Sophie’s Butterfly Story

Sophie’s Butterfly Story


Sophie asked for a butterfly picture to color and she colored it “with one gold wing and one red wing and blue in the middle.” Then she asked my sister to write down her words:

The sun was up in the sky below the butterfly’s barrettes and a turtle and a dog were there and the butterfly flied and it ate sandwiches. It sprang out into the flowing sun. The butterfly’s mother creaked* out and a mushroom growed below the butterfly. Some children looked up at the sky and saw the butterfly. One day at the park the butterfly was still there.

*Creaked is when someone is below the sun.

Sophie wants me to add: “And there was a turtle too.”

Bella colored a butterfly too, hers was all sorts of colors. The girls cut out their butterflies and then made a garden with all the silk scarves for flowers. They spent the afternoon playing butterflies flitting in the garden, putting statues in the garden (little people and animals), and trying to keep Anthony from destroying the gardens. 

Meanwhile I printed off a firetruck for Ben who colored it and had me cut it out for him and then he drove it around in the fireplace in preference to all his real cars and trucks.


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  • You know, they could be going through growth spurts, especially Ben.  David does this sort of thing occasionally still, althought not as frequently now maybe.  The amount of food he can put away during a growth spurt session is honestly terrifying, but he always sleeps well if I let him stuff himself with a snack before bed.

  • Oh, Melanie, you’ve touched a still raw nerve in me. If there is nothing more I understand about your struggles, I certainly understand the absolute frustration of having a big(er) little one not sleeping through the night and not knowing why. 

    My little one is 3 and we’ve finally had 6 (7?) weeks of solid sleeping though the night.  Though, turns out she has terrible night reflux where the only symptom she’s ever shown was waking up screaming/crying.

    I am definitely a better mother when I can get a solid few hours of sleep.  I remember rejoicing the first night I got 4 solid hours with her! I hope whatever is disturbing their slumber, teeth, two year-old grumpies or what have you, I hope it resolve itself sooner rather than later.

    Oh, may the Lord Bless you and your littles.  I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  • Hi Melanie,
    I often read your blog, but rarely do I comment.  I love how you can vivdly remember what happens in your day-to-day doings, and you write about it so articulately!  What prompted me to write today is that I too am feeling unsettled and am seeking a little peace to my day.  I believe 100% that it all has to do with sleep.  We poor mothers who are up all night, every night with various children, especially nursing babies that are worse now than they were as newborns?  My 10-month-old doesn’t even slowly wake.  She just wakes up, immediately sits up, and starts screaming bloody murder!!!!!  When this happens severaly times a night, it is exhausting.  It also makes for crabby mornings.  I often find that I cannot get anything done when I am that tired!  I will continue to pray for you and all mothers who just don’t get any darn sleep!  It is appropriate that it is Lent, and I always pray when I’m up at night.

  • Alicia, Thank you very much for the prayers. How did you finally diagnose the night reflux? I worry so much about there being something that we just don’t know how to pinpoint that is going untreated. Ben did have reflux when he was a baby. Now you’ve got me wondering….

  • Thank you, Marcie. I do think that the majority of it is sleep—I don’t want at all to downplay how much of a drain those interruptions are for all us mothers. And for fathers too! Poor Dom is suffering quite as much as I am and having the strain of going to work while exhausted.

    Still, neither do I want to overlook the lack of quiet and solitude that recharges my batteries. (Not such an issue for an extrovert, though even they really do need quiet and solitude!)  Of late my prayers had become desperate pleas not only for sleep but also for a little space in which I could just be alone. Dear God, I prayed, I know you want me to be a tender and loving mother, I know you want me to be patient and calm. So you must help me to learn how to do that in the face of this crushing burden! You say your yoke is easy and your burden is light; but I am overwhelmed. Help me please to find the rest I so desperately crave!

    And yet when I talked it over with my spiritual director she really helped me to see that by focusing only on the lack of sleep and the lack of quiet time I was really missing the spiritual component, the lack of quiet time spent in prayer. She helped me to see that beneath the physical exhaustion there was my starving soul that was not being fed so that I couldn’t give grace and mercy to my family. I do believe that with the grace of the sacraments, with the grace of the Eucharist, I can be calm and peaceful even when losing sleep.

