Our darling baby Sylvia Joan (aka Sylvie, Sills, Sliv, Sylvs.. Ember – Sylth, Flynn – Sah) is 3 and a half months. How can I begin to tell of how much light she brings to our family? Our 3rd blue-eyed baby, she is slim with a nice little double chin, and we think she looks like her big sister. The minute you make eye contact with her, she erupts into grins and grins and grins. She cries when you set her down, and if you leave the room and she is in a particular fragile frame of mind, she will smile and cry and coo all at the same time the minute you walk back in. Sylvie is a little love, but it has not been all fun and games since we met this sweet person.
My husband went back to work, the rains kept coming down on good ol’ Seattle, and I found myself at home in my apartment with a fragile 2 year old, a fussy 14-month old, and a very demanding 2 week old. You can imagine my predicament. The baby needed to be nursed, the 1 year old desperately needed a bottle and nap, the toddler needed food and perhaps some TLC… all at the same time. None of these little people could do anything for themselves, and I certainly didn’t have enough arms to do it all for them right when they wanted it. I felt way over my head every day, every hour, every minute.
Every day has been a challenge since having 3 kiddos, but there is one particular day that I will never forget.
It was the fussy hour. That hour every mom knows – the kids are up sleepy-eyed from naps, dad isn’t quite home, there’s not enough time to go out… I was nursing in our bedroom, and as oftentimes happens when I nurse, little Flynn was sobbing outside the door begging for me to hold him. Now, of course this breaks my heart every time, but the choice of whether to feed the newborn or comfort the 14-month old is a no-brainer. The newborn needs to be fed.
So as I was trying to get Sylvia to eat over the ruckus outside the door, I heard my 2yr old yelling, “Mommy! I peed!” Moaning inside, I frantically set hungry Sylvia down, ran past crying Flynn, and headed for my older daughter’s cries. There she was in the kitchen standing in a puddle of pee in an upside down clock. What are the odds, right? She also, I might add, didn’t seem a bit perturbed about her bizarre situation. Noting that clean-up later would be easy since we could just throw away the clock, I rushed Ember to the tub and started the water running. Meanwhile, Flynn’s cries had gotten louder, and I really needed to feed my hungry baby. So, flustered and in a panic, I gave Flynn a hug on my way back to Sylvia and began nursing again. Another 3 minutes I heard screams from the bathroom. Once again, setting Sylvia down, I raced to the bathroom and found Ember with blood everywhere! She’d cut her lip (I still to this day am not sure how) and was sobbing in bewilderment. My head spun with all the needs of my babies, so I did my best going from one child to the next cleaning up blood, dressing Ember, giving Flynn a lollipop, and finally back to nursing Sylvia.
I remember that day thinking to myself how hard it was raising three kids and how I didn’t think I was ever going to get the hang of it. But as my husband often reminds me, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not good. And throughout these busy, bewildering days of learning how to take care of these three gifts from God, I’m realizing that truly, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” Ps. 16:6