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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


This was another whirlwind week of feedings and diaper changes, peppered with a few minutes of sleep. We had a few really good nights with solid stretches of 4 hours or so, and then a few awful nights where Merritt kept us up until 11 and then Hakan got up around 4. How my mother raised 6 of us without Netflix is miraculous.

We were especially surprised when I double checked my teaching schedule for the summer. I had remembered vaguely that my course was to begin May 24th, but when I looked on the academic calendar, there was no mention of any classes until May 31. With our hectic past few weeks, that’s what we had in our heads. I checked again and found no change to the academic calendar, but looked back to find the original email confirmation of my course, which stated that class begins on May 24, this week. After some triple and quadruple checking, I confirmed that I was to start class a week earlier than I had thought. Let the panic begin.

It’s really not as bad as it felt – I have been able to prepare for a few minutes here and there, usually right after Carver and Hakan are in bed. I think I may be more worried about catching up with sleep before the course – it’s nearly 4 hours long, twice a week!

We are looking forward to celebrating Hakan’s second birthday this week! He’s been craving the attention, too; it must be Merritt’s arrival that’s causing him to be this way. Some of the time he is just fine. Avey has been really good to both of the older boys, keeping them entertained. But some days he is just off. This morning, for example, he would just erupt in tears at the smallest disappointments. I reached his blanket for him when he apparently wanted to get it himself, and he reacted as if I had shot his best friend in front of him. He would not sit in his own chair for dinner last night, or for breakfast this morning. Instead, he simply had to sit in my lap, not allowing me to feed myself, or help the other kids.

Hopefully, the attention that comes with this birthday will help him to feel that he is still a valued member of our team, and we have decided to renew his contract for another year.

Otherwise, we’re surviving. We’ve been especially impressed with the outreach from our neighbors – two of our neighbors offered and brought us meals, and more brought gifts for Merritt. We’re glad to live in such a great neighborhood with such thoughtful people.

My class begins Tuesday, so if anyone has a desire to help feed and entertain kids, now’s the time to volunteer!


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