our need to survive an afternoon with three small boys and a very sore bottom. Instead of feeling guilty, I just let that one go! It is 1.5 kilometers to this particular park from our house, so a bit ambitious to walk to at this point.
We spent two hours at the park. The boys played, I sat on a blanket, Riley slept, ate, and slept again; we walked through the park to Ayden's Elementary school to check out the playground there. I took some gorgeous pix on our Canon 35mm, and a few on our digital (I'll share tomorrow), and then we headed back to start supper. I put the big boys in front of a movie and Riley in his vibrating, bouncy, entertaining chair, and made supper. Nothing too fancy. Riley was fussy. He wanted to eat, no, sleep, no, eat, no, fart, no, eat, no, sleep, no, play, no, poop...this type of fussiness usually indicates that he's tired, but the farts were keeping him up and I couldn't devote a half an hour to bum patting and pop on-pop off for comfort breastfeeding, so that was a bit trying.
But I got my dinner made, and it wasn't the end of the world that we ate at 7, and the older boys were so good.
Then the older boys got into a bubble bath and I bathed Riley on the counter in the same bathroom, so all three were miraculously clean at the same time! And all three were totally happy, because all three LOVE baths.
Bedtime was a bit interesting. Three boys and a breastfeeding pillow AND an adult CAN fit into a toddler bed for storytime--or so I discovered!
I told Brent he owes me chocolate. He just phoned.
But really, here is my take on the day:
This was my test run. I'll believe I can do it if today is successful. Definition of success: all four of us are reasonably happy and calm and have our needs met most of the time. WILDLY SUCCESSFUL!
I can do this. I CAN do this. I can SO do this! I can do three. Whoopee! It's so good to know! I can just let that anxiety slip right off my shoulders and relax into the present, now that I know I can handle it.
Thank you, Jesus.


Dana said...

Whooohoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

tamie said...

Oh baby, this post gave me a huge smile. You are so freaking amazing!!!! You are inspiring and wonderful and strong. I'm proud of you. Very very proud. And I love your cure for anxiety, of living in the present. I think that you are absolutely right--that fear of the future is what causes anxiety--and that if we can catch ourselves in time, we can indeed just be here now. (Have you ever heard the song "Be Here Now" by Ray LaMontagne?)

Love you, Mel.

Tonya said...

I love reading your blog. You are just so stinking honest and cute about it! Glad to hear you survived 3 for a few hours. It is daunting at first. Of course, I'm the nut who thinks I might as well get some of those "hurdles" over with - so I take 4 kids on a 10 hour drive (by myself) to visit friends. I'm sure after #5 is born you will find me wandering around Target - just to see if I can. Not right now - I so just want to curl up in bed, read a good book and attempt patience.

Well, I could go on - maybe I should send a regular e-mail. :-) I'm so glad all you realized in labor. You are amazing - I've been telling you that! I remember just begging Jesus for help while laboring with #4 - almost became a mantra.

All right, kids eating upstairs - alone. Wonder how messy 3 kids and grits can get in 10 minutes? :-)