Yesterday, I had what may have been my lowest parenting moment. It was brought on by a collision of circumstances mostly beyond my control and it really brought to mind how much I love my family, friends and the place I live now. First, the wee little one awoke terribly early. Shortly after 5, if I remember correctly. Since she’s gotten out of the habit of awakening me in the wee hours, I’ve gotten blissfully used to being able to sleep until the decadent hour of 6, maybe even 7! So I got up with her and rocked her and bounced her and jiggled her and sang to her and shushed her and she spent the next hour fighting sleep and/or falling asleep only to jolt awake the moment we lay down. Joy. Also, the previous night, I had gone to bed terribly late. (After midnight! Scandalous.) All because I’d had a slight headache, lay down to take a nap, and ended up sleeping for many hours with the babe, only to be nudged awake by M after 7PM. Oh dear. So mama was tired. Real tired.
Tiredness, unfortunately, is a migraine trigger for me. (I think we can see where this is going…) When it came time for the little sweet potato to take an afternoon nap, she resisted. And resisted. And resisted. For an hour and a half. An hour and a half! I don’t think she’s ever taken that long to get to sleep. I was starting to feel a little pressure mounting in my skull so I lay down with her and slept (hard) for an hour. When she wiggled and I awoke, I knew I was in trouble. Pressure…mounting…pain…nagging nausea…oh dear… I silently, and not so silently, begged her to be a good baby and lie still with mommy. But she’s a baby. So I got up. Changed her diaper through a haze of blinding pain. And considered knocking on the neighbor’s door so they could take her while I buried my head in a pillow and swallowed some Excedrin. Except that I don’t even know my neighbors.
The situation was getting dire and I left her playing on her play mat in the living room while I hung my head over the toilet and said goodbye to my lunch. Joy. Then I plopped her in her crib and tried to think of who to call. M? No. He was at work and I had no way to get in touch with him. My mom? Same situation, plus she doesn’t have a car and wouldn’t be able to get there quickly. Friends either had their own babes to worry about or lived too far away to be of use. Finally, I called my dad and step-mom at work, since they would probably be getting off soon and were relatively nearby. Voice mail. Twice. I paced with the baby, nearly in tears, for a few minutes before calling them at home. Maybe they were already there? And lo and behold, my dad answered the phone. That hello was the best thing I’d heard all day. I begged him to come take care of E for just an hour or two so I could lie down. And he did. The man who was afraid to hold her when she was tiny because she was too tiny and is afraid to hold her now because she’s too wiggly. The guy who hasn’t entertained a baby in approximately 28 years. He came to my rescue. Dropped everything and drove back to town to look after his granddaughter.
And that is why I love where I am now. My family is nearby. There is a wonderful community of moms and babies I’ve had a chance to connect with. I have a few dear high school friends that are close. I have a community. Everything may not be perfect here. But at times when it matters, I have people to count on. And for that, I am thankful.