Fonticulus Fides

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Confession: I'm a big, selfish jerk!

Because my health has been marginal since Lola was born, I decided at the beginning of the year that I simply had to make exercise a priority. I used to work out regularly because when my body feels healthier, my mind feels healthier, too. Well, we all got sick shortly after that and the various illnesses continued pretty much all through January. But February was a new month and, I thought, a new start.

It's always easier said than done. I've taken a close look at my schedule, and the only time I can actually get in a meaningful 15-20 minute work-out (which I don't consider enough, but it's all the time I can spare) is while everybody else is sleeping. I can't do it at night because (a) I'm already beat by 10:30 as it is and still have laundry and/or other housework to do, and (b) my husband can't go to sleep until everybody else is safely tucked in bed and he and the dog have patrolled the house and locked everything up tight. Besides, I am a morning person. So my theory has been, wake at 6 a.m. when the baby starts squawking to nurse. Nurse the baby. Baby should be back asleep by 6:30. Then I can work out until 6:45 or 6:50, jump in the shower real quick and be out in time to wake Zooey up at 7 a.m. for breakfast and school.

This doesn't seem to be asking a lot from my perspective, but apparently it is. Lola doesn't want to go back to sleep this past week, and I can't work out with her awake because she either toddles into my way and I'm afraid I'll clunk her in the head with a hand weight or step on her or something, or she screams bloody murder because I only nursed her for a half an hour and she'd like to go more like 90 minutes in the sleepy don't-wake-me-just-yet hour at dawn. Her screaming would wake everybody up and totally defeat the purpose of rising early to work out. I can't work out when Edyn's begging for Ovaltine, Zooey is grousing about his socks not being just-from-the-dryer warm, and my husband glowering in his chair because of the rude awakening.

So this morning, around 5:45 a.m., I started nursing Lola. At about 6:15, I started praying to the Lord and every saint I could think of that she would go back to sleep. Every time I thought she had dozed off, I'd move a half inch and she'd start screaming to nurse again. By 7 a.m., I finally was able to get out of bed and she slept all of 7 minutes while I showered, dressed and ran a comb through my hair. Then the screaming started anew. My husband got up to corral the baby and I got Zooey going in his morning routine.

But -- and this is why I'm a jerk -- I was M-A-A-A-A-D! I said to my husband, "I nursed her for over an hour and she wouldn't sleep. I prayed to every single saint I could think of and asked them to pray that she would go back to sleep. I begged the Lord to help her sleep so I could get just 10 minutes to myself!" Then I really lost it. "I wasn't asking for a miracle," I bellowed. "Babies need to sleep and I need to do a little something to take care of myself before my head pops off and Mean Mommy takes over!" Then, of course, I cried. "Why doesn't anybody care?"

Husband did his usual reassurance (quite well, thanks), and I got myself back on track and proceeded through the rest of the morning routine without a whimper. And now I see that the Pope is in the hospital. I feel like a crumb for asking for something so selfish and insignificant, when the Holy Father is in need of some real intercession. So, I pray the Lord will forgive me for being a jerk, and today, I am praying for Pope John Paul II as often as I can.

At least I can do that with little ones underfoot.



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