Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I self diagnosed myself with a very serious, not to be downplayed unbillable ICD-9 code this week: mo3b.


1) Brain Fog.
This one is serious. I really did used to be smart, people. If you've met me in the past 11 months, you will probably question this. If you met me prior to this, you have probably already started giving me uncomfortable looks.

2) Fatigue and general body aches.
Most of the time I can ignore this one. If I keep moving, I don't even notice it. It is generally not until the end of the day when I dare to sit down for a moment on the couch that it hits me like a ton of bricks.

3) Lack of housekeeping motivation. Seriously? There's no point. The littlest culprit is following along behind me crushing crackers between his fingers while I clean the floor, and the older 2 are dirtying laundry much faster than our tired machines can wash them.

4) And this is the gold standard criteria for diagnosis:
Despite the IQ dip, the chronic malaise, and appearance of having given up hope:

I am very, very happy.

Greystoke is sleeping better most nights, and as bad as ever on the others.
I self medicate with caffeine, which due to familial sensitivity has to be carefully titrated...just enough to cause friendly alertness and not enough to induce anxious rage.

I try to cradle him as he nurses, but most of the time he won't let me anymore. He prefers to stand, to rapidly flex and then straighten his knees. To pop off every 30 seconds to look around and make sure he's not missing anything. To say hello to his Daniel Tiger toy, or roll a ball before crawling back over and demanding, through gestures, to start right where he left off.

I memorize his soft squishy thighs, and the easy chuckle emerging from somewhere behind 6 of the whitest teeth when I kiss his belly. The way his breath smells always smells faintly of butterscotch. And I don't wonder why my brain feels so crammed and overloaded, because I've been memorizing these things for 6 years now. And sometimes the day to day just seems so....irrelevant in comparison.

From the moment he wakes up, he is pointing at everything he sees. Wanting to touch it, explore it, and learn it. It's never enough. It's never just exactly what he wants.
He is becoming a real person now, with opinions and demands, and ideas. It is fun to watch his identity form....

And tiring.

Peace and humility and one-ness have been the theme in our home this week, theoretically, if not practically.
JT and I are peaceful people.
Arguments between us, or really anyone, are exceedingly rare.
Which is what makes what has been going on in our home lately, all the more wearying for us.

Sibling rivalry, between Aquaman and The Dude, is a thing in our home right now.

Which I know is completely normal, but that makes it no less heart-breaking.
We have been talking and praying about "being completely humble and gentle"
and "as best as you can, living at peace with one another", and "turning the other cheek", and how we are all one body, and we need each other to work together.

We have been talking about how mean that world out there can be, and how those kinds of things can happen out there but they're not going to happen in here.

And sometimes, like when we took out the trains for the first time in a while last weekend and I set up a whole room full of tracks in their bedroom and they played for 2 hours straight and only had two minor conflicts (per Aquaman's report), which they were able to resolve through Aquaman's simply giving in to The Dude's demands (also per Aquaman's report....hmmm), it seems like we're making some progress.

But other times, like when The Dude kept trying to write on Aquaman's homework, and Aquaman kept screaming "SEE? This is why I DON'T like you!"
It feels like we're making absolutely no progress at all.

But I'm glad that they're learning to negotiate life together. Glad I can be there with them to help them do it, in my own faltering and uneven way.

I'm glad for 2 strong personalities that find a way to work together sometimes.

And for the laughs. Because aside from caffeine, this is the best treatment for the niggling other symptoms of mo3b.

Wrestling the puzzle piece carseats into our little car, moaning and groaning and sweating in the spring-that-feels-like-summer humidity on a Monday morning, and hearing Aquaman whisper to the The Dude: "don't you wish we could buy Mama a new car?'
And then: "Hey mama, I can't buy you a new car, but I can maybe buy you a TOY car!"

Because that's the kind of boy Aquaman is. A little sour sometimes, maybe a little crunchy on the outside, but inside the kind of boy who is looking for any way that he can help.
The kind of boy who cried in frustration while watching a cartoon: "isn't Daniel Tiger sinful AT ALL? Why is everything so easy for him?"
And knowing that lots of things are harder for him, and as a result of all that resistance training, and a heart that seeks after God- he's going to be strong. Really strong.

And come to think of it, so will I.

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