Michelle Martin

This too shall pass

Sunday, March 13, 2011

So now I’m looking for a recipe for some kind of Nepalese food that I can A) find the ingredients for, and B) make in less than two hours.

I have less than a week.

In the same week, my husband and I (or some combination thereof) must take Frank to three hockey practices, two basketball practices and at least two basketball games (maybe three, depending on how the playoffs play out), drop Caroline off to see a play, as well as taking her to her theater program three times, make sure everybody gets dropped off and picked up at school at the appropriate times, work, and, oh, yes, find a way to persuade Teresa that 1 to 3 a.m. does not constitute play time.

It’s that last one that has me thrown off balance.

We’re a typically busy family, maybe a little more busy than typical when you factor in caring for a young toddler.

Did I mention the memorial gathering for a former coworker who died far too young and the lunch date with a friend from high school I haven’t seen in years and really want to reconnect with? Or that I really need to make a dentist appointment because that crown is not going to wait forever?

Most of the time, we can pull it off. Often it’s a game of I’ll-drop-off-if-youcan- pick-up and we have our most enlightening conversations with Caroline and Frank in the car.

But when our sleep (OK, my sleep. I can’t speak for Tony on this) is interrupted on a regular basis, when I’m not getting any more than two or three hours at a stretch, I feel it. I start to miss turns driving to unfamiliar places. I stare fixedly at the vending machine, trying to figure out which combination of buttons will buy me a little caffeine. In the dark of the night, I try to reason with a 13-month-old, who may have been awakened by emerging molars but sees an opportunity for some one-on-one attention.

“Come on, baby girl,” I say. “It’s nighttime. It’s time to sleep.”

She laughs. I put her in her crib. She cries. She stops. She stands up and holds on to the top rail, and, when that does not draw applause, she screams.

And I start to wonder what I can make that people from Nepal would eat for the Girl Scout Thinking Day celebration next week. Thank God for Google.

None of this makes me unique; parents from time immemorial have struggled with wakeful babies and young ones, and, since Teresa has generally been a good sleeper, I’m optimistic that this phase too shall pass.

In the meantime, dark, quiet time is great for praying the rosary.