Wonderful day at my house yesterday - my parents were in from out of town along with my sister. And my aunt and uncle came over. So it was the five them, plus the five of us (three kids, wife, me). And throw in a neighbor who comes over.
We ate delicious chicken pot pie a church member had given for pastor-appreciation month. We had a massive kickball game in the backyard (which is really too small for such a game). Then we ate moist, rich brownies my wife Candy made. Brownies with vanilla ice cream mmmm ....
It was, admittedly, a lot of excitement and stimulus for our 2-year-old daughter who's only been home from Ethiopia since June. We're still pretty protective about her, limiting her exposure to people and experiences. Yesterday was a lot for her. As was the previous day.
That day, a Friday, after school, a throng of neighborhood children gathered in and around one neighbor's yard. There must have been 20 or more kids. Several games were going - tag, some sort of war game, lawn mowing (the toddlers with plastic mowers). The ages ranged from 2 (my daughter and another two-year-old) all the way up to one high school freshman. It was great fun.
Those two maddeningly fun days accumulated dizzying over stimulus for our dear daughter. Last night, Saturday night, she could not fall asleep. Normally, she falls asleep in the stroller with me pushing, and it typically takes 10-20 minutes. Last night, I had to push her around in the dark for almost 55 minutes (a nice 3-mile walk for me). She finally conked out and we put her in bed.
I went out to watch my beloved Detroit Tigers get knocked out of the playoffs by Texas, an ugly 15-5 game (not ugly if you're a Rangers fan). I got home and got ready to get into bed around 11:15PM. I was not yet asleep when she popped away and would not go back to sleep.
Midnight ... 1AM ... 2:30.
It did not matter if I was with her or if Candy was with her. She preferred Candy, but she insisted on being awake. If either of us tried to lay her down or walk her or do any of the techniques to get her to sleep, she screamed, wailed, protested, and did it all very loudly. That girl has power with her lungs. It was enough to wake her 9-year-old brother and he was fuming mad. Miraculously, the 4-year-old brother slept through it.
Finally at 5 AM - yes - she and we were still awake at 5 AM (I put her in the van to see if taking her for a drive would get her to sleep). It worked. Thankfully, we got the 9-year-old back to sleep around 1 or 2AM. But, mommy, daddy, and baby girl were up most of the night, mommy and daddy, the entire night.
And today, as senior pastor, I get to baptize 4 people and preach the sermon.