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parenting right now. Which is to say, 5am.

It's a tough little season we're living through right now. I can tell from my frequency of peeing in the shower. This is to say that I've peed in the shower three times in the past two weeks, as compared to zero times in the previous entirety of the rest of my life. I guess I never entertained the thought before, never experienced a moment when I said to myself, "The distance between the shower and the toilet is too great to cover in my current state of exhaustion." When Zion was the age Elijah is now I dreaded my hair to better cope with the morning routine. While it doesn't have the same effect on my outward appearance, peeing in the shower is pretty much the eliminatory equivalent of dreading my hair.

Which is to say, if you think I'm gross you are probably right. And I can't really summon the energy to care.

Elijah isn't sleeping well. It's exiting the sphere of normal first-year tiredness and entering the realm of "behavior" that we need to make "decisions" about how to "influence." Which, you know, is always fun. No matter how many children I have I will never be a sage decision maker at two in the morning. Though I should say that in the daytime he's great. They're ALL great. Harvey is learning like gangbusters at homeschool. Zion is peeing in regular toilets. If only he wasn't openly crapping his pants twice a day or if I got three hours rest to string together I might be composing odes to my children.

A beautiful ray of hope during this intense time has been the Early Intervention developmental specialist who comes weekly to play with Elijah and coach me on my parenting. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have someone following his progress every week, giving me suggestions, and kindly supporting me in the effort it takes to care for a 30-pound seven-month-old who mostly wants to be held all the time. I have a friend who warns me that sharing about Elijah's delays will consign him to life of shame and teasing. Perhaps she's right, or perhaps the cyber bullies of the future will hone in on the more shaming revelation that his mother pees in the shower. It is an open question. His identity 15 years from now, the incredible young man he is to become, well, it's a thing to consider and wonder.

Because I know it will go by all too fast. Each day will be long, excruciatingly long, and I will wish for many nights to end sooner. I will have moments when I don't think I can make it another step, when I pee standing up because the toilet is too far. Somehow I will make it through a decade of these challenges and other challenges I haven't yet begun to imagine. One day I will look at my boys all grown up, my three beautiful gigantic babies, and I will cry over their lost littleness and wish I could do it all over again.

Time waits for no mama. They all grow older THANK GOD and also a little bit WAIT GOD, WHAT? Here is a little reflection I posted on facebook last night:

I'm holding in my hand Harvey's baby tooth, such a tiny little thing which, when he knocked it out of his mouth today while wrestling, he held out for me to take. This was the tooth that nipped at my breast when I was four months a mother and made me cry. And then Harvey cried and Dan offered to take him but I said, "No, this is our fight and I'm staying in it." And I vowed to love you, Harvey, even if it made me bleed. This is the same tooth that bled when it came out today, and Harvey held it out as if to say: Here Mama, put this somewhere. My babyhood. My tininess. Find a place for this; I don't need it anymore.

I will always be a safe place to store your baby teeth, Harvey, for they have bitten straight through to my heart.

All of them right now, Harvey with the blood and Zion with the poop and Elijah eliciting shower pee... I love every drop of my disgusting children with every drop of my disgusting self. Let that be added to their online record. My gross messy love, for all perpetuity.



This one you should publish, I mean beyond a blog, maybe in a parenting mag. Ask Lucinda who's had a breakthrough in this area recently.

It's amazingly beautiful AND real. Thanks.


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