I had an important realization today. I was in my bed this morning nursing Q, just after Jim left for work. He was a little fussy after a rough night, Q not Jim, and seemed to be struggling with gas, again Q, not Jim. He kept latching and unlatching and scrunching and unscruching. He finally settled in just as O came in, completely stuck in her sweatshirt. She had one arm out and the body part pulled halfway over her head. She was knocking into everything and shrieking, "I'm stuck! I'm stuck! I'm going to be stuck forever." This is very much in keeping with her temperament and personality. As I was trying to verbally coach O back into or out of her sweatshirt, (at this point I was, honestly, not entirely sure which one she was attempting to accomplish) my cellphone started making a WEEEE-OOOO, WEEEE-OOOOO alarm sound. This is the sound it makes when P's CGM is dropping low. Sometimes it is a false alarm, but it requires a finger prick to be sure, and possibly treatment if confirmed by the finger prick. P then came in the room and wanted to sit on my head. You see, my head was an egg and she was a mama bird and she really wanted to help me hatch my head. My head would be so much cuter as a baby bird than as just a regular old mama head. This is very difficult logic to reason with. In the background somewhere, Sam, my almost blind and mostly deaf 14-year-old lab was barking at some imagined mail carrier somewhere within a two block radius. So there I was, alone with the four of them. From each of their perspectives their needs were urgent and important. Q wanted to nurse and fall asleep while roundhouse punching my right boob. I forgot about that, but I'm pretty sure that is a thing all babies do. Babies are so weird. O wanted help to escape from the prison of her too small sweatshirt. P wanted to hatch my head into the glorious baby bird it was always meant to be. Sam wanted to terrify or lick to death an imaginary mail carrier. I wanted to shut off the alarm on my phone and check P's blood sugar to make sure she wasn't plummeting into seizure/comaville.
And then it hit me. My life is impossible right now, utterly and completely impossible. That's why I'm struggling. That's why I'm constantly missing things. That's why the house is a mess. That's why the dishes aren't done. That's why I feel like I just can't keep up, because I can't. It is impossible. There are three people who need me, all at the same time. One of them relies on me as his exclusive source of food and the another one needs me to function as one of her major organs, and triage only goes so far. At first I was devastated. I wanted to cry. I couldn't do it. I could't do my life. It was impossible. I texted Jim.
I took a deep breath. There have been a lot of those lately, with varying levels of success. I unlatched Q and looked him deep in the eyes and told him I would be right back. I would love to tell you he smiled sagely at me and waited, content for my return, but he didn't. He screamed like someone was sticking hot pokers under his tiny fingernails the entire time, and then he did the sobbing hiccuppy thing that babies do to make you feel guilty for letting them cry. I forgot about that too. I dislodged the mama bird from her perch on my head and told her that she could hatch me later. I wasn't quite cooked yet and babies need as much time as possible in their shells. Her displeasure was registered with song. The lyrics were primarily focused on how I was the meanest momma she ever knew. O, poor O, she had worked her way back into her sweatshirt and was hot and exhausted by the effort. She was still upset that she couldn't get it off and she wailed to me mournfully as I went in search of P's meter, "I guess I'll just DIE in this shirt. I'll just die in it."
After recovering the meter, I came back into the bedroom to find P lovingly helping O take off the evil sweatshirt. I paused in the doorway for a second, hesitant to interrupt their alliance. I am not alone, and neither are they. We all belong to each other, and while that might mean that sometimes you get trapped in a sweatshirt, it also means that your sister will be there to help you escape.
I tested P's sugar. I finished nursing Q. I gave O a hug and told her I was sorry she got tangled up in that sweatshirt and I bet it was scary and we problem-solved for next time. I patted Sam on the head and reassured him that the imaginary mail carrier was at least three blocks away by now. I let P hatch the baby. Remind me later when I complain about my neck.
The dishes didn't get done. I may have put Q down today in a pile of dirty laundry, because it looked soft. I bought some new bath towels last week and I'm pretty sure they have all been used without being laundered and with tags still attached.
Because, right now my life is impossible. But it is other things too. It is beautiful. It is magical. It is filled with love and compassion. I am failing at a lot of things right now, and that is very hard for me, but, when I look at it all at once, my heart swells. We are succeeding at the things that really matter. We are finding our way through the impossible.