Most people associate the phrase "in sickness and in health" with marriage vows, but I assure you, it is much more applicable to your relationship with your children. If your spouse gets sick, well that blows, but it doesn't suck the soul out of your heart and cause sleep deprivation the likes of which has only been used as a torture device by the CIA.
When your spouse gets sick, you feel kind of bad and then get really scared you're going to get it next and then finally are just all kinds of annoyed because HELLO, it's a sore throat, deal. But when your young children get sick, they neeeeeed you. In the middle of the night. Multiple times. And when both your children get sick at the same time? You might as well just camp out in the hallway because you're not getting any sleep in your own bed, that's for sure.
Last night Jack went to sleep at his normal time with a bit of a cough. He quieted down pretty quickly, so I figured he would be fine. Emmie went to bed at her normal time with nothing but a few sneezing fits throughout the day. Emmie sneezing repeatedly can only mean one thing and it's that she's getting sick. I tried to pretend it was just construction dust and ignored it. She awoke screaming at the top of her lungs at 8:40 p.m. For a kid who has been sleeping through the night for almost a year now, that was not a welcome deviation from the norm.
She didn't have a fever, but she was covered in snot and generally unhappy about life. We dosed her up with Motrin and Josh rocked her for a few minutes. She protested when he put her back in her crib, but she was conked out in a few minutes.
Predicting doom to Josh, I should have gone to bed right then. But I didn't. I stayed up voting for myself in the "Best Mommy Blog" contest and painting baseboards for the new bedroom. Josh shooed me to bed at 11 p.m. and the next thing I knew, I was awoken by a cat coughing up a hairball three rooms away.
Except we don't have cats anymore. I struggled to place the sound coming out of the monitor and realized it was Jack, hacking up a lung. This continued for several minutes, so I got up and got him some water to see if that would help. The time read 1:37 a.m. on my clock. Awesome. Jack, surprisingly, wasn't woken by his lungs exiting his body. So I woke him up to give him some water and Motrin and he promptly went back to sleep. And back to coughing.
He coughed non-stop for the next four hours. He coughed until he woke up for the day at 4:40 a.m. Who voluntarily gets up before 5 a.m.? How is this child even related to me? And more importantly, what did I ever do to deserve this sleep deprivation? Because when Jack wakes up at 4:40 a.m., so does Mommy.
In the meantime, Sleeping Beauty (aka Josh) hadn't missed a single wink and was snoring on his side of the bed, buried under the covers. I have never been more annoyed by him as much as I was at that moment. Here I was working on about two hours of sleep, all stolen in 15-minute increments when Jack's coughing slowed down, and now I was going to be awake for the day at 4:45 a.m.
Emmie wanted to get the band back together, so she joined the fun at 5:15 a.m. when I first heard her playing with the crib soother. I bit my own lip to stifle the scream coming out of my mouth and turned the monitors down a bit. Josh thinks I keep them at "jet-engine level" anyway, so turning them down just made the yelling quieter, it didn't silence it completely.
I laid there listening to the singing/coughing from Jack and the whining/lullabye music from Emmie for a little while and when Emmie went from whining to screaming at 6 a.m., I snapped.
"JOSH," I hissed. "I can't. I just can't. I know you have to work but you have to get up with them. I haven't slept all night. Literally, all night. