At 6:30 this morning Annie let out three short, blood curling screams.
I have speed like a tiger and the reflexes of a cheetah.
I have graduated.
I am officially a mama bear who will eat your head off and scratch your eyeballs out if you endanger my child.
I bolted out of bed and had her in my arms within seconds. She was screaming in short bursts and we had no idea what was going on. She sounded horrified and was clearly in pain, but that doesn't help me diagnose anything, so I just held her. My prognosis? I think she caught a cold and the symptoms didn't show up until after she fell asleep. That's when the nasty mucus shows its ugly head. I think it ran down her throat and collected there, in a little puddle, until it gagged her. At which point she threw up. But since she was laying down, she choked.
At least that's how it played out in my head. And that's why she smelled like sweet potato- formula-puke.
We tried everything. A bottle. Apple juice. A teething biscuit. A cold towel. Tylenol. Natural pain relief teething drops. Light. Dark. Rocking. Bouncing. Mom. Dad. Pillows. New diaper. Naked. Not naked. Nothing could soothe. What a heart wrenching feeling.
So this is what it's like to love something so much that you can only agonize for them as they endure pain? Pain they didn't ask for. Or pain they brought upon themselves. It doesn't matter. When you love someone who is so intricately a part of your existence and there is nothing you can do but hold them and whisper 'I love you' while they fight the demons, I think you get a small taste of what it must feel like to be God.
Annie fell asleep on me in the most uncomfortable chair in the house. In her make-shift bedroom in our manager's house. The walk-in closet. My head was wedged in between the two wooden shelves behind me and she was sprawled over me like a spider monkey. I was trapped. After an hour and a half of screams and cries and little tear drops that danced down her face and landed on her trembling hands, her eyes grew heavy, and she was gone.
I was grateful. The uncomfortable chair was a welcome reprieve if it meant a peaceful baby. My eyes were so heavy. I nodded off.
And that's when I felt it.
The bottom of my pajama pants moved.
They tugged a little.
A little breeze of air.
Something touched my skin.
My eyes popped open.
"Don't wake her up Jenny. You are imagining this. There is nothing down there. Stop freaking out."
And that's when I felt it. I felt it. I for sure felt something. There's something down there.
Little tiny feet scurrying over mine. Little. Tiny. FEET.
And there, in the closet where my baby has been sleeping (not in a crib, but two inches off the floor on a mattress) runs a fat, nasty, pudgy mouse.
With Annie finally asleep in my arms, I jump on top of that chair faster than I've done anything in my life. I scream in the loudest and most angry (I think I get angry when I am scared) voice I have for Ryan. He comes in confused and hostile for being woken up with such a frantic voice. And I tell him there is a mouse crawling around in this closet with our daughter and I run to the bedroom with her.
He comes back to tell me he has trapped it in a different closet. Cordoned it off with a towel and chair. Annie sleeps through the whole ordeal. And I lay in bed holding her wondering, "what kind of mom am I?" And that's when I hear it...
It's back. I jump up in the bed and hit my head on the fan. Annie wakes up and starts crying. Ryan wakes up all crazy and sleepy again. He tells me to calm down.
"There is a beep*beep*beep (fill in your favorite expletive here. Sorry, I did) one foot away from our baby, running around our bedroom, eating our child in her sleep, about to crawl into our bed and you want me to calm down? Kill the MOUSE. Get him out of here now. NOW."
Now I got a few tears collecting in my eyes. I start to wonder what I am doing with my life. I start to feel sorry for myself. I start feeling resentful. But then I catch myself.
How can a mouse make you question your entire livelihood?
I come back to my senses. It's just a mouse. Like Fievel in American Tale. Mighty Mouse. Mickey Mouse. Or the entire cast of Ratatouille. Well, those are rats, but they're all in the same family. Some kids live in slums and have wild monkeys running around their villages. Some kids ride donkeys and eat insects. But this is just a little mouse who is cold. That's all.
Ryan chases the mouse out of the room. Down the hallway. And into Travis' room. Later, Jeff kills it with a piece of ice and plywood and I am very sad that the mouse has to die.
Then it's 8:00 a.m. Time to get Annie ready to go to the studio. 9:00 a.m. recording time. The day is just starting...
this is going to be a long day :)