Yesterday consisted of literally five hours of Barbie play, if not more. And when we weren't playing Barbies, she was begging for more. Apparently I make a wicked Ursula to capture her Ariel with. But Barbies wears me out after a short time. (At home I'd tell her that if she wanted me to play, Luke would get to play too, and that always sent her running to her room to play Barbies by herself). Here I play a lot more Barbies because it keeps her entertained, because anything is better than twelve hours of Micky Mouse's Club House, and because I realize that this is a special time together for us to bond and to practice life on a smaller scale. But it still wears me out and I knew I'd need a way for me to draw some boundaries on Barbie time that wouldn't result in a Mt. St. Helen's tantrum. The hospital just isn't a great place for that.
Then at night, after three hours of trying to get her to sleep, I finally gave in and got her Tylenol. To my credit, the headache was completely imaginary when it started. The second she laid down in bed she grabbed her head and yelled "ouchy," and it was announced with a twinkle in her eye. Then she got up and danced to the bathroom and laughed with the nurse before her headache magically returned the moment she was back in bed. I didn't want to give her medicine she didn't need. But after three hours of whining and imaginary pain, I can believe that it did become a real headache, and after meds she fell asleep at 10:30 pm.
Last night, after I got pulled into the battle of the wits, I ended up a cranky momma. I wanted to make a shirt that read, "I was looking forward to a 7:30 bedtime, but all I got was the silly naughties." It was a night that a glass of wine would have smoothed out, but in the end, just having prayer to fall on was better anyhow. I prayed for wisdom for a different attitude and a new way for today.
I woke up wanting to play. I felt like God gave me the desire and the wisdom to realize how precious this play time is, and that I wanted to have fun with Grace, and anything I want to do is not super important right now. He also gave me the wisdom to set an hour limit on Barbie play, then time for me to have a break, then another hour of Barbie, and so on. Grace wholeheartedly agreed to it when she heard the promise that she'd get Barbies more than once.
Nap time has been a battle now that she has energy, even though she only got 7.5 hours of very interrupted sleep last night. Today I needed a nap, even if she didn't. Yesterday I didn't get one because the girl I love was loudly asking when we'd play Barbies every ten minutes. Today I told her my energy was running out. I could nap here at the hospital while she read books or I could go home and get good sleep there. She quickly picked out books and sat quietly for an hour by herself while I rested. And I did feel better and I had the energy to enjoy being Ursula who captured the brave mermaid for the hundredth time today.
Tonight she had a bath and story and we were happy and cuddly. The second prayer time was over she grabbed her head and yelled "ouchy," before I could start singing her bedtime song. And I know it was because I prayed for wisdom that I immediately blurted out, "Complaints in bed don't count, and my ears won't work to hear them. If you're hurting you have to tell me before you get into bed. You should try harder to tell me earlier tomorrow." She was so confused that she went along with it. She was asleep within half and hour, totally complaint free, and I was free to read the Bible and to write and breathe my own air for a little bit.
Thank goodness that God cares about parenting and that He's so available to give us wisdom on what might seem like small issues.
James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
Every time I've asked for God for wisdom, especially for parenting, he has always proved faithful. And thank God for that.