I’m sore today. And it isn't from working out. In fact, I sent a 4:45am cancellation text to my workout buddy. How can this be you ask? Well, Let me start at the beginning.
It all started at 11:30pm. My 3 year old daughter woke up to go potty. I told her 10x’s before bed not to cry if she has to go potty because she’ll wake up her little brother. She “tried” to go potty before bed…and without hearing that fabulous “tinkling” sound, I knew she would be awake in a few hours ready to go. In preparation for her waking in the night, we practiced walking from her bed to my bed and saying “mama I have to go potty” in a whisper voice.
Despite all my groundwork, 11:30pm hit and my 3 year old wailed out a cry so loud that she woke up our entire household. After her 1 minute trip to the potty, I put her back into bed and went to deal with the bigger problem in front of me: her 6 month old brother.
I knew I had a long night ahead of me. You see, my beautiful baby boy, the one that melts my heart with his sweet, twinkling smile, is teething and is a rosy cheek crying mess in the middle of the night. Every part of my body wanted to climb back into my soft bed and drift off to sleep…but I knew my job as a mama was just beginning.
So, I clocked in at 11:32pm.
I started by reswaddling him. I rubbed his head. I “shhhhh”ed him. I let him cry a few minutes and then came back in to soothe. I gave him Tylenol. I bounced him. I rocked him. I gave him a cold chew toy.
What time is it? 2am already?
None of my tactics were working.
Then, in quiet desperation, I hung my hand over his crib railing. He took it, grasped on to it so tightly it almost hurt and forced my fingers to touch his red hot cheek.
And then he was asleep.
Suddenly, I had another problem…I couldn’t get my hand back. It's okay. He can just hold it for a little while.
Now my arms are tingling. I can’t feel my hand.
I'll just pull away....slowly.
And here I am. Sore. Because I sat on the floor by my son's bed last night with my head on his crib and my arm through the crib slats holding on to his hand because that’s the only thing that could make my teething boy happy.
Returning to bed hours later to text my friend my gym cancellation and get two “good” hours of sleep before work made me realize something: sometimes as a mom, I want to plan and do everything for my kids. I want my 3 year old to go potty at a certain time. I don’t want her to cry in the night. I want to keep the teething baby asleep. But, I don't get to control everything. Kids are going to go through painful things. I need to slow down and offer my hand to let them know that mom is here for them…no matter what they’re going through - even if I can't take the pain away.
Last night, for my son, that was all he needed. Just to know mom was there.