12:00 am: <stre-e-e-e-etch> It’s midnight. I didn’t accomplish all I’d hoped to, but I can’t focus my eyes on my work any more. It’s past time to wrap up my Planning Night. Just need to wash my face and brush my teeth, and I can snuggle in bed for Ben’s dreamfeed and then sleep.
Ah, blessed sleep.
Walking through the hallway, the air rushing past my face on its way up to the attic fan feels refreshingly cool. I detour through the boys’ room. When I bend down to look at my newest boy, I’m surprised to see bright eyes shining back at me through the darkness.
“Hi Tommy! What’s keeping you awake in the middle of the night?” He grins in response to my smile, my teasing whisper and pat on his belly.
Maybe he’s chilly in his shorts and short sleeves. And I can give him a dry diaper at the same time.
“Come here, buddy; come to mama. Let’s go get you some warmer clothes.”
Huh. Good thing I checked on him; he’s wet through already.
12:15 am: I lay Tommy on the bathroom floor and flip on the overhead light.
Repulsive black goo is oozing generously from around his waistband, front and back. He flaps his arms and legs and shrieks with glee. I hastily clear the area of anything within his contaminated reach. He giggles, immediately jerking his body, twisting and reaching for the objects I moved and scooting on his back toward them, leaving a black smeary trail.
I wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap and scoop all movable items out of the lower half of the bath and shower area, then lift him into the bathtub. I wash my hands again and clean the floor.
He grows more and more delighted about this unprecedented middle-of-the-night social occasion and begins to shriek happily over and over again, flapping his hands and feet, slapping them onto the front of himself. As he flaps and slaps, little black splatters appear all around him on the tub, walls and shower curtain liner. Black ooze spreads all the way up to his shoulder blades and down one sleeve and arm.
“Children, did you know that our sins of the tongue are more offensive to God than Tommy’s diaper fails are to us?”
Quickly gathering his clean diapers and clothing, I flip on the light to examine his bed. By some miracle, there is not one sign of the latest explosion. How can that possibly be? His bed isn’t even damp; it smells just as clean and fresh as when the Amish girl changed sheets that afternoon.
12:30 am: Explain the untimely shenanigans to a bleary-eyed Joseph.
Smile at Tommy and chat about what I’m doing as I commence to peel the repulsive garments from his body and wash him amid enthused splashings and shriekings. Help a warm, stiff and slippery little person out onto a thick towel and drop his soiled clothes into the tub. Dry him briskly. Fasten the inner diaper (size 6) snugly. Fasten the outer diaper (youth size XL) snugly, holding everything in place with two tapes on each side. Help him to a sitting position and pull the clean, long-sleeved shirt over his head. Help him lie down again and pull the elastic waistband of his sweat pants up firmly, making sure his shirt is well tucked in.
“There now, Tommy-boy, doesn’t that feel better?”
12:50 am: Wrap my arms around my little boy and sing “Jesus loves Tommy,” rocking him back and forth as I perch on the edge of the bathtub. He smiles into my eyes, giggles, and pulls the snap clip out of my hair. Carry him back to his bed and give him extra squeezes and kisses. He accepts his pillow and hugs it to himself gladly.
“Goodnight, sweet boy.”
1 am: Rinse disgusting garments in cold water; wring them out well and stain treat them. Spray anti-bacterial bathroom cleaner thoroughly over entire bathtub and shower curtain liner. Scrub and rinse. Scrub my arms and hands with anti-bacterial soap and put on fresh pajamas.
Ugliness spreads outward from the undisciplined mouth, defiling everyone it touches.
Wash my face and brush my teeth.
1:25 am: As I re-enter my room, I remember–oh yes, the dreamfeed. Ben gets a dry diaper and then instead of snuggling in bed, I grab the Boppy pillow and nurse baby boy while typing this post.
2:05 am: Ben burps on my shoulder, then suddenly fills his diaper while gushing sour curdled liquid down the front of my pajamas.
Yes, I do need so many reminders every day…
I change his diaper, swaddle him, and place him back in his wee trundle bed with many kisses on his little soft face.
Then change to fresh pajamas once again.
2:15 am: All is clean and peaceful once more.
[Now I’m wide awake and hungry.
Good thing, because next came Stephen, knocking at the door with a fever and a tale of a biting spider and pincer bug in his bed, “so that’s why I have to sleep in here.”
I finally fell asleep just past 4:30 am, to be wakened by Ben at 5:30. Did you know that four can fit in a full-sized bed?