Parenthood is a refiner's fire. I think it's one of the ways Heavenly Father tests us. For many of us, it is how we learn to be patient, to not judge, to be more understanding, to be flexible, to truly love. We might think we truly love before we have kids, but I don't think I really did, or understood it, until having kids. I know some people who can't have children and don't get to in this life, and I have to think that possibly, they have already figured some of these things out. As for me, I still have a very long way to go.
Trying to console an inconsolable one-year-old while managing four other wild children by myself is one of those moments where I know I'm being stretched. It took all I had in me to remain calm this afternoon while dealing with this. I racked my brain to think of ways to calm the baby and finally was able to calm him by climbing into a warm bath with him and getting out bath toys that hadn't been played with in years. He was even babbling like his normal self again for a little while. But as soon as the bath was over, the crankiness returned and that was how the next 1-1/2 hours were spent, carrying a cranky baby around trying to calm him.
It is my first instinct when faced with this type of adversity to call someone I know and get their input. But I could see that in this case, that would do nothing to help since I didn't know what was wrong with him and he was crying the whole time. It would have been hard to have a conversation while holding a crying baby. Because my husband was at work, I had to pass him off to my 8-year-old for about five minutes while I finished the dishes and got his room ready for bed.
Now that the kids are in bed, even the baby for now is sleeping, I feel such relief but at the same time anxiety, not knowing how this night will go but pretty sure it won't go wonderfully since I put a baby to bed who was quite unhappy and hadn't eaten anything almost all day.
We'll see how long I can keep this charade up of acting like I know what I'm doing. I can only imagine what it will be like in twenty-plus years when my daughter calls me because her baby is crying inconsolably and I can remember, calmly, even nostalgically, how it was.