Broken

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The Bad Mother

My second little entered the world in much the same fashion and adoration of my first little. I did not get to see him upon his birth. This time, I was awake but he was immediately whisked away because he was completely blue.

I lied a bit. I did get to quickly glance at him before the nurses took him away. And I thought, "Oh gross! He's blue and nasty looking." I then spent the next 8 hours while he was in the NICU asking God to forgive me for being obsessed with physical characteristics that do not matter at all. I asked Him to save my baby. And then I complained a lot to Him that it was not fair that every visitor (and strangers) had seen my baby in the nursery, but that I had not.

Out of duress, the nurses brought him to me. They gave me 5 minutes to hold him. Literally. They had a timer. I stripped off his clothes and counted his toes. I smelled him and realized that he may have been the cutest baby I had ever seen. I did get irritated that someone had combed his hair into this curl that reminded me of the one of the munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. And then he was gone again.

I prayed earnestly that God would take care of my baby. I was desperate, but I had nothing to give. So, I promised God that if the new baby lived to go home, we would become a regularly attending church family. Ah...the promises of the broken to a God who is whole.


Most people tell stories of the jealousy the older siblings distribute upon the younger sibling. I never saw this. My oldest son, L, adored our baby. His "little bubba" was the best and he loved him very much. He would do anything that the new baby needed, even if it meant fixing his own Poptart or being super quiet because the baby was sleeping.

He did not, though, appreciate the decline in his quality of life due to the arrival of the bad mother.

L's stupid mother kept forgetting to pick him up from the sitters (leaving him AND his baby brother there) when she went to the store. Once upon a time...L's parents got a babysitter for a date night (which they had never had before the new baby) and...sit down for this...the bad mother told him that he would have to stay at home. L did try to explain that it was okay for the baby stay at home with a sitter; he was ready to go. The bad mother would hear none of that.

While the new baby was no imposition to him at all, his parents (mostly his good mother) had endured some sort of brain damage and life completely NOT good now. The bad mother did not always have enough room for L's things. The new baby had extra equipment that accompanied him on outings so L had to leave some toys at home. It was not uncommon that park-time had to quickly stop so that the new baby's machinery could be plugged back in. The battery on his monitors only lasted 3 hours. L was right in the middle of swinging.

The good mother was a mother of fairness. The bad mother could not count. She bought lots of stuff for the baby and only one thing for L. The bad mother, upon L's fit throwing in the store, walked away and left him sitting on the floor, alone, screaming. (She was around the corner watching, but he didn't know.) The good mother would have abandoned the cart, walked him to the restroom and had a conversation with him about rudeness and polite behavior.

One time, the bad mother made L stay at the babysitter's and she actually took the new baby with her. Seriously...you would not believe the horrors in that house!

L was never allowed to sleep in his parents' bed or bedroom. If he ever got sick, the good mother would snuggle up to him in his bed, rub his head and sing him a silly song. She would tell him a story of how his daddy would do the same thing to his mommy when she was sick. Always, she stayed until he fell asleep. Usually, she slept the rest of the night in his bed. The bad mother, though, let the new baby sleep in the bed with her. She said it was because he was sick, but L never saw anything wrong with him. And if he WAS sick, she should have rubbed his head and sang a silly song in HIS bed, not hers.

The good mother tucked L into bed every night. She would put on his lullaby CD, read a book and tell him how much she loved him. Sometimes L wouldn't want to go sleep, so the good mother would let him get out of bed if he stayed in his bedroom. The doorway gate was up and L's toys were around. She knew that L would get sleepy eventually and go to bed on his own.

The bad mother, though, sometimes got busy and did not tuck L into bed at night. On one specific night, L decided that he would announce his frustration with the entire universe and the break in the bedtime routine. L stood at the doorway gate and screamed with his entire might, "I'm not going to bed. I'm not sleepy." The bad mother warned him that he needed to be quiet because she had just gotten the new baby to go to sleep. She was too tired to deal with this mess tonight and that if L did not get quiet, he would have to sleep outside.

L was pretty sure that would never happen. The good mother was in there somewhere, except that she never showed up that night. L would relay the tragic events of that night the next day to his father's mother.

I had to sleep outside all night. Mom pushed me outside and gave me my pillow and my blanket and she wouldn't let me inside. And I screamed and I cried. And then I had to sleep out there for a long time until she let me inside.

Same event relived by bad mother. "L, you have to stop screaming. I just got the baby to sleep." Screaming continues. "L, if you keep screaming I am going to put you outside to sleep and you can scream all you want out there." Screaming continues.

L was escorted to the outside through the sliding glass doors with a pillow and blanket. The porch light was on so L couldn't see into the dark house or see that the bad mother was on the other side of the door. Each time he took a breath or a paused in silence, she opened the door and said, "Oh good...you're quiet. Are you ready to come inside?" L shouted 3 different times that he was NOT coming inside and that he was never going to be quiet. So the bad mother would close the door again and wait. It took quite few minutes before L sat onto the steps with his pillow beside him and the bad mother repeated her attempts. Finally, L conceded that he was done screaming. He went to his room. The bad mother tried to talk to him and hug him, but he just wanted to play quietly. He missed the good mother.

After 4 1/2 years of being a little human, L was not going down without a fight to maintain his position. L was not upset with the new baby, but that bad mother needed to leave. He would help move her along.

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