Today my day began at 4:10am. Annalie let out her Aretha Franklin-style howl, a howl that refuses to be ignored at 4:10. To placate her I jumped out of my bed, raced to the nursery and picked her up. With my mind begging for more sleep, I stumbled back to my bed with her in my arms and collapsed back into bed.
That lasted for all of five minutes when it became apparent that Annalie was not as interested as I was in more sleep. Back to the nursery, light on and let her play while I lay on the floor in a semi-conscious state of being.
She soon got bored of that routine and once again I thought maybe she would give in to sleep. Back to my bed where I lay down with her beside me.
The sound of a baby choking can make even the most sleep deprived parent respond. So when I heard her making choking sounds I sat bolt upright (what the hell is “bolt upright” anyway?) in bed, swept my finger through her mouth to get whatever she was choking on out of her mouth. She then looked up at me in wonderment with her big blue eyes wide open and then proceeded to throw up some five gallons of steaming, partially digested milk. In my bed. On my bedding. On my favourite pillow. And on my silk comforter.
The best part? After vomiting up her stomach contents she looked up at me with a look of pure joy and gave a little “Heehee.”
Back to the nursery with her, plunk her back in the crib and return to my room to strip the bed of its bedding. En route to the laundry room with the vomit covered bedding I feel the unmistakable cold of cat vomit squish between my toes. Lovely. The day just keeps getting better. Just fucking lovely.
Back upstairs to find that Annnalie’s screams have awoken Story. And their mother.
I very suddenly realize that the take-out Indian food I consumed the previous evening has provided me with a distressing case of the flying axe handles that needs to be dealt with right then and preferably not right there.
Both girls are in the nursery the entire time screaming their faces off. Their mother and I collide in the doorway to the nursery. The smell of baby shit greets us with open arms. Duel poonamis.
Strip the girls down to the skin for an impromptu tubbing while their sweet mother strips the crib of its shitty bedding. Second load of laundry is ready to go. It is now 5:15am. How was your morning?
At 6am things have calmed somewhat. My clock radio alarm has not yet reached its appointed hour to awake us but the bed is laying there grotesquely naked and uninviting. What else could I do but go to the computer and boot up my trusty old Faceback. And the first thing on my “wall” is this;
Dear Mr. Robinsmith.
This is probably really random but I’d like to thank you for being so supportive throughout this past year with school and the stresses related to it. : ) I really appreciated hearing (or reading) such positive words from you when all everyone else just brought up the negative. You are a great teacher and I’m sure a great father too. Take care.
And the lump in my throat was so big that I could not swallow or speak. The writer of these kind words was a student from about five years ago. When her class was organizing their grad ceremonies she said she wanted me to be a speaker at their grad. She said that I had inspired her to become a teacher. I was very honoured by her words especially knowing that when I did teach her I was not nearly as experienced and probably nowhere near as patient as I could have been.
She is now attending university and has successfully completed her first year of studies.
As I read her words this morning at 6am, my eyes filled with tears and I realized that in spite of waking up to baby puke and poop, stepping in cat or dog puke or whatever I encounter, my life is all the more richer and more wonderful for having shared a few moments of it with all the people I have shared it with.
Thank you Shianna for this reminder. Thank you so much.