Last night, shortly after midnight, I was roused by some sort of commotion.
No, let me back up. Remember how I've been working on changing around all the rooms in my house. Yeah. Well. Let's just say, I've run into a few delays.
Delays which cause kids to sleep in strange locations for extended periods of time.
Stella, for instance has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the room formerly known as our family room and currently serving as kind of the walkway on the way to the room formerly known as Louisa's and hopefully soon to be completely ready to be called Louisa and Elsie's. Got that all straight?
Inge and Donna have been similarly displaced. They had been on a mattress in the room formerly known as Elsie's and currently a sort of No Man's Land. So now they've been sleeping on piled up blankets in the middle of our living room.
Except for when Inge decides to make a tent out of the gate leg table that sits folded up in the corner of the room. On those nights, she moves all her heaps of blankets and pillows and stuffed animals into the tent.
And sleeps there.
And sometimes she vomits aggressively all over all of it in the middle of the night.
Like last night, for instance.
And in one of those minutes when I, ... well, ... I must confess to being just a little bit happy to be a deep sleeper, I slept through most of the yucky stuff and Joe took care of it all. I stumbled sleepily into the bathroom just in time to find Joe rinsing the residual flotsam and jetsam from Inge's hair.
I helped get her dressed in clean jammies and made up a sleeping pallet for her on the bathroom floor. Placed a bucket beside her. Comforted her as best I could.
And stumbled back to bed.
For twenty minutes or so until the next episode.
And this pattern continued like clockwork throughout the duration of the night. Since Joe had so willingly dealt with the initial fallout of tossed cookies within blanket tent and amidst piles of pillows and stuffed animals, I tried to be very willing and eager to handle the repeated ups and downs of the night.
But finally about five, after being up perhaps eight times in the preceding three hours, I asked Joe to take two of the interludes. After about an hour of only moderately interrupted rest which felt heavenly at the time, I was able to volunteer for the final call to duty at about 4:30..
When I woke the other kids up for school at 6:30, they all felt sick. Sophie with the chronic headache from which she often suffers, John with a residual and less intense stomach issue, and Stella and Donna with all out belly aches. I called the school and told them not to stop for an Abrahamson bus pick-up this morning.
Joe had an appointment in town to get up for. He took Sophie along to see the chiropractor and give him a crack at her headache. (Har, har, chiropractor humor....)
I was so out of it by that time that I returned to bed and really and truly crashed. Inge seemed to be past the worst of her ailment. So I made sure everyone had buckets and I fell into bed. And slept. Hard. And long.
When I woke up at ten, I found that the other girls had been sick, too. Repetitively. And dear little John had taken care of all their buckets and comforted them sweetly during their numerous multi-colored yawnings.
My Mama-Heart was so deeply touched by that. Not the multi-colored yawnings, but John's patient care for his sisters. What a little sweetie!
And what a Bad Mama!
I know that's not really true, but it's how I felt at the time.
And I've felt crummy all day. I woke up with a splitting headache that didn't even subside with the one-two punch of a tylenol/ibuprophen combo.
Suffice it to say it was one of those days to simply get through. I did have a nice visit with my Mom on the phone, though. So that helped pass a nice chunk of time.
I did much crochet and TV watching.
I worked on cleaning the living room carpet and I scrubbed the splatter pattern from the underside of the gate leg table and all of said legs' nooks and crannies.
Although we don't keep much bread on hand, being a mostly gluten free home, I did find a loaf in the freezer and dug out the toaster. I set out butter and honey and made toast throughout the morning and early afternoon as the kids were ready for it.
When Joe and Sophie came home in the afternoon, they brought ramen noodles. A life saver.
Joe also brought home ingredients for a Thai soup that he made us later for supper.
For his birthday dinner. Which I forgot. Totally forgot. Totally, totally forgot. At least while he was here.
The soup was wonderful, but boy, Mary, brain cloud much?
I remembered off and on throughout the day that it was my dear Joe's birthday. I even mentioned it on the phone to Mom. Elsie called while he was gone to wish him a happy birthday. But can you believe I never remembered to tell him when he was here? He was only home a few minutes in the afternoon before heading down to his office. And then after we got the kids to bed he headed back to church to work again. So he wasn't really home very long at any one time. But certainly long enough I ought to have remembered.
Elsie called again in the evening and they talked for quite awhile. But by the time he was off the phone, I had once more forgotten about his birthday.
Not until just before I went to bed, after Joe was already sleeping soundly, when I checked my facebook and saw his post about the soup he made for his birthday dinner, did I realize what a dunce I had been. I feel so stupid.
And selfish. As if my sick-kid-day and headache excuses me from showing proper love and attention to my husband on his birthday.
Oh, Joe, I love you. I love you dearly. Throughout thick and thicker.
And sickness and health.
And splatter patterns. And fifteen minutes sleep-puke intervals.
I can't believe I forgot to wish you happy birthday. I forgot to bake your cake. I forgot to give you the gift I've had hidden inconveniently among my pajamas for the last six months and couldn't wait for your birthday so I could get it our of my way. I forgot it all.
I'm so sorry.
So, here's to you, my love. Thanks for all the butterflies.