I woke up this morning to many unpleasant surprises.
My nose was completely stuffed up yet continuously running like a faucet. My throat burned and felt like it was on fire each time I swallowed. My head pounded. And most painful of all, I had an ear ache that was so bad it felt like someone had whacked me in the head with a hammer. I couldn’t even place my ear to the pillow it was so sensitive.
I also woke up covered in pee from my 6 month old who’s diaper must have given up on trying to hold it all in.
Not to mention the fact that I woke up to him ripping my hair out and scratching my face with his little claws.
“Shhhh” I whispered to him as I swept my hands over his eyelids. “Mommy just needs a little bit more sleep” I begged. He laughed and swatted my hand away from his face before grasping it and pulling it towards his mouth, attempting to use it as a teething toy.
I stayed very still and quiet next to him with my eyes closed, hoping he would get the hint and just join me in a quick morning nap.
Relaxed with my eyes shut, slowly drifting into sleep, I suddenly felt a WHACK right against my aching ear. His little hand slapped against the side of my face and then grabbed the baby hairs around my ear, giving them a good tug and even taking a few as a souvenir.
I jumped from the pain and quickly scooted away from him. My eyes welled up with tears. Not just from the pain, or from the many other annoying symptoms or from the smell of urine that was seeping into my nose, but from everything.
I was so tired.
I knew that this whack to the head at 8 am was the first of many for the day.
My face would be scratched until it bled, locks of my hair would be painfully ripped from my head, my stomach would be kicked aggressively while trying to nurse someone who’s biting one nipple and pinching the other, I would be peed on (again), pooped on, spit up on and drooled on, I would get punched in the nose by a tiny, swinging fist, and my back would ache from holding a 20 pound person all day long because he screams bloody murder if I dared to put him down.
I thought back to my former days of searching for nanny jobs on Care.com when I scoffed judgmentally at the ads that read, “Stay at home mom who just needs someone to come for a few hours a day to help out with the kids and give mom a break”.
I even started to wonder how quickly I could post my own ad, which would pretty much read the exact same.
I thought of texting my husband, complaining of the horrible pain, in hopes that he would offer to come home from work and help. I thought of my mother who is always offering assistance and would likely be happy to spend some time with her grandchild to give me a break. I actually have a number of family and friends who would eagerly jump at the opportunity to babysit my precious baby.
I glanced back at my attacker, whom I was currently hiding under a pillow from, in an attempt to protect myself. He was staring at me, wondering what the heck I was doing, unaware that he could ever even cause me pain.
When I came out from hiding he grinned from ear to ear, his two shiny front teeth showing perfectly, his chubby cheeks taking over his face as he excitedly started to bounce.
The desire to list a help wanted ad disappeared.
I scooted back to our side of the bed and scooped him up for a big hug and headed to the nursery to change his diaper, the first of 7 diapers I would change that day.
As I change him he may pee on me, he will probably rip off the clean diaper as soon as I put it on and i’m almost certain that as I’m trying to put his pants back on, he will reach out and twist my nipple with sharp little nails digging into my skin.
But that’s okay.
It sounds crazy, but I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
I’ll admit that I sometimes fantasize about putting him in daycare and getting a job where I wear fancy clothes that don’t smell like baby poop and do important things that other people appreciate. But after those few seconds are over I remember why I don’t.
Why I choose to be here, enduring the pain, exhaustion and tears (both baby’s and mine).
So I throw on a pair of yoga pants and cover my giggling baby with tons of kisses.
And I start my perfect day.