"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reality Check

(Leisurely Mondays spent at the shore are now a thing of the past...)

The last few weeks of the summer have been lovely. The husband and I have been splitting the work day; sometimes he takes the morning and I work in the afternoon, sometimes I work in the morning and he takes the afternoon. We both have time with the kids, we both get work done, and in the evening we have time for each other. In fact, five years into our marriage, we finally opened up all those board games we got for our wedding. We're pretty evenly matched in Scattergories and Scrabble, but I usually win Trivial Pursuit. ;) We've also had many opportunities for hospitality, including guests for dinner once or twice a week, and an all-day Sunday brunch with a couple of Jeff's colleagues.

(Above, Jeff "watching" the girls... no really, this has become more rare, but I had to take a picture anyway.)

In the midst of all this productivity, I had the startling realization that Jeff has to start teaching on Monday. Reality check: ONE of us at least has to bring in some money. So there you go. Jeff's off to teach (including an overload), and I'll go back to having the kids pretty much all day Monday-Thursday, with only 8-10 p.m. to work on my dissertation. The good news is that I completed two of my four goals for the summer. The bad news is that the two goals I did NOT complete were chapters one and two of my dissertation. I was really making progress, however, until the reality of Jeff's going back to work came crashing down on me. And then I also remembered that I'm only six weeks away from having another kid to take care of - one much more dependent than my other two are currently.

(Eva is learning how to use a sling in preparation for Mom's carrying Patrick around.)

I've been reading The Way of Perfection, and Teresa of Avila (combined with an Augustine reading from the Office) has made me feel like I shouldn't complain about the changes to come. It's just so great to have to endure trials! Especially if they are undeserved.

(Before the haircut)
This came to mind last night as I was brushing out Maia's hair before bedtime and realized that she had lice. At first I thought maybe she just had a few bugs in her hair from playing outside, but fifteen of them later, plus the tell-tale sign of eggs, and a phone call to her physician grandfather convinced us that they were indeed lice. It took less than a second after that conclusion for me to realize that I also had lice. In fact, ever since my annual haircut (this time at an expensive salon), I've had an itchy head... and I even had Jeff look at my scalp last week to make sure I was just being paranoid. I guess I should have had him use a magnifying glass. (And could I have possibly gotten lice from a $62 haircut? Or is this a gift of the neighbor kids?)

(12 inches later...)

It was Maia's bedtime - not much we could do other than put her in bed with a headful of lice at that point. I went off to the drugstore, and of course, knowing that I probably had lice, my head started itching ten times as much as it had before. Despite the fact that I'm posting all this on my blog, I wasn't excited about the world knowing I had lice. My sister was laughing at me on the phone, and suggesting that I ask the pharmacist for advice. I did kind of feel like I was on a sticom, as I stood in front of all the lice shampoo, scratching my head like crazy and trying to figure out if the $25 lice removal kit was significantly better than the $12 shampoo.

Our relaxing night was supposed to include Cheesecake Factory cheesecake (from Costco, yo!) with strawberries and a Harry Potter movie. While we still did part of the movie and the cheesecake, the majority of our time together was spent de-lousing my head. In the midst of this, Jeff kept looking at me curiously and asking why I seemed so down. By the fifth time of his asking, and my repeating that I was still upset that my head was covered in insects, I think he may have gotten the point, although he still seemed fairly unconcerned about the whole thing.

(Maia and Eva are adjusting to cosleeping together... but pretty much everyone is having some sleepless nights these days...)

And of course, the fun didn't end when I went to bed for the night. I spent much of the night waking up and thinking about those little lice, crawling around on my daughter's head, her bed, my bed, our hairbrush... wherever they might be. So when Maia hopped in my bed at 6:05 a.m., it was only a matter of moments before I was shampooing her and sitting her down in front of Thumbelina (the movie) so that I could go through her hair with that fine tooth comb. Yes, I even missed my morning work out for the de-lousing.

The rest of the day - which had been intended for last minute cleaning before Grandpa and Nana's weekend arrival - was spent doing that cleaning (mopping the floor, vaccuuming the living room, cleaning off the bureau and table) in addition to washing four sets of sheets (including crib), washing pillows, putting hairbrushes in the freezer, hanging out sheets, drying comforters, spraying beds with lice-killing spray and remaking beds. I hope I got them all... but can you ever know??? If Jeff hadn't had to go into school to copy his syllabi and whatnot, I might have gone out shopping and just bought all new pillows, so paranoid was I feeling.

Out of curiosity, I checked out my hair from the haircut, which was still in a ziploc bag since I hadn't mailed it in yet to Locks of Love (I'm lazy about haircuts, so I grow it out, get it cut every 15 months or so, and donate it). I didn't see any dead lice in that bag, so I guess my infestation certainly came after (or during) the haircut. Maia (who was as worried as Jeff about the lice - that is, not at all), said that her head felt much less itchy. I called my mom and told her that I'd had a "Mom Moment" - you know, one of those moments where you realize that WOW! you're the mom! Because I still remember my own kindergarten lice incident, and I associate de-lousing with my mom, not myself!
(Another piece of Maia's religious artwork. This is Mary, wearing a crown (and I think it looks like the angel is crowning her, but Maia said no, it's just floating above her), Jesus on the cross, and an angel above the gates of heaven with a wreath of hearts and flowers)

I'm not sure if this was an "undeserved" suffering; the good Lord knows I have my share of sins. And perhaps I should have borne the inconvenience and day's worth of hard work a little more cheerfully. But, as we approach the penitential day of Friday, I do feel like I put in my share of penance on this Thursday.

No comments: