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Long night




Having four children does not equate to being up four times as much in the night. I'm always telling my first time mom friends who are worried about ever sleeping again, "You will sleep again. The newborn phase is a phase." When your sleep is interrupted it feels like it will last that way forever, which it doesn't. It can feel like children will forever wake you and so I try to reassure my friends that their kids will sleep, it won't last forever, and-- hey, see?-- my kids sleep great.

Last night was not one of those nights.

6:30 pm

Since my hubby has weird hours right now with the Navy, the kids and I went to a friend's house for dinner. Before we left, I had put the children in pajamas so I wouldn't have to wrestle them by myself into pajamas when they were tired and excited from doing something different. I felt very proud of my cleverness when we got home around 6:30 pm and let the boys watch The Croods while our asthmatic toddler did his meds and I tidied the house while chatting on the phone with my sister. I then brushed the toddlers' teeth and had our oldest read them bedtime stories while I finished up in the kitchen.

7:30 pm

I was feeling pretty good about all that we had accomplished in the short amount of time before bedtime, when I saw our asthmatic toddler's face flushed and he was laying with his head back on the couch. I felt his head and he was burning up. I started working to bring the fever down and tried not to stress. I got the humidifier going and put them to bed, saying extra prayers with each of them.

8:00-9:00 pm

I was pretty stressed about our toddler's fever. He tends to catch colds and they become much bigger problems for him than his brothers. Like every other parent to an asthmatic, I'm concerned over the enterovirus. I sat outside his room and listened to him cough and toss and turn before he fell asleep {where he continued to cough and toss and turn}. At the end of an hour-- from the time I had given him Tylenol-- I took his temperature again and it had gone down 2 degrees. I felt myself relax some. I said a prayer over him again and finally went to take a shower.

9:30-10:30 pm

I got the baby ready for my bed and my hubby came home. We chatted about our days and then we went to bed. I told him the kids were going to have a rough night. Three of our four children are congested and have coughs-- our asthmatic having a pretty intense cough with a wheeze yesterday {wheeze alleviated by Albuterol every time yesterday and breathing eased after treatment}. I fed the baby who was a little irritated because of his congestion and then put him down for the night, sitting in his swing where he would be more elevated than his bassinet. Then I said another prayer for all our boys that they would sleep safe and be watched over all night.

3:00 am

The baby woke up at 3:00 am. I did the math real quick-- 4 and a half hours of sleep. I figured it would take an hour to feed him then I would sleep from 4 am to 6 am giving me another 2 hours of sleep. I fed the baby and put him back to bed at 4 am, just as planned. The only concern: I could hear our asthmatic toddler coughing a little on the other side of the house-- not too bad-- but I was worried about how much longer he would sleep.

4:15 am

My husband's alarm went off. Loudly. At 4:15 am. I know he tried to get out of bed to stop it and I know he was tired from his weird hours, but... husband, come on, a loud alarm at 4:15 am that I know you are considering hitting snooze on? No... He got up and went into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. His razor. The shower. The baby who was barely back in bed started stirring. I gave him his pacifier. I rolled over and tried to sleep through the noise in the bathroom.

4:30 am

My husband is asking me something. What is he saying? "Would you mind taking care of him?" "Who? What?" Our asthmatic toddler was standing next to my husband coughing. "What's wrong?" "He had an accident." I do the math on that: changing sheets {15 minutes}, bath {10 minutes}, putting toddler back to bed {5 minutes}, starting laundry {5 minutes}... nope, not going to happen. "I've been up since 3... Can you take him?" "Okay." I pull a pillow over my head and go back to sleep.

5:30 am

"I coughing." I open my eyes to see our asthmatic toddler standing by my bed. "Baby, close my door and get in bed." "Okay, momma." I roll over to make room for him in bed, only to hear the door close and his feet pitter-patter back across the house. Maybe he thought I was saying go back to bed... I feel bad. I get out of bed and turn on the Keurig as I cross through the kitchen. I open up the boys' bedroom door to see... 2 boys sleeping in their bunkbed and the twin bed empty. Where is our asthmatic toddler? Why does it smell slightly of pee in their room? I open the playroom door and there he is, sleeping on the nap bed. He looks like he might be falling asleep... I close the door. It clicks. He overflowed his Pull-Up and so my husband just put him to bed on the nap bed in the playroom instead of changing the bedding since he was pressed for time before work. Not wanting to wake up the 2 sleeping boys in there, I make a mental note to change the bedding later. I go to the kitchen and make coffee.

5:45 am

I hear the two boys left in the bedroom yelling their brother's name. Several things run through my head-- why are they awake at this time? Why are they yelling at this time? I don't want them waking the baby... I finish brushing my teeth and hurry to their room, understanding that it is probably confusing to wake up to find your brother missing. I open the bedroom door and the smell of pee hits me in the face. What?! Why so strong?! So I investigate. The other toddler in there is naked, the hamper full of pee soaked pajamas. It all comes rushing back-- my cleverness at putting them in pajamas before we went to my friend's house for dinner-- I didn't change them from underwear to Pull-Ups before bed! They aren't potty trained through the night! Ugh, mom fail. I pull off all the bedding on all the beds. I help the toddler in there get dressed. I shake my head at my forgetfulness. I get laundry started. I drink my coffee.

6:00 am

"I coughing." Our asthmatic toddler stands in the doorway of the family room. I feel his head and he's not warm. I listen to his chest; he's not wheezing. He's congested and breathing harder than normal. His cough doesn't sound the best, but he might possibly, maybe sound better than yesterday? I have him sit on the couch. I fold the clothes I put on our drying rack last night. I pull out my computer. I've started really making an effort to write every morning, at least busting out a page or 2. I open my book and stare at the blinking cursor. All I can think about is the pee soaked bedding, our toddler coughing on the couch behind me. I wonder how long it takes caffeine to metabolize {answer after Google search: about 15 minutes}.

7:00 am

Fast forward an hour. I fed all the kids early; they have all already finished breakfast. I don't normally let them come out of their bedroom before 7:30 am, making breakfast usually around 7:45/8:00 am. I'm sitting at our kitchen table with the baby babbling at his Wubbanub, our 6-year old playing some sort of loud handheld game in the family room {does it not have volume control?!}, one of our 3-year olds asking me quite possibly every question he could ever think of ever, and our asthmatic toddler walking around coughing and blowing his nose while dropping a deck of cards around the kitchen, one card at a time. I'm on my second load of laundry and second cup of coffee. I've unloaded the dishwasher. The kids are {mostly} dressed.

And now it is time to feed the baby. A toddler wants to color and is getting out his crayons and paper; the other toddler apparently feels the need to tattle on him for this... The day is officially underway.

How often do you have nights like this?

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