Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
I mean, it is only natural to seek out friendship with fellow parents (fellow caffeine addicts) and partner together in sharing the ups and downs of this new job that epically transformed both your lives - to commiserate together and compare notes on which vegetable your kid isn't eating, pat each other on the back for making it through another sleepless night, and even (dare I say) ask advice when you are surely at the end of your rope and none of the ten books on your nightstand seem to hold the answer of how to get your toddler potty trained. We need each other, no doubt.
Dear Parent-Friends of my past,
I had no idea what hard workers you are! Oh my. I have greatly underestimated your day, your endurance, your sheer fortitude in perseverance. I'm sorry that I would get frustrated when you would interrupt our conversations on the phone to tend to your kids. I'm sorry it was super annoying to me that you would alter between baby-talking to your child and then turn to me with a half-listening ear as if there wasn't a kid screaming at you.
I'm sorry I didn't help you fold laundry or do dishes when I came over for dinner. I'm sorry that I would sit and watch TV while you put your kids to bed and I wouldn't even pause the show for you until you came back into the room - and little did I know you were trying to do the speedy-to-bed version of their favorite storybook just so you could spend a few more minutes with me. I'm sorry that I would talk on and on about myself and my life drama and expect you to give me a complete analysis full of sound advice, while I wouldn't even bother to ask you how your day was...or, if I did, I would roll my eyes as if your story about your child losing a library book or not getting their nap was of lesser importance than my "real" issues.
I'm sorry that I didn't offer to babysit more often and for free and without expectation. Did I tell you that I value looking at your life and your marriage as a wonderful example? I'm sorry I didn't support you more tangibly, especially in exchange for all the words of wisdom you freely offered me. I'm sorry I didn't appreciate what you did all day. I'm sorry that I actually thought you had one of the easiest jobs simply because you didn't leave the house all that often. I'm sorry I didn't realize you didn't leave the house all that often because it would take half an army to get you out the door on time - and I'm sorry I would get annoyed when you did arrive late if we met at my place instead.
I'm sorry I didn't bring the outside world to you more often. I'm sorry I didn't ask you more intelligent questions...that simply because I saw you sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" 8,000 times to your child at bath time I figured you wouldn't be the person to ask about the latest crisis in Africa or what a certain Scripture meant. I'm sorry I didn't think of you as an equal breadwinner in your home simply because your husband has an "employer".
I'm sorry I didn't play more fervently with your children when I came over so that they would sleep better for you that night - because, there I was thinking I knew what exhaustion was since I had stayed up talking with my friends all night. I'm sorry I feared for your style when you would meet me at the door in pajama bottoms. I totally judged you and thought you were being lazy. I'm sorry if I made you feel worse just by showing you how cute my new manicure was. I'm sorry I didn't send you out for a manicure, right there in your pajama bottoms.
I'm sorry I didn't realize what a triumph you were doing with your kids - really, truly, stellar work. They are kind and funny kids and I actually like them a lot, and their clothes almost always matched alright. That was all you - making sure they were polite and in order - and there I was thinking the whole time it might be sort of nice to have a kid someday if they came out like that - easy, polite, and matching and all.
I'm sorry I waited until now to tell you that you are a huge reason I decided to have children at all - and I think of you every time, every day, when I question whether or not I'm actually fit to be the person in charge of these little humans who teeter on the brink of outsmarting me by the hour.
Thanks for humoring me and encouraging me and inspiring me. Thanks for feeding me and making time for me and offering me a glimpse into a future that I can now be confident in living out. I hope I can extend the same amount of grace and wisdom (even an ounce?) to the non-parent friends I now have (Lord Bless 'em).
In all sincerity,
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Last night I went to bed at 9 o’clock. Well, 9:08 to be exact. And I’m happy to say that is the last thing I remember before having absolutely no trouble drifting off to sleep. Whew. I know what you’re thinking: Wow, those Pardys lead wild and crazy lives! Yes, indeed.
But, the night before last was nothing short of a sleep-lover’s nightmare. We had put the girls down around 7 and Matilda was up at 9. I could tell she was scared, having had a bad dream, so I went in to comfort her and put her back down. I took my time, I was patient, we read a story, got some water and a hug from Daddy, and I tucked her back in bed with a prayer and a kiss. You’d think that would do it. But, as the wailing and screaming began, I knew immediately it was going to be one of those nights. The kind where you better just get the redbull out now and resign yourself to the fact that your head and your pillow may not meet for quite some time.
Sure enough, as Matilda hammered on her door like a rhinoceros in a cage, Daphne awoke from our bedroom (her crib is still next to our bed) and the crying and gnashing of teeth (or, gums in Daphne’s case) escalated to decibels I’m guessing only our neighborhood dogs could decipher. Josh and I looked at each other back and forth, sharing expressions of disbelief, anger, frustration, laughter, and sheer exhaustion. This went on for the next 3 hours.
Finally, Josh got out the aerobed and set it up in the living room. He and Matilda hunkered down for the night out there, as she ever-so-slowly sipped on her now-laced-with-Benadryl milk (judge me if you will, but the kid needed to sleep and this has been recommended by our pediatrician…so, while I don’t take it lightly, you gotta do what you gotta do!) and Daphne and I settled into bed. This went on for about 2 hours.
Good. Grief. So, yesterday was spent in an utter daze of diaper changes and coffee refills. Somehow we made it to bedtime, and by 9:08pm I was unashamedly crashing into bed like I had just finished the Boston Marathon.
Thank you, God, for sleep. For restorative respite that somehow recharges our brains and our bodies to be able to function again. Obviously I am no stranger to walking through the day as a mama-zombie. You’ve heard tale after tale of how Matilda magically requires little rest to function at cheetah-pace speed. But, when I got up this morning and realized that going to bed early was as wise a decision I’ve made (right up there with marrying Josh, finishing my degree, and getting a Costco membership…) I was so thankful that God made our bodies require rest. Non-optional, absolutely required, totally mandatory REST.