    Oh, I can see so much more clearly now that even though I’ve been praying daily, not neglecting the Divine Office; but it’s almost always multitasking—praying while I fold laundry or while I cook, praying aloud while watching the children play. The little spaces I used to be able to find in my day for quiet prayer had all vanished as our schedules changed and shifted. Because I was so tired and because Anthony wakes up at 5 or 5:30 wanting to nurse, I’m not getting quiet prayer time before the kids wake up. Because I’m so depleted, when I am up in the middle of the night, I’m too foggy to use it for prayer. Because the boys have staggered their naps so that Anthony sleeps in the late morning/early afternoon while Ben sleeps later and because the girls aren’t taking naps and need one-on-one time with me during the afternoons, I haven’t been able to get any quiet time during afternoon naps. And because Ben is having such hard evenings and because my sister is no longer working in the evenings, I can no longer get an evening or two of quiet to myself during the week. It is so many small things but they all add up to no quiet time that doesn’t have a threat of interruption hanging over my head, no quiet prayer, no time to recharge and just listen to God. 

    Thankfully, I had already carved out a firm hour a month for spiritual direction in which I can stop long enough to hear God’s call. And it was really a revelation that while I had been so focusing on the issue of sleep and begging Him to give me more, He was using my lack of sleep to call closer to Him. I am really convinced that I wouldn’t have become desperate enough to set a firm limit about going to daily Mass and adoration if I hadn’t first been so physically drained; but the physical tiredness was really only a marker for the spiritual exhaustion. Now that Anthony is older I really can make time to go to Adoration as I couldn’t last year.

    I know if someone had said this to me a year ago, even six months ago, I would have been rather bitter because I would not have been able to see a way to get to daily Mass or Adoration. But I see how God has provided the means at the same time he has called me to draw closer to Him in the Eucharist.

    Thank you so much for your prayers. I will pray for you and for all sleepy mommies.

  • Oh, Melanie, you poor thing! I swear it is like something in the air! I finally got Teresa sleeping well and then Elizabeth regressed. She does this “I’m scared” panic and, if we don’t stay with her until she is asleep, she upsets herself until she throws up. Last night Teresa was up twice, Elizabeth up twice and Felicity up twice. If you figure out the causes, let me know. I know Teresa is teething too. The others I’m just at a loss.

    That is wonderful about going to Mass and Adoration though! I’m sure it will help more and more. You are doing great. Sleep depravation is always hard and makes everything else harder than it otherwise would be. I’m so sorry I don’t live closer – I’d be happy to watch the kids for you to get some quiet time.

  • Melanie, We missed all the “little” signs- thirsty at night, occasionally wanting something to eat, but not wanting to eat it (if that makes sense)- but most little kids go through that phase, as my older one sure did.  What finally cemented it was she started to vocalize back in October (@ 33mo old) that her neck hurt, her nose hurt and immediately followed up with requests for water and begging to take a sippy of water to bed with her that she’d suck on (much like a bottle) until she fell asleep.  After the doctor diagnosed her, then it made sense why she’d sleep better *up* in our arms as we soothed her to sleep rather then *down* on a pillow when we tired of holding her. 

    It’s such a hard line to walk.  All of the little things didn’t add up to much more then typical toddler behavior until the entire picture was put in front of us. 

    She was probably refluxing as a babe, too, and we didn’t catch it.  Colicy to 15mo, took middle of the night bottles until 22mo when I finally worked her off of that, but then the incessant night screaming started.  Hind sight is always 20/20, I guess.   

    At first, the docs suggested we make sure she had no more fruit, juice, dairy or acidy foods up to 4 hours before bed time so it would be mostly digested and not sitting her her tummy when she laid down for the night.  While that seemed to help, ultimately, she still ended up needing a prescription. 

    I do hope whatever is bothering Ben either presents itself more clearly or just goes ahead works itself out of his system.  Little ones are hard!  It makes me fear what’s to come in the future as I have more experienced mothers tell me this age really is the easy part! smile

    Still keeping you in my prayers.  And (((HUGS))). Lots of ‘em.

  • I don’t know. Anthony I suspect of a growth spurt. Ben though really picks and nibbles at his food and doesn’t have the healthy appetite I’d associate with a growth spurt. I do think things have been much better on days when they get outside to run around and burn of some of the energy.

    One other possibility: I’ve recently noticed that both of Ben’s upper two year molars look very odd. They seem to have a third row of points. I asked the pediatrician to look at it when I took Ben in this week (because things got so bad I was worried his ear infection had come back) and she was as baffled as I was. She took about half a dozen looks because like me she couldn’t figure out what she was seeing. Either both teeth are just very strangely shaped or maybe another tooth is coming up behind or beside them. I’m going to take him to the dentist to have it checked out. Perhaps if it is a second tooth coming in under or beside the molar then it is causing him pain.

    Or maybe it’s just the two year-old grumpies. The pediatrician said not to discount that.