Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes: When the husband is away...

So this week the hubby chaperoned a student field trip to a play in Washington, and he has weekend duty in the student dormitories, which means at least three nights of mom-running-solo dinner and bedtime.  7QT's on how one of those nights played out...

Late afternoon: Joseph had woken up from his nap and was making some noises in his pack n play.  I realized that he may be hungry, so I sat down to nurse him while the other kids were still sleeping. So peaceful.  Then I realized that he was gagging and I sat him up so he could cough.  Deep coughing ensued, followed by projectile vomit all over my favorite chair.  Nice.

I decided to make a cheese pizza with the kids for dinner.  It is really important to me that my children see where their food comes from, and understand the labor of love that is required to get it on the table.  They love to help in the kitchen, so let's go with it!  

Of course, preparing dinner with children takes beaucoup de patience.  There was bickering at whose turn it was to help with the pizza dough kneading, there was the multiple-explanation of instruction, there was the ignoring of the extra mess from uncoordinated hands....but the finished product came out fantastic, and they were quite proud of themselves.  Bravo!

Unfortunately, the time it took me to monitor the pizza making was the same time little Joseph was falling into a dark category of tiredness.  I knew he was probably hungry after throwing up everything in his little belly, but because I was occupied with the little chefs in the kitchen, he had to wait for Mom's attention.  By now he was extra hungry and fussy.  Translation: solid food, even though it would probably fill him up more than a liquid dinner, was not going to be even tolerated.  I finally got the pizza in the oven so I could nurse him.  Oh, he was mad.  The plight of the fourth child...

Whiling I was nursing my grumpy infant, my little pizza makers (they had now switched gears and were pretending to be a family of cats...I think) announced that one of the neighbor's cats had found her way upstairs.  This cat has recently been just wandering into our house and making herself at home in whatever room she fancies.  One time I saw her emerging from under our bed.  So here I am now with a (finally) calm baby who is (finally) allowed to have his dinner, and as I would prefer not to remove him from my lap, I encourage the kids to see if they can chase the cat outside.  I hear three little voices roaring at the cat, and then Elisabeth explaining to me that their "powers" were unable to chase out said kitty.  I would have laughed out loud had I not been thoroughly irritated by the cat, and too comfortable with the calm baby.  Finally I was able to finish with Joseph and chase the cat out (and close the door) at the same time as the oven buzzer was going off.  Elisabeth excitedly praised my "powers" for being stronger than hers.  

Fast forward through tubby time (it was truly uneventful...thank God!) to when they are clean and in their pajama's looking through the library books we had picked up earlier today.  Gregory climbs on the chair next to his big sister Margaret and in his best baby speech, complete with long pauses and mispronunciations, asks "Geggy wead wif you?"  And of course Margaret easily made room for him and didn't even bat an eye that she had to share her space.  

I took a mental picture and wanted to frame it in the depths of my heart.  The image of Margaret with her rumpled up wet hair, wearing one of my husband's t-shirts (she insists on wearing them as nightgowns), cuddled up next to her little brother in blue-striped footy pajama's.  How is this stage so intensely extreme?  It is either the point of ripping my hair out amid the loud and chaotic behavior, or it is the sweetest and purest expression of contentment.  

I've been pondering 1 Corinthians 13 as it was in the daily Readings this week, and reflecting especially on verse 5:  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

How often have I felt irritable or resentful towards my kids?  How often have I engaged in a power struggle with a little child over something so minute, but I had to demand it be done according to my attempt to control the situation?  Not feeling too great about this. 

And then I read the latter part of the chapter.  Verse 7: It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Sure, having little kids is hard work and it demands an unimaginable level of patience at times.  It means little sleep and a messy house, etc.  I get all that.  But as I look at them reading and snuggling together, I have hope for their future, and a refill of grace needed to endure the daily home life.  

God is love.  I am merely a reflection of God's love, so in this present life I can not expect to fully comply with all the qualities of love that St. Paul describes.  I have hope, however, because as verse 12 states: At present I know partially; then I shall now fully, as I am fully known.  

Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday!


  1. That moment reading to your kids sounds so precious. I hope to have that myself someday! My godson lives too far away for me to see him often at all, but maybe some of my friends with babies soon arriving could do with having an honorary auntie.... :)

    1. Having an honorary auntie is a super big help for families. I'm sure your friends will gladly invite the opportunity for you to snuggle and read with their little one(s). It's pretty special :)