Saturday, February 21, 2015

All good things, all good things

There is not much sweeter than listening to Benjamin take a turn during family scripture study. I'll have to record him sometime when I have two extra hands (ie. Andrew's). He says nearly everything wrong—but very seriously—and he turns the page every few words. It's darling.

But not as darling as his prayer this evening.

He's been a little confused about our living situation lately. Every time we Skyped with Daddy Benjamin would say something about "Daddy's house" and "our house." We've all been telling him that Daddy's only going to be gone for one week but that, of course, means nothing to him. One day, one week, one year, forever? What's the difference? He has no concept of time. He just knew that Daddy was gone.

He's spent a lot of time looking out the window, watching for Daddy, and whenever we've left the house (three whole times this week, folks) he looks for Daddy everywhere. Then when we get home and he sees Andrew's scooter sitting in the driveway he says, "Yay! Daddy's home!" and I have to remind him that Daddy's not home. It's been pretty pitiful, and I can't say for certain because I don't know what's going on in that little head of his, but I think a lot of his acting out this week has been from not understanding what happened to Daddy.

I was helping him say his prayers this evening. Sometimes he repeats whatever I say verbatim. Other times he'll make up his own stuff. Tonight was a mixture of both.

"Dear Heavenly Father," I said.

"Dear Heznee Saah," Benjamin said.

"I'm thankful for this day," I said.

"Sank-you me sor day," he said.

"Please bless me to have a good sleep," I said.

"Peas bess me has good seep," he said.

"Please bless Daddy to come home safely," I said.

"Peas find mine Daddy! Him so much lost!" Benjamin said passionately.

Tomorrow morning will be a happy morning for these kids, I think. And—who are we kidding?—for me, too, though I'll see Andrew before the kids because I'm letting myself stay up to wait for him (being the mean mom that I am, I'm not letting the kids wait up).

This afternoon we went to a Black History Celebration at the church that Sister Moore puts on every year. She invited the choir to sing and I went—even though I'm still a little croaky—because I was afraid no one else would go (and, boy, was I ever happy when another soprano showed up to hit those high notes because they were so out of my range today *croak*croak*). I'm glad that I did go, even though Sister Rider stopped me in the hall to make sure I was okay (later she came up to tell me that I was looking much better—and that all I needed was to sit down and eat but maybe not in that order).

Anyway, I'm glad that I went even though I apparently looked like a worn out shoe by the time I got there because it was pretty fun! In addition to our ward choir she'd invited a friend's gospel band (?) so we were treated to some hand-clapping, feet-stomping, drum-booming, electric-guitar-strumming gospel music, which I've never before experienced in person.

Our church meetings are a rather quiet affair, typically, without nary a drum or guitar, and where "amen" is only said after whoever is speaking has said it. And it's said solemnly.

But today? Today we heard, "Yeah! Yeah!" chorusing around the cultural hall during the opening prayer. I think I actually heard someone say, "Can I get an amen?" before a ruckus "AMEN!" exploded from a few tables.

It was...awesome. A bit different from what I'm used to, but I'm sure what our choir and speakers did wasn't quite what our visitors were expecting either.

Anyway, it was fun. And it was pot luck, which means I didn't have to make dinner...again!

Sister Rider asked if I would be staying the whole time and I told her that I didn't know because I (obviously) wasn't feeling well and the kids had been wild all day long and I was exhausted and still had to bathe the kids and...

"Well, you might as well eat before you go," she said. "You have to feed them either way!"

She made a good point (she's been a mother a lot longer than I have), so we stayed. I'd brought some chips and salsa to contribute to the dinner (don't judge) in case we decided to stay, but I also took some soup out of the freezer to eat at home if we decided not to (we can just eat it tomorrow because it's thawed now). I also brought dishes to return to my friend Laura who brought me dinner last night.

I've seriously been so spoiled this week. I told Laura that I felt silly accepting any dinners because, as I told Sister Wood, I had meals in the freezer and usually cook during the week, anyway (but not so much on the weekends because Andrew's home so I can kick my feet up), but Sister Wood insisted on it and Laura did, too, and I didn't even know Sister Rogerson was going to bring dinner until she called to tell me she was on her way with some.

I ended up with three meals (plus a night of leftovers) and a pot luck dinner to carry me through this week, and it was a good thing, too, because getting sick on top of being pregnant and having Andrew gone was probably a bit much. I cooked once.

Laura said that I shouldn't feel silly because being pregnant is lousy enough without having any complications and she didn't mind taking care of us for one night (even though she has a new little baby at her house).

