Being mom is proving to be a difficult task for me lately. Hopey is going through some major changes that are requiring a whole lot of time and patience. For instance, she is melting down with EVERY transition in her life: get in the car, Hopey meltdown, get out of the car, Hopey meltdown, go into a store, Hopey meltdown, put Hope in a buggy, meltdown, etc. It is all day long and it is exhausting. Her meltdown begins with crying, turns into shrieking, and ends with her body stiffened like a rock. It is nuts. To manage, I comfort her and try my best to talk her through it. Her meltdowns are not intentional, but try telling that to the gawkers in the grocery who shoot me the: "She needs to get that kid under some kind of control" look. Most days I want to enter the store and go straight to the customer service desk to make a brief announcement over the speaker system: "My child is going to meltdown for the next 15 minutes....she is going to scream, kick her feet, and might try to pelt you with an item from our buggy as we pass by. This behavior is in no way intentional, so please try to keep at a safe distance and don't bother to stare. Thank you."
In addition, Charlie has discovered his "poop" and is enthralled with it. No, I mean it. I think he actually works to "poop" on purpose just so he can get his hands into his diaper and swipe the grime all over his legs, arms, and face. He even knows he isn't supposed to be doing it, so he hides behind chairs or the couch for his "poop parties". It is awful. Would it make you sick to know our dog Trudy enjoys the "poop parties"? You get the picture. I am giving the little red head two to three baths a day, gagging all the way through them and then hosing Trudy down in the back yard. To make matters worse, Charlie has decided he is scared silly of the bathtub, so he goes into fits as soon as he hears the water running.
Meanwhile, I have a rising Freshman in the house who very much wants me to be a part of his life. Unfortunately, to garner my attention, he has to follow me through the house as I "do life" while filling me in on football details, making me laugh with his friend dilemmas, and asking all kinds of thought provoking questions such as: "What do you think I should do with the rest of my life?". (Try giving a serious answer to that kind of question with Charlie's reflux all over your shoulder and Hopey hanging on your back because she has decided she wants a piggy back ride and wants it now---not easy). Sweet Caleb, though, wears a smile and takes whatever "piece" of mom he can get.
As for the preteen girls of the family, they are smack in the middle of a "shared room" redecorating frenzy. Natalie wants their room to look like summer camp while Miss Lydia is dead set on the room being filled with vintage toys. "What do you think, Mom?" has become an hourly alarm for me. And "You all need to work this out together" has become my pat reply which drives them nuts and causes their eyes to roll.
Then there is the pain of the last five years---a lengthy (and costly) court battle with my ex-husband resulting in a restraining order against him, Hope's three open heart surgeries, the ongoing aneurysm in Hope's heart that threatens her life, the loss of both of my grandparents, broken relationship with my brother, etc. Life is sometimes so hard, isn't it? I am positive there must be someone reading this blog who can relate.
To top it off, it has been months since Chappy and I have attended church. MANY MANY MONTHS. You would think God would supernaturally touch Hopey as she enters church and cause her to behave like a "Holy" child, wouldn't you?---but it just doesn't happen. Instead, Hopey melts down and disrupts, so we just had to stop going. We have thought about hiring a sitter to come to our house on Sunday mornings so we could go to church as a family, but have been hesitatant, because we don't want to keep the sitter from attending church. There hasn't been an easy answer for us.
Our big kids found a youth group they enjoy attending on Wednesday evenings, to remedy the "church situation", and have started going to church without Chappy and me. Their absolute love for this church has caused Chappy and me to long for church fellowship/teaching even more. My parents were visiting from out of town this weekend, and understanding our desire to attend church, offered to keep the little ones so Chappy and I could attend church today. "Journey" is the church the kids have been attending on Wednesday evenings, so that is the church we packed up and visited today.....expecting God to meet us there....hoping God would meet us there.....giddy with excitement.
To be continued.....