Today wasn’t unlike any other day, full of work around the house, cleaning up from one VWH (“V” Was Here) spot after another. We did our once a month story time at the library with friends and following it was moms and kids lunch at a pizza place. After a quick trip to the grocery we were back home, bedded down for a nap for our 16-month-old, and more housework for me. My list for the afternoon was full of a bunch of “I’d like to…” items. I’d like to get dinner on the table by 5:45pm. I’d like to balance the checkbook before Eric gets home from work. I’d like to display all the pretty Christmas cards we’ve started receiving. I’d like to make sure the toilets are clean before our small group comes over. I’d like to process the stack of accumulating cooking magazines and save what needs saving and recycle the rest. I’d like to actually get all the laundry I’d folded from that morning in their drawers before bedtime. I’d like to bake something from scratch for our friends this evening, rather than use the pre-made cookie dough in the freezer. I’d like to switch out a few candles and maybe set out our nativity scene. Oh, and I’d like to change the sheets on our bed, too!
I should have been more like Santa and made my list and checked it twice. This was impossible given the window of time I was allowing for all this to take place. My daughter would only be sleeping for two-and-a-half of the four hours I had left and there were still some items I’d like to have done that I was leaving up to Eric for when he got home!
While many of the items on my list got slighted, there was however a virtually fuss-free slow cooker dinner ready to be eaten, though not at 5:45pm, freshly baked cookies, albeit store bought, out of the oven, and a lovely home sparkling with decorations all ready for our company to arrive by 6:30pm. But then things took a wild turn.
Our daughter refused her dinner, went from her quiet observance of our guests to absolute whaling, huge crocodile tears, and uncontrollable sobbing. I rushed from downstairs to upstairs, trying to quieten her and all the usual cry stopping tricks like reading a book, tickling a stuffed animal, pointing at a toy ball, and snuggling with her favorite blanket fell flat like a thud. Fine! I give up! It’s PJs and crying it out, I guess. Perhaps the sudden rush of company in our usual family dinner time slot caught her off guard? Maybe the pain from the molars she’s teething had reared its ugly head abruptly?
As I started undressing our daughter, who was growing increasingly distressed by the moment, my hand touched the bare skin of her stomach. It was fire hot! My palm swept her forehead. HOTTER! Then, the lightbulb moment! No wonder. Food rejection, instant irritability, unexplained discomfort. Fever! It was only 10 minutes beforehand that we were told one of the small group couples wouldn’t be attending tonight’s group as their son had awoken from his nap with a fever. Mmhmm. And need I mention that their son and our daughter spent the better part of lunch earlier today being buddies and playing nicely? Our poor babies! Well, we do teach them to share, right?!
So, now that V is running a temp, I give myself every permission to throw away my “I’d like to list” for the next day or so. While enduring a fever and combating the “sickies” is the pits for her and us, there’s nothing I’d rather do than come to a full stop, lavish quadruple the amount of attention on my child, and pray, pray, pray.
I’d like to be attentive and nurturing.
I’d like to snuggle her longer, kiss her more.
I’d like to sing softly over and over while I rock her.
I’d like to speak healing and claim truth over her body.
I’d like to feel her hot skin begin to cool and her body heal.
I’d like to sing praises to her Creator and welcome his angels in her room.
I’d like to see her smile and read books together when she’s feeling up to it.
I’d like to love her back to laughter, clapping, tickling, jumping, and spinning.
I’d like to hear the hurried pitter-patter back on my dust-bunny covered floors…quickly!
Yes, I’d like to.