Yesterday, Lydia (5) presented me with a jewelry box made out of colored popsicle sticks and decorated with her special Lilifee stickers. Lilifee is a German cartoon fairy, and the stickers were given to her by our German exchange student a couple years ago. They obviously aren’t easy to come by, so I felt like it was kind of a big deal that Lydia shared them with me. She also had done most of the work on the jewelry box by herself. I cried a little when I opened it. (When and how did I become that mother who cries?)
Emma (21 months) didn’t make me a jewelry box for Mother’s Day. No, instead her gift to me was waking up with a goopy eye. You’ve never seen an eye this goopy. Her hair was stuck in the goop. If that made you throw up a little bit, just think what it was like to witness such a goopy eye in person.
I was certain this was quite possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but I know I do tend to get a little dramatic, so I tried to put this eyeball problem into perspective. After a moment, I admitted: I guess it’s not the worst thing that could have happened. It’s not like the goop was in both eyes.
I took Lydia to church while Ryan took Emma to the doctor. Pink eye was the diagnosis. Just look at that little swollen eye.
The remedy, of course, is eye drops. Eye drops that must be administered in an open eyeball four times a day. FOUR! This administration of eye drops requires the administrator to pry open the eye and stare directly into said infected eye.
Ryan assumed all eye drop administration duties yesterday while I separated myself by either going onto an entirely different floor of our house or by dry heaving in the bathroom.
I think it’s entirely reasonable for me to expect him to take off this entire week and stay home so I don’t have to step up to the role of eye drop administrator. But judging by his cheery disposition as he headed into work in the dark of the morning today, the man has no intentions of using vacation days to nurse an infected eye back to health.
I considered bringing Emma to him at work each time she needs eye drops, but ultimately decided (very bravely, I might add) that this is one yucky duty of motherhood I just have to accept. This is the part where I’m supposed to say that even with all the grossness and misery of these experiences, motherhood is still worth it. I’m not so sure.
After a prayer to calm my nerves (and my stomach), I ventured near the little dear, eye drop bottle in-hand. There was writhing, screaming and tears. And she pitched a fit too. I’m not entirely sure any of the drops actually made it into the eye, but once those drops were squeezed out of the bottle, I felt I had done my motherly duty to the best of my ability.
Through her tears, Emma gave a half smile and said in a cry-happy voice, “I did it!”
Yes, baby girl. You did it. And you’re going to do it again and again for the next week. Oh boy. Somehow we’ll make it.
On a completely unrelated note, we took a walk at Temple Square after church and the doctor. All I wanted was to have a good picture taken of my girls and me to capture our Mother’s Day. You know the one — the shot that captures the grace, elegance, youth and beauty of motherhood. The one that shows a devotion and love between child and mother. The one where the children look adoringly at their mother, grateful for all she has sacrificed to welcome them to and keep them in the world. The one I can pull out when my children are sassing me and say, “SEE! I’m a good mother, and I always have been! Look at our happiness!”
Just look at their faces in this next one to see how thrilled they are to be my children.
This next one kind of captures what I wanted, if you just assume the poor, swollen eye is a cute wink.
Alright, you got me. Even with all the grossness and misery of eyeballs, motherhood is, indeed, worth it.