In the middle of the night...

That one night when we hardly slept for no good or apparent reason? Yeah, that was LAST night. (this post is way too long to reflect the 18-hour night we just endured)

6:59 pm: Toddler was sleepy after bath, rubbing eyes and putting blankie over face. Took two books and about two minutes to get zzzzz's. Mommy then sits on sofa to work on her words with friends games.

7:14 pm: Mommy showers for the night and settles into the sofa for some quiet while Daddy works on his online classes.

7:40 pm: Toddler starts screaming like it's the end of the known world. "Might have a poo..." Mommy thinks. Gives him a few minutes to settle. He doesn't settle. Mommy goes in.
Todder: "Hi." Nonchalantly. Standing up. Still smells like baby powder. Seemingly just wants to chat. Shows me toys. Asks (ironically?) for her to read him his potty book. Mommy refuses. Turns off light, rocks, and he is out in moments.

11:30 pm: Shoot. Mommy and Daddy meant to get to bed earlier. What happened? Mommy recounts details of potty book to Daddy as a goodnight story.

after midnight: Parents finally asleep.

1:30 am: Toddler starts screaming like it's the end of the known world. "Might have a poo..." Mommy thinks. Daddy volunteers to see about it. Screaming continues while we wait to see if he can settle down on his own. Mommy slides out of bed.

In the hallway, she sees a kitchen light turning off and on intermittently. Weird. Jerod never leaves lights on. Never. At first she thinks it's lightning, then maybe car headlights. But neither of those fit the bill.

Mommy: "Hon. There's a weird light flickering in the kitchen. Did you leave a light on?"

Daddy: "I don't think so."

Mommy tinkles and goes in to see about toddler. No poo. "May as well change him since we're all up. Maybe he'll sleep later in the morning if he isn't soaked," she thinks.

Daddy reports that the light over the sink blinked once and then was fine. Odd. It was definitely going off and on. At this point, toddler on the changing table says aloud, "Scary."

Daddy feels uneasy. Mommy rocks toddler for a solid ten minutes trying to determine what woke him up. He is happy as a clam in her lap and falls asleep swiftly. Pops his head up after a few minutes, "Shirt. Mommy shirt." Points to Mommy's shirt. This gets him chatting about music. Mommy turns on soft music. "I just want to go to bed," she thinks. "Please. Let. Me. Sleep."

Toddler again asks for potty book. Mommy turns off light and hopes for the music to do its trick. Toddler falls asleep. In transit to the crib, full-on wake up, screaming, standing...Mommy leaves the room to let him sort it out. All known variables have been addressed.

"Mommmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" Toddler screams.

Daddy and Mommy discuss weirdness of the light. Now they're both uneasy. Toddler still screaming. Everything is weird in the middle of the night.

1:52 am: Mommy returns for one more round of rocking chair. Toddler easily falls asleep but oddly clings to her like a tiny monkey when she tries to return him to crib at 2:10 am.

Attempting sleep. Moments of quiet.

Toddler is sitting up in bed, visual courtesy of video monitor. Mommy is watching monitor to see if he lies down. Oddly, while watching, bleary-eyed, the monitor says "Medium Frequency" and then "NO SIGNAL." Ugh. Daddy thinks this is weird. Neither of us has ever seen this message.

Toddler still screaming.

2:30 am: Daddy brings toddler to parents' bed.
2:31 am
Toddler: "Dark. Mommy's bed....night night Mommy." Mommy hopes for dreams.

2:34 am: Toddler pops up. "Dark....pillow. Daddy's pillow? Mommy's pillow. Night night." Mommy's insane optimism. "Maybe he means it," she thinks. What could be better than sleeping between your parents?

2:36 am: Toddler adjusts positions seemingly trying to get comfortable for a solid 15 minutes. Some of the positions he tries are elbows-in-Mommy's-ribcage and on her head. Mommy has the head-end. Daddy must have been dealing with the kickers.

Toddler notices alarm clock. "One!" He says proudly. "I'm thinking it said TWO, baby. I remember a TWO. Do you know what TWO means at the beginning? It's time for night-night. Night-night, sweet baby." Toddler goes face-first to mattress. Mommy covers up alarm clock with a stuffed animal monkey. Mommy hopes for dreams.

Toddler pops up. Notices alarm clock on the other side. "Nine."
Mommy: "Cover that up."
Daddy: "Working on it."
Mommy: "Night-night, Shepard," she says with firmness and meaning.

Sounds of toddler sleep-breath. Mommy tries to get comfortable. Puts hand on toddler to see where he is. Why is Daddy's arm right there? Daddy tries to dislodge arm from under 30-lb. toddler. Toddler awakens. Again readjusts to get comfortable for a solid ten minutes. Squishes Mommy's chest and pulls her hair.

