Baby monitors do nothing. She's become so adept at this espionage that she barely makes a peep. There's no way to tell if she's tossing and turning or planning the apocalypse.

We've tried everything. Naps and no naps. Keeping her up later. Laying down with her. Standing outside the door. Yelling. One, stomach churning time, I tried to spank her. She yelped once and laughed; I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. We've bargained and pleaded. Tried every barrier to the door we could think of. Warm milk. Full stomach. We tried everything.

Did I mention that she's a monkey? She pulls out the drawers on her heavy, antique dresser and uses the drawers as a staircase to the top, where she proceeds to yell out, "STUCK! STUCK!"

The results of these midnight mishaps have been very cranky parents, a crabby two year old, and a whole lot of cleaning that I don't have time to do. I'm at my wits' end, and it's starting to show. The bags under my eyes are prominent. I put on two different shoes to run to the store and didn't realize it. I went to pour a cup of coffee, and poured it on the counter instead. I didn't even realize it until the boiling hot coffee hit my bare foot. Did I acknowledge the fact that I'd been coating the counter with java? No. Instead, I marveled at how much I needed a pedicure.

The worst was the other night. I heard her scrambling near the door, so I headed up the stairs in hopes of stopping her before she released locusts on us or opened up a vortex to another world. I was too late. She had not opened a vortex, per se, but she had pushed the gate down with such force that it had knocked a hole in the wall in the hallway. She stared at me as my face turned purple, largely in disbelief and frustration. I told her to wait one minute, and as she echoed the one minute call down the hall to my turned back, I muttered a string of obscenities under my breath.

So I'm exhausted. I'm stressed. I'm frustrated. On top of my weekend workload, I now had to patch a hole in a wall. Nevermind that I have no idea how to patch a hole in a wall, I just don't have the time or energy. I had my little one very young- 21- and learned quickly that they weren't lying when they said being a mother was the toughest job I'd ever take on. Especially as a single mother. While other women in their mid-twenties are sipping posh cocktails in little black dresses at swanky clubs, I gulp coffee to keep my eyes open in my well-worn bathrobe. While they gyrate to catchy pop music with men in too-tight shirts, I dance to the Baby Bop Hop in my slippers. Was it what I had in mind when I set out, wide-eyed and naïve, into the world? Absolutely not ...but there is a bright side.

A bottle of Coke, an ice cream cone,
a new pair of shoes, a red leather bag.
All beautiful types of treasures.

The touch of my man, a hug from my kids,
laughter on the phone with my friend,
photographs of my mom.
All good too, but real treasures?
Were these the riches
You have intended?

Help me to find true contentment
by being me and finding out
what that means.
The treasures I seek are Your solace
and knowing my purpose
is the treasure I seek.
Thank You for the treasure that will sustain me.



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