Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This wasn't in the job description!

I read the books. You know, those of you who've had a baby, the books that you read when you find out you have a new life inside of you. One that doesn't REALLY come with instructions, but someone is getting rich pretending to have the instructions. I can tell you that nowhere did I see a book titled What to Expect When You Have an Autistic Child or What to Expect When Your 9 Year Old who is Stubborn as a Mule Doesn't get to go to the Zoo with her friends. Nope, didn't find those. I read the books about Strong Willed Kids. I learned, well, that my kids were, indeed, strong-willed. But the instructions that would actually work weren't there. I assumed that the books I DID read were my job description. Starting with pregnancy and on through stories of Homeschoolers who have gone before me in this journey, I've tried to find what it is I'm to do with these kids. I can GUARANTEE that NO JOB DESCRIPTION said, "You will have a lousy immune system, that, once compromised, will keep you sick for a few months before you feel well again. You will have multiple bouts of sinus infections. You will not get sick leave when you have these days. Your children will be crankier than usual when you are sick. You will find lice on their heads, and while the doctor says you should be resting, you will be combing Nit Removal Gel through your child's hair. Your elder child will have your genetic make-up in the hair department. Her thick hair will be the envy of many, until she gets lice, while you are sick. " But, that should have been there. It is totally unfair to hand a new mom a baby and give her these instructions, "No heavy lifting for 3 weeks. Rest when your baby rests. Don't have caffeine if you are breast-feeding your child." First, who is going to do the laundry and pour your glass of milk when the grandmothers have gone home? Second, babies rest? See, they must have confused the little bundles they gave me with some other life form, because my babies didn't do what I expected, especially in the resting department. No caffeine, no spicy food, no ANYTHING with much taste for 3 weeks and guess what? The baby who doesn't sleep cries anyway & has tummy problems! Those first few weeks should have been a clue that the books were wrong.

So, fast forward to 11 1/2 years later. Because the father of these children (aka my husband) is concerned about lice in his own hair (and desperately hoping to find one, just one, so he can work from home), he wakes me up to check his head after I've had maybe 5 or 6 hours of sleep, if that much, and that with a very stuffy nose making it hard to breathe. I fall asleep, but wake up again, this time to be greeted by, "I am going to the zoo." You know, I was about ready to send her for a few hours at that point. The monkeys could have nit-picked for me. I've combed through 4 heads of hair today. My own is the most challenging, so I'm just going to wash it & comb through as best I can. Bethany's I did morning and tonight. Found live lice. Gross. Someone suggested oil, so I covered her head in hair glossing oil. Then a friend told me tea tree oil. I have a little container of tea tree gel, so I worked that into her hair. I have washed so many items in the past 24 hours that I really could qualify as washateria. THAT wasn't in the job description either.

I tried sleeping more on the couch while we watched a movie, The Game Plan. Phil had previewed it & told me to fast forward through the beginning. There were other parts I could have ff'd through, too. But, the gist of the movie is that a self-absorbed football player suddenly discovers he has a child by his ex-wife. He doesn't want her at first, but by the end of the movie, he realizes that she is the most important thing in his life. Okay, the Author of the REAL Instruction Book had to remind me that my job description may not include nit-picking specifically, but it does include loving and nurturing my children. It includes teaching them in God's ways. It includes feet washing, self-sacrifice, and a thankful heart. Ouch. I don't like that one all the time.

It was a good thing I had that revelation at the time because the next thing that happened was our TV died. More accurately, it became a radio. We totally lost the picture. Yes, it is good to have quiet and have the TV off, NORMALLY, but when it happens on a day when Mom is sick & kids are quarantined, it's not so good. Thankfully, we have some hand-me-down TV's and my very smart husband was able to get us set up when he got home. Side note: I laughed when he was working on how to hook up this TV & said, "This piece is not part of the equation." Wouldn't a simple, "I don't need this part," be easier? LOL!

Now, tomorrow when I get up & am cranky again, someone will remind me to be nice, right?

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