I remember enjoying my pregnancies before, for the most part, but this pregnancy has—by far—been my most miserable one and I feel silly about feeling that way, too, because I wanted to be pregnant so bad and then I got pregnant and it was like I was immediately miserable. I guess it's because I haven't been able to relax about it at all. Things that never worried me in previous pregnancies now do. Like, contractions. I always have contractions. It never worried me before because, although I wouldn't describe them as fun, they didn't mean anything. My baby girls came out perfectly healthy, perfectly on time. So I didn't worry about contractions at all with Benjamin...and we all know how that ended.

So now I worry about contractions constantly. And I'm always trying to make note of when they happen. But even the "five and hour, give me a call" rule is dumb when your uterus is irritable so you contract every time you stand up, every time your two-year-old elbows you in the gut, every time you need to pee, every time you move too fast...

Yesterday the girls had a fight during nap time. They woke up Benjamin and then I couldn't fall asleep (for obvious reasons) so I got up and made them clean the house from top to bottom (and, yes, I use the term "clean" liberally—we tidied, same difference). I worked along with them. We picked up everything from the floor, all fifty-thousand books by Benjamin's bed, every last bit of doll paraphernalia from the girls' room, every stray article of clothing, every piece of LEGO.

When we had the floors cleared I swept and vacuumed and, let me tell you, I really shouldn't have done that. I was pretty alright while I was cleaning, but afterwards my uterus was like, "Why did you do that?!" and I couldn't even stand up without it contracting—continuously—until I sat back down again (just another reason to be grateful for Laura's dinner) even though I put a show on for the kids and took a nap when we were finished cleaning.

And that was about at the state I was in by the time we got to the church for the Black History Celebration this afternoon. I was doing a weird tip-toe waddle thing from chair to chair and I almost cried when Sister Moore made an announcement asking mothers with young children to stay with their kids in the food line.

I mean, I know that Rachel flipped her plate over in the middle of dinner, Benjamin knocked over his water cup, and half of Miriam's noodles slid off her plate as she was walking to our table, but my kids are perfectly capable of dishing out their own food. Except for Benjamin.

But I got up anyway, and followed the girls through the line, getting a plate ready for Benjamin. My kids love southern pot lucks because someone always brings macaroni and cheese. In the Mormon Belt you can almost depend on someone bringing Jell-O salad. In the Bible Belt (at least here in the south), you can depend on mac'n'cheese. And my kids always consider that lucky.

Once they were settled at the table I left them under the watchful eye of the Swetts while I fled to the bathroom to see if that would reduce my waddle any. And it did. But mostly what feels good is just sitting down. Or lying down. And not standing up at all.

And look at that!

Didn't I say this was "all good things?" I started out pretty well but then I devolved into a whiner again. Can't say I didn't try...but I do have a little more to say about contractions.

I can't pick Benjamin up, as I've said before, because he's over my weight limit (and when I do lift him, because it can't be avoided all the time (eg. tantruming toddler needing to be dragged into bed for a nap), I start contracting right away so there's probably a good reason I was told to not to). I've gotten so used to not picking up Benjamin or anything heavy that it throws me off when other people do.

Andrew will pick him up and I'll start saying, "Oh! You're not supposed to carry him, he's too heavy!" And then I'll realize what I'm saying so I'll have to keep going "...for me. He's too heavy for me to pick up. You can pick him up still. Don't mind me."

Or when we went to Utah for Christmas and Emily and Morgan arrived from Idaho for a visit. Emily's pregnant, too (two weeks ahead of me) and after initial hellos she said, "Well, we're going to go get our stuff," and she and Morgan both started getting dressed to go outside and I said, "You're helping?! You shouldn't be helping!"

And she said, "Why not?"

And it was then that I realized that she was probably allowed to do things like carry a pack'n'play or heft a suitcase. I'd been spending our whole holiday avoiding luggage—and we were going back and forth between our parents' houses the whole time so we did a lot of luggage moving. At least, Andrew did. Poor guy.

My idea of helping with the luggage was waiting for him to get stuff out of the trunk before closing it, certainly not picking it up!

I wonder how quickly my mind will shift gears after the baby's here. I guess I'll still have the "no heavy lifting" restraint for the first few weeks, anyway. That's pretty standard. And then I should start to feel normal again so lifting will just come naturally, I suppose. And Benjamin will feel like a monster instead of the tiny little guy that he is because he's quickly becoming not-the-baby.

I sang with the choir from a chair today, which I'm not sure our director was pleased about, but she wasn't entirely displeased, either. She asked me after if I just have to sit all the time now and I wasn't sure how to answer her other than to say, "Sometimes..."

Like when Benjamin wants to be with me while I'm singing but I can't hold him unless I'm sitting down, and when my uterus is in constant-contracting-mode if I'm standing, then, yeah, I have to sit down all the time.

But if Benjamin hadn't need to be held by me right at that moment and if I'd been having a day where I felt fine instead of like a worn out shoe, then, no. I could have stood. 

1 comment:

  1. I liked reading about your time at the church.

    Sorry about all the contractions!