Norah has shared the Great and Funny Secret that Mommy’s has an actual name with Harriet. For two days this has proved an endless source of giggles, as one or the other will suddenly shout it and they both laugh and laugh. Cute as this is, I have inevitably responded with, “You get to call me ‘Mommy’.” The hilarity culminated yesterday afternoon when, directly after I made one such statement, the door buzzed. When I opened it, baby boy in arms and two interested little girls hovering behind, the postman simply asked my name aloud and the girls dissolved into hysteria.
Several of our friends in Oxford have recently completed their thesises (thesi?), reminding me that my husband Alex does in fact have a doctoral thesis to finish. Fired up anew to encourage him in this endeavor (and being severely sleep-deprived), the other morning I spontaneously composed a little ditty in the style of a high school-cheerleader chant (no, I never was). I was trying to spell ‘d-i-s-s-e-r-t-a-t-i-o-n’, but as Alex claims I actually started spelling ‘dessert’ I don’t expect it will do much good.
Harriet has developed an intense desire to “go to Bethlehem.” For over a week she has been asking many times a day for us to make this journey. This is a very difficult request for us to answer, particularly as we are not certain what exactly she means by it. Several days ago I entered the girls’ room to find Harriet crying broken-heartedly on Daddy’s lap. “What happened?” I asked. “She wants to go to Bethlehem,” he said. “And I told her we couldn’t right now.” Since then at every prayer time–meals, bedtime, disciplinary, etc.–Harriet interrupts the prayer with her request: “Go to Bethlehem, pease, Dod.” I think she wants to see the Baby Jesus.
Hugh is a lovely baby. But he has a touch of colic. It’s hard for him to nap well because many days he wakes screaming from internal discomfort every few minutes. This has been difficult for all of us, especially Mommy, who is being Humbled By Her Inability to Get Things Done. A friend helped with the girls this morning so in between Hugh’s screaming bouts I managed to both drink my entire cup of coffee and scrub the kitchen sink–two things that I haven’t accomplished for many weeks. What does it say about me that I enjoyed both immensely?
We always miss our family at this time of the year and all the fun and bustle of a house full of loved ones. Our Christmas will be a simple one. But I imagine the first Christmas was simple, too. We’ll be caring for a tiny baby and thinking on God’s plan to save the world. It’s a very fitting way to celebrate after all.