Mandy says to start simple.
I've been writing for 45 minutes and this is how far I've gotten. So here's my deal with you. Whoever you are. No more editorializing. This is me, this is what I have to say. Love me, hate me, click that little "x" up there. I just disabled my backspace key.
I started out at 5:30 this morning. Standing in the middle of my room, just trying to keep my eyes open. Read my scriptures for half an hour. Okay, so I tried to read. Sometimes I had to go back and reread because I was dreaming with my eyes open.
Got my six kids out of bed so they could come into the apartment/daycare center and take turns waking up to read a page of the Book of Mormon. Actually, most of them were awake through the whole thing this morning. Meaning we got done before six thirty. Our Stake asked us to read the whole thing before conference in June. We are about four pages behind schedule, but I think we'll make it.
Shower. My scalp is falling apart this month. I don't know why. My thirteen-year-old enthusiastically informed me the other day that Head and Shoulders just came out with a whole new line of shampoos, some especially for women. I assume that was a hint. I didn't tell her that I have six bottles of bogus dandruff shampoo in my shower, right now. My gaze just kind of slid away and I changed the subject. I realize that this is how I deal with things that make me uncomfortable. I just change the subject. Cowardly Kimber.
Is it my diet? Am I getting old? It really is a problem, when your hair is as dark as mine. Maybe going grey wouldn't be such a bad thing. . .
Came down to give the apartment the once over before any parents showed up. My oldest two left as four more youngsters showed up. Waffles and oranges for the eight. Four off to school. Three more arrive. Four under the age of two. Seven total. Not too bad today, and three more just left. One to preschool, one to Grandma's, one with Marty along for the ride.
I just ran down to the van to buckle them into the van, and ran back up to the house, then ran down to the van to find the keys that Marty swore were not there, then ran back to the house, then ran back to get the mail, then back to answer the phone (it was yet another mother, looking for infant care–I told her I didn't even know if I had room, I'll call you back) I am sitting here panting. Reminds me of a really bad poem about a childcare provider. It had one good line about you can call me anything you want, but "do not call me sitter, because I never get to sit"
But here I sit. All four are asleep right now. You have no idea what kind of feat that is. The other day I had nine children under the age of four all asleep at the same time. I know. I should have documented it. Taken time-stamped photos as evidence, or you'll think I'm writing fiction.
Is this the best use for my time? Hmm. I can think of all sorts of things I could be doing right now. Preparing Sharing Time for primary. Reading my scriptures while I'm actually awake. Logging the day's attendence and meals into the computer–yes, I have to log in and out every child, and what they ate and in what quantities and when–organizing the disaster my files are in. Files? Did I say files? Drawers full of paper that should be in files, clearly labeled for the IRS or the State DEL, or USDA inspector should they chose to drop in and take a look. Cleaning, oh, you don't know how many things need cleaning. Finishing Quinton's quilt I started like. . . last September, or something like that. So close, but still sitting on my kitchen table. Laundry. Dishwasher–Mandy! I'm so glad you got a dishwasher!–Does it really help to make a list? I'm making this list, and you know, I do feel better, because none of them really sound all that important right now. Not really. Sleeping though. What if I were reducing my sleep debt? That could be a really good thing. Problem being someone would call–Nena just did, and she won't be the last–or someone would show up early to drop their child off for the evening shift, or show up early to pick up a child. Making dinner. Now that one would help out a lot. Because making it while Dustin (12 months) is awake is insane. And he's here 12 hours today.
I let him cry himself to sleep this afternoon. Bring it on, CPS; I just couldn't take it anymore. He would get down off my lap to play, but if I stood up, or picked up a book or another child, or even answered the phone, he'd get hysterical; screaming himself hoarse until I picked him up. My attention had to be on him, undivided, all morning. By noon, I had to just put him in the other room in the crib and shut the door. He fell asleep. Then woke up at the slightest noise. Fell asleep again. I don't even want to open the door to check on him, for fear of starting the cycle again.
Went over to Becca's last night on my way home from dropping Dustin and his mother off at home (she walks here after ten hours of minimun wage work, nine p.m., then has an hour to walk home with a one year old, a purse and a diaper bag–count your blessings) since Mowry's left early, and I didn't have any daycare kids at all. Stopped by when I saw the light was on. She was up with a friend, planning the funeral for her baby Thursday. Had all her pictures spread out. Foot and handprints the size of . . . what? What do you compare that to? The size of the hole in her mother's heart. Tiny, but immeasurable. I sat there, listening to her stories about the baby, about the kind nurse, and I wanted to reach out and hug her, and I didn't. I sat there and I looked back at the pictures and said I was so glad they'd been able to have those pictures done. COWARD! I even pulled over, on my way there, pulled over and backed up off the road out of traffic and I prayed that I would have the spirit with me, would be able to say and do whatever might help her, if there was anything in my power. And I just sat there.
The day before the baby died, I thought a hundred times, "Call Becca". And I'd look at the clock and think, well, right now, she's feeding the baby, right now is probably care time, right now I can't hear myself think. "Call Becca." And I didn't. She hasn't called me, she's probably swamped, I don't want to intrude. "Call Becca." I will. Tonight. Oh, it's too late. I will in the morning. In the morning I get the call that the baby has died. God forgive me.
God forgive me all the lifetime of hugs I never gave, all the tears I scolded away, all the pain I shrugged past in this life. Make up the difference that I seem too backwards to make myself. If I have to rely on my strength and compassion alone to raise these kids and to be the friend and teacher I should, we're all in deep.