Teething, Ear Infection, and Sleep Deprivation: the Joys of Parenting Littles

   Who doesn’t love a toddler?  What’s more precious than a baby?  Nothing!  There is nothing more precious than a baby, and yet there are also few things more taxing than caring for a toddler and a baby, at the same time.
  It’s all coming back to me:  why, after giving birth to Caleb, 20 months after having Joshua, why I gave away all my baby stuff and said I was never doing that again.
  I had forgotten.  All of you out of this phase, trust me when I tell you that you’ve probably forgotten too.  It’s hard to recall the feeling of extreme agony when you have been up repeatedly in the night with a toddler with an ear infection and a teething baby, leaving you desperate for a nap, only to discover that the culprits of this pain have no such yearnings!  The whole world seems bent on continuing in spite of your misery.
  All life happenings are viewed as nothing more than obstacles that stand between you and your sleep.  
  Last night I came home from Yoga, and I was met by the pitiful and unusual sight of Daniel, still awake at 9:30pm, propped up on multiple pillows, with Alan kneeling by his bed.  Dan was in a lot of pain, but a good dose of Tylenol cold did finally allow him some sleep.
  This morning I dropped the kids off at school as early as is allowed and drove Dan to our new–seriously wonderful–pediatrician.  (I am so happy with this doctor!)  He never did have a fever, but she said that he did have a nasty ear infection.  He elicited lots of sympathy from the clinic staff, looking so cute, and being so friendly and obedient (believe it or not!), yet constantly pulling on his ears. 
   The doc was so kind as to check JD’s ears too, even though he had no appointment, just for good measure.  I was so thankful I could have cried!  I almost did cry…..actually I live on the  verge of tears right now, so that’s not really newsworthy!  
     Hopefully, Dan will be all better tomorrow.  His doc warned us that we may have one more rough night, tonight.  I suppose that means I should already be in bed.  
  But this evening turned out to be another tiring one, so I just need some time to unwind before lights out.  I’ll spare you the details, but there was a scout meeting, a PTA meeting, a late night homework session, me losing patience with Caleb, a baby that couldn’t settle down for sleep (That kid must be teething), and I’m not sure if Alan ever actually got to eat dinner!
   I think all people with two children under the age of 5 should get some sort of “all things forgiven” pass at life.  This phase is so draining!  The crying, the potty issues, the teething, the sickness, the needy-ness!  It always seems like the have the biggest needs at exactly the same time too.  Dan likes to wait until I’m in the middle of feeding the baby to want me to turn on the bathroom light so he can use the potty…..oh and meanwhile, the phone is ringing and some salesman is knocking on my door.  
  Trust me, salesmen.  You do not want to cross me right now.
   This too shall pass.  Eventually they will be as big as Joshua and Caleb.  Problems still arise, but I find these sort of bigger kid problems to be much less taxing on my mental state!  I’d much rather deal with correcting behaviors and helping with homework than changing diapers, trying to understand what Dan is saying, breastfeeding, and lugging around strollers and car seats! 
   Now don’t take me the wrong way.  I LOVE babies and toddlers.  Love them!  But man, I am just tired right now!!  It’s a demanding job. 
   And yes!   Sometimes whining about it helps me.  : )
   Speaking of older kids:  Joshua is getting a “Clubber of the Month” award at AWANA Wednesday night, so we’re real proud of him for that.  It’s for excelling at club standards:  participation, completing sections in the book, bringing your book, Bible, and uniform to club, and coming to Sunday school.
  Oh!  And Caleb finally agreed to actually say a verse last week, so we were also really happy about that.  Caleb is just as good as Joshua at memorizing, but he does not do late night activities.  His sleep is very important to him.
   Alan is working long hours these days, so keep us all in your prayers, prayers that Alan does well at work, and prayers that I do not lose my mind, dealing with these “littles” for extended days.  
God knew what he was doing when he made them SO cute!


  • Anonymous

    Good picture of Amy with Joshua and Caleb! I am so sorry that you are having such a rough time. I hope Dan is much better tomorrow. Love you all, Mom

  • Anonymous

    Hang in there, April! I don't know how you do it! 9 hour stretch…great! Praying every day is easier than the last 🙂 Amy

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