Thursday, September 24, 2009


I thought I understood weariness. Particularly as the mom of three children, having experienced and survived those first few terrifying weeks after each was born, I believed that I fully comprehended the meaning of tired.

I clearly remember being up with my firstborn in the middle of the night, in a neighborhood that was dark and silent and peacefully asleep, feeling the fatigue deep down in my incompetent bones and wondering if I would ever feel well rested again. That exhaustion mutated into inexplicable irritation with my husband, and on that night, as I rocked the infant that had rocked my world, I methodically divided up our shared belongings in my head, like the stingiest divorce lawyer during heated arbitration. My spouse could have the sofa, but I was taking the dining room table. The casual dinnerware I suppose would have to go with him because everyone knows that the woman gets the fine china.

And the crazy thing about this train of thought that kept me occupied until our fussy two week old finally, with God’s great mercy, closed his sweet little eyes, was that I felt completely justified in my aggravation. I didn’t know exactly why I was so angry at the man who could make me weak in the knees with just a look, but what I did know, without a hormonal doubt, was that somehow he was to blame.

After a few continuous hours of sleep later that night, I woke up and all was well in my unstable world. The hormone monster was back in his cage, and I was able to spend the daylight hours marveling how good God was to bless me with such a wonderful husband. John, however, regarded me with apprehensive and watchful eyes, wondering when the next mood would swing, knocking his head high in the air and over the right-field fence.

Those middle of the night cries would wake me each night, the sound transported shrilly through the sardonic baby monitor glowing like the worst kind of kryptonite, and in a sleepwalk stupor I would find my way to the nursery, to the same rocking chair, and begin once more the task of splitting our marital possessions as amicably as I thought reasonable.

This same cycle of existence during those tumultuous days of infancy occurred until the hours of uninterrupted sleep outnumbered the missed episodes of Friends. Eventually routine and rest and restoration of balanced hormones replaced the unwarranted annoyance towards my innocent significant other, but I’ve never forgotten that feeling of indescribable fatigue which transformed into various emotions that suggested that my head, at any given moment, might just spin off of my body.

For the past 5 years, this type of tiredness has only been a distant, hazy memory. That is, until our trip to Walt Disney World last week.

This was the third time our family has visited the theme park that curiously inspires grown men to don Mickey Mouse ears, Goofy themed t-shirts and fanny packs spilling over with fast passes and autograph books. It is a joyful place, complete with non-stop music and smiling staff (cast) members, ice cream cones and light-up toys sold at every street corner.

We knew this trip would be different than the others. Our plan (Can you hear God chuckling?) was to visit all four of the major theme parks, a task never attempted before because of the ages of our children and the mandatory naps weaved throughout previous stays. Four parks in six days didn’t seem inappropriately ambitious, especially considering the high levels of energy exhibited on a daily basis by our three offspring.

But it wasn’t the children we should have been worried about.....

(part two tomorrow )


acassidy said...

Oh, come on!!! You have got to be kidding me!!!! You're chuckling, aren't you???? I've waited, what, 10 days for another one of your posts, and you have to make it a two parter?????

Joni said...

I am too tired to chuckle.

And it will be more than a two parter. It's going to take me at least two more posts to describe the attire witnessed at WDW.

For American men - white tube socks to the knees. For Non-American men - Disney everything - shirts, shorts, vests (yes, you read that right) and socks. Both of which are so very wrong.


Mom of Eleven said...

Oh, oh, oh, I can't wait to hear! Imagine taking a family of 14!!!! Yikes! NUTTY!! and CRAZY!! I can't wait to hear though. Disney World is always a better idea while planning and once you get home months later. . never while you are there.

Joni said...


I cannot imagine taking a party of 14 to WDW. In fact, I'm pretty certain that I would prefer having a tooth extracted or a finger amputated before I would dare endeavor such a task.

Reviewing all of our photos, it would appear as though we had a fabulous time. I'm sure that we did.

It's just that my right leg is still numb from all of the walking while my left one still drags behind the right. Not to mention that my heart is still palpitating from my experience on Rock and Roll roller coaster.

Nonetheless, a good time was had by all. You believe me, right?


elizabeth said...

Joni--you are so funny. Your accounts of being sleepy with a newborn seemed to have touched a nerve deep down in me that I have tried to forget about.:)

Hilarious. I can't wait to read more.


Joni said...

God gives us temporary amnesia during our sleep deprived days so that we will continue to procreate.

If we remembered, there would be a lot of single child families. : )


deann said...

I remember being teary eyed the first time we pulled in to WDW with the kids, then being teary eyed on day 2 that my fanny could not fit in Molly's stroller so Shane could push me around. My schedule was down to the millisecond and my poor mother-in-law, husband and kids thought I was a drill sargent screaming "hustle, hustle, chop, chop" trying to get to our next desitnation (all the while running over all the foreign lollygaggers achilles with my stroller). Kids are ready to go back, me...not so much!

Joni said...


I cannot think of an occasion where I walked as many miles as I did last week. At the end of our last day, smoke was actually coming out of of my tennis shoes. : )


Mom of Eleven said...

Yes, I would equate getting a finger amputated to the same feeling of taking so many to DW.

I forgot to comment about your early days of having a newborn. . strangely, even though I am still there, I forgot. Maybe that's why I did.

Anyway, even as good as Ann Claire is. . I find myself cringing when I hear those grunting noises. She has been sleeping through the night for a few weeks, but this morning they started at 3:30 A. M. UGH!! Luckily, she took her paci and drifted back off until 5 or 5:30, I can't remember what the clock said. But there is something about that interrupted sleep that just does something to your mind and HORMONES!! I think since my hair is falling out now, my hormones are making the transition. . . oh how the memory was starting to fade til I read your entry.

acassidy said...

Oh, the WDW didn't see any maternity boots, did you?? I actually could have used a pair the last time we were at WDW. Mmm hmm... as Kevin and Meghan enjoyed every roller coaster possible, I was hauling my 7 months pregnant self through the park to retrieve the next available fast pass for them. I feel your pain. And I still put on 50 pounds during that pregnancy! Seriously... you've had two days now....

dee said...

Just can't wait to hear all the details! My children once talked me into getting on the Rock and Roller coaster - I won't make that mistake again!! :)

Tracy said...

We leave in 2 days and go every year. It is certainly NOT a vacation for the adults - Yes it is a lot of work but so worth it. I have to have therapy when we return back to the real world.

Cathy said...

You make me laugh and smile. Love it! We haven't yet attempted the WDW experience, but I shall surely remember to schedule in many rest times!