3 - 4 am: toddler moves around about every minute. Several times landing on Mommy's back or head and seemingly diving toward the edge of the bed. Mommy sighs audibly. Daddy sighs audibly.

Daddy: "what should we do?"
Mommy: "take him back to his bed."

Sometime around 4, but not sure because there's a monkey covering up her clock:
Daddy takes toddler back to his bed. Rocks him for 15 minutes. Gets him good and asleep. Mommy finally starts to drift off. Toddler will not go in crib. Screams. Daddy brings him back to bed.

Daddy: "He won't get in his crib. What should we do?"
Mommy: "Let him cry. I have to get some sleep." Mommy was callused and exhausted.

Daddy: "I won't be able to sleep if he's in there crying." Daddy brings him back to bed. Daddy is the nice one. The ratio between lack of sleep and Mommy's lack of sweetness is concurrent and direct.

Toddler kind of settles long enough for Mommy to have a paranoid dream about four people busting up into her house at 4 a.m. and acting strangely. Then she dreams of a violent thunderstorm outside, and a tree crashes through their bedroom. She takes the toddler to the nursery, and a tree crashes into the nursery, grazing Daddy's head. Next, she discovers that the people who visited earlier left magnetic nametags on her chairs that had bugs for listening embedded in them. She realizes they had been there under false pretenses. Daddy seems unconcerned. People show up on her doorstep again. She goes Georgia-hood-rat on them and starts yelling and hitting. They barge in anyway. Child won't sleep in the dream. They are in her guest room, bedrooms, and are interacting with her kid. Uncool, weird people.

Oh wait. Child is still crawling on her back and head and ribcage in real life. Perhaps there is some dozing between 5 - 6:15 am. Light dozing. And sweating because she's afraid to move.

6:15 am: Toddler moves to the foot of the bed and seems to get comfortable. Mommy laments that alarm is set for 6:45 am. Moves monkey and pushes alarm forward five minutes. Like that will help.

6:36: Toddler awakens. Tries to slide off side of bed. Mommy catches him with her feet and slides him back up. "Ten more minutes, baby. Please." She closes her eyes and hopes. Not for dreams, but for a magical dose of rest.

6:38: Toddler is ready to greet the sun.

6:40: Mommy finds sippy cup and Mickey Mouse on DVR. Makes strong coffee. Attempts to curl hair. Cannot get into any conceivable rhythm for getting ready. Has to be at work early today of all days.

7:30 am: Toddler is refusing all foods except four puffs and half of a graham cracker.

Hello, Wednesday. I've spent so much time with you already.

If you happen by my desk, and don't see me; I'm underneath, dreaming about a toddler climbing on me like a jungle gym in the night.


God uses broken pieces

Grief touches us all. Sometimes there are seasons of life, sometimes events knock the wind out of our sails. I told you about a trying time for me coming to terms with the fact that I was actually depressed. That post is here. Ecclesiastes 3 sums that up pretty well:
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

The only ways I know how to describe the feeling I had was either that I was lost at sea. I was bobbing up and down with the waves of life and catching air, but not really feeling that there were any life rafts. I felt very lonely and a bit paranoid that anyone else was able to help me.

Of course, through it all God was there. We had such a beautiful message on Sunday for those who were either in a season of grief or battling with something more long-term. About how God can use the broken places in us to bring healing to others and how, even in our pain, he is PRESENT with us.
Here's the link to that: http://renovatuschurch.com/#/podcast

All of this to say, it is good and necessary to remind ourselves that we are all human. That sometimes you just need to be sad for a while and sometimes you need to just CRY with someone else rather than try to cheer them up. I think as Christians and perhaps Americans, we are tempted to just put on a smile or say "I'm fine" when we're not doing so great. You don't have to let EVERYONE in to your cave, but you need to let SOMEONE into your cave. And even when your faith takes a beating, know that "Jesus wept" at the death of Lazarus. Odd, since he knew what he could do and was about to do--raise Lazarus from the dead!!! He wept because he wanted to share in the sorrow, not because he had no hope.

Be a lifeline to someone around you. Grieving alone is the worst. You don't have to have just the right words or any magic prayers. Pray for the peace of God and healing of the heart. If you sense a friend is down, ASK. Dig. Pray.

Take time to grieve when you need to. You get no brownie points in heaven for trying to paste on a happy face. Seek the Lord and His joy.

I'm doing much better these days, now that I've faced and named what was going on and have been using life boats of medicine and friends and even this blog. Joy really can come in the "morning."