It’s 2 a.m. and I’m adding peach-flavored popsicles to my Whole Foods cart, and crap, they’re out and no, I’m not sleep shopping. I wish I was.

I wish this middle-of-the-night mama mania was just another insomnia-induced frozen treats frenzied fiesta siesta but there’s peach flavored puke in my hair and something vaguely pina colada smelling on my shirt, and unless I was bar hopping without my knowledge, I’m pretty sure I’ve got one sick kid in my arms and one melted popsicle on my hands.

There is nothing more humbling and perhaps hallucinogenic than being up till the oh-so-wee hours of the morning with a screaming, vomiting toddler and not being able to operate that terrifically temperamental, trying-to-the-point-of-giving-it-the-old-heave-ho-out-the-bathroom-window thermometer.

“Did you check the batteries?”

“Of course I checked the batteries,” I snap at my poor husband because, after at least half a dozen hackneyed attempts to temporally take what at the moment feels like high school algebra all over again (I failed three years in a row until they finally put me in remedial math), I lose my popsicles or more aptly, an entire bottle of Infant Tylenol.

“This can’t be happening.” I was literally just holding it six sweet seconds ago and now it’s gone, disappeared, took the midnight train (and maybe I’m going rogue here) to wherever those sneaky socks and historically hard-to-hold-onto hairbrushes stole away to … Georgia or at least somewhere peach-flavored popsicles are easier to come by.

“I’m calling the doctor,” I say like I’m calling in the National Guard or at least National Lampoon because I’m trying hard to find the humor and the acetaminophen in all of this when the pediatrician’s on-call service asks me to disable any call blocking on my phone and I literally press *67 and hang up on them.

We take turns pacing the creaky floorboards, listening to a racoon rave outside the hottest club in town — our garbage cans — while our feverishly delirious toddler screams so uncontrollably, no amount of “Go Buster” (that trippy little transportation time-passer), peach-flavored popsicles or creaky floorboard pacing will keep him from ballistically back arching or exhuming his innards Exorcist-style all over our one remaining rug.

And here’s the truth from the very tired horse’s mouth: I never replaced the batteries. I can’t even find the batteries. I can’t find the Tylenol or a way to fall asleep by the time this very sick, very tired child finally passes out because I’m a ball of raw nerves, listening to him wheeze like a trucker with emphysema and hearing my husband gasp for air every time he pulls that CPAP off his face, spending the better part of the early morning hours staring at the ceiling, listening to that white noise machine that initially reminded me of our family vacays to North Truro but on second thought sounds more like an underwater airport terminal.

I start freaking out. I don’t even have a working thermometer and I can’t seem to keep batteries on hand and I’m starting to get really sucked into this busy little bus show even though he’s very much asleep and not even watching it and then I start mentally renovating the house we don’t even own in my head, redecorating down to the red front door I’m convinced should be blue and attached to a little beach house or condo I own in my all too time-consuming fantasy life as Esme, the would-be stewardess, or Margery Hirschberg, the aspiring novelist, and just as my eyes are finally getting that heavy feeling and the smell of peach-flavored puke is beginning to fade, I realize it’s time to get up and greet a brand new day.

I vow to start this new thing: I’m going to be positive. I’m going to make gratitude lists and meditate and say things like I’m manifesting,” or I’m putting it out to the universe.” I’m going to smile … with my teeth. I’m going to find the silver lining in all things shitty and puke-covered and batteries not included, and I’m going to do it with all the beaming rays of sunshine I can muster in every waking moment. I’m going to — maybe one day, someday, possibly, probably never — make my own popsicles.

Nevermind. Just thinking about it gives me brain freeze.

I go out to the driveway and rescue the never will-live-to-feel-the-charge-of-batteries-again thermometer I had chucked out the window. You had it coming,” I mutter and watch for a brief second as the sun rises just behind our garbage cans, and suddenly I’m feeling all nostalgic and all-knowing, swept up in the moment as I look at the trees and the green grass, the all-you-can-eat buffet that family of raccoons decided to finally cash in on — including that misplaced bottle of Tylenol.

Mystery solved. I guess that’s life…sometimes you have to look hard to find the good in the garbage.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.