A lot happened tonight while you were outside mowing the grass. Eliza just wouldn't go to bed but surprisingly the boys did really well. I kept going in her room, patting her, rubbing her, all of it and then coming back out to listen to Ethan read. He is doing so well with his reading and I am so very proud of him. She would cry harder and I would go back in to check on her, but the last time I went in to check on her I found that she had thrown up in her bed. She does that, just like the boys did. Gets herself worked up into a tizzy and gags. It’s lovely really. If you recall she had spinach, pizza and blueberries for dinner topped off with a bottle for bedtime. After three children, it occurred to me that I am not sure you have ever smelled a regurgitated bottle of milk. You really should sometime. It is a smell that I am at a loss of words to describe.
So there I was, having just told the boys to go to their separate rooms and read a book while I tend to her, walking into a war zone. I pick her up, still screaming mind you, get her pajamas off, trying the best I can not to get vomit on myself, because well that’s just gross and as you know I can do a lot of things when it comes to my children, but vomit is just not something that is easy for me to stomach, if you will. Pajamas off, baby picked up, baby put down on the floor so I can get to her mattress pad and sheets off and let me tell you, she really didn’t like that. She looked straight up at me and I could have sworn I saw a dagger coming out of her eyes. Yes, those sweet baby blue eyes. It was almost surreal, I could hear the lawn mower in the background and I was thinking to myself, I wonder what the boys are doing? But back to the mission at hand, mattress off the bed, sheet off, pad off, new pad on, new sheet on, mattress back in the crib. Pick up baby, kick dirty laundry into the hall, find new pajamas. I should mention she is settled down now right before I mention that putting her down to dress her sends her into another tizzy. I wiped her down with a baby wipe, dressed her and then sat down to exhale.
And then I did the only thing I knew to do, I rocked her and started to sing. Her little eyes began to soften, her lips stopped quivering, her legs stopped kicking. She grabbed for her blanket and sighed. And as she did, I began to cry. I watched her settle in and start to drift off and occasionally her big blue eyes would fly open, almost startled-like and make eye contact with mine, as if to say "momma, are you still there?" And when her eyes met mine, she heard me say "yes, darling. I am right here." And we rocked.
And through my tears, I watched her little eyelids, her sweet lips, her pink cheeks and her hair sway back and forth. I think I have them all memorized. And did you know, that her blonde hair is really more of a strawberry blonde in the right light? All the while listening to the humming of the lawn mower. And it occurred to me that this is it. This is our life. Every bit of it; from the yelling of the boys to the quiet of the snuggling. From the taking her first steps to the vomit on the sheets. It just doesn't get any better than this. Seriously.
My tears began to dry. The lawn mower turned into a weed eater. I laid her in her crib, snuggled in with her blanket. And do you know when I came out to check on the boys they were really still looking at books?
It is only 9pm but we are both wiped out so I am sure bedtime is not far off. But before I go, I want you to know there isn't another person in the world that I would rather do all "this" with than you. The good the bad. The fun and the dysfunctional. As chaotic as it gets around here, and we both know it does at the end of the day it is you that I want to crawl into bed with. It is you that I count on just to be here. I love you, Christopher.
Now, I need to go tend to that vomit that is still in the hallway, that I can't believe you have walked right by twice and not noticed. Ahem.