Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lessons from a Swaddled Child

Up 0.2 pounds. Not at all what I wanted to hear, even though the woman behind the counter placed a furtive hand at the corner of her mouth and whispered, "Oh honey, you could lose that the next time you ti-ti!" No, I was not comforted in the least, and my emotions began to run a deep-seated gambit from disappointment, to fear, to frustration, to just plain miffed.

I was so miffed, in fact, that I left my program materials on the counter at WW. About the time I discovered this and launched off into a miniature hissy fit, I received a phone call from WW confirming my state of brainless derangement. Stomping off to the van with my purse in tow, the full state of my negativity manifested itself verbally, as I announced to my husband: "I'm an idiot. A FAT idiot." And then I did something perfectly rational for a hurting child in a state of hysteria. I called my mother.

Truth be told, it has not been an easy week. As you may have noticed, I have only blogged twice, and Thursday night's entry was a fair reflection of the week's mood. I have encountered some speed bumps that really have nothing to do with my own self-determination, but rather, factors that I cannot control. These factors involved a minor injury and exhaustion.

That's right, I was just plum-tuckered-out, and I felt it every day, all week long. I didn't want to get out of bed to walk. I was ready to nap with the kids every day at high noon (though they rarely coordinated their naps so that I could do so), and by Friday I was in a tearful slump and surrounded by so much unfinished work, I didn't know where to begin. All I wanted to do was sleep.

At this point, my still tired mind could wander in several directions--the kind friend who let my kids spend the night with her Friday while I did some catching up, the wonderful conversation I had with my mom (after I got done bawling), or how our fears can stop us in our tracks if we let them, but I think I'm going to settle on a simple thought I had while caring for the children this week.

While talking with my mom this afternoon, she made me laugh when she informed me that the quivery-lip pose is definitely not my best look. Let's face it. It's not anybody's best look. I have had some adorable infants in my care, but when their faces are beet red and screwed up into a roiling stew of indignation, they are considerably less cute. Usually, they are tired, or hungry, or messy, or just plain ticked off; however, the more they scream and squirm, the more difficult it is to calm them, and provide them with whatever it is they need. At this point, it often becomes necessary to swaddle the child. 99% of the time, your efforts are not appreciated.

The process goes something like the following: Lay child on stretchable blanket with head placed in one corner; hold child's left arm down, draw blanket over torso, and tuck beneath back; repeat on right side; and finally, wrap excess around child's feet and tuck under bum. When you begin, the child is normally irate beyond belief; however, when you've finished, you are often rewarded with a surprising calm. The child is secure, and their options have now been limited to eliminating gas (had to mention that one, realistically), eating, sleeping, or looking up into your face.

Today, I had some lessons to learn from that child. I was pitching my best fit. I was tired of being tired; I was ticked off because my extremely sore ankle was slowing me down; and I was past annoyed with these fatalistic elements that were keeping me from my goals. My hands were tied, and I was walking with a gimp, and . . . that's when I realized, I'd been swaddled. The One who was in control of it all, had noted my noisy anxiety, and He had limited my movements to resting, taking nourishment, and looking into His face.

So that's where I am. If I gave you the week's report card, it wouldn't look great. I fell short in a lot of places, and my homework is not done; however, the reason it's not going to matter, is because I'M NOT GOING TO STAY HERE. I'm going to maintain what I've accomplished, but I'm also going to take this week to appreciate the journey thus far and to re-evaluate the journey to come. I'm going to rest, eat carefully, and look up.

But be warned.

When the swaddled child gets done eating, or sleeping, or bonding; they're ready to GO, GO, GO! And there's no stopping them.

1 comment:

  1. We can't always be on the mountain top right? Valleys are expected, but its time to head right back up :-) You CAN do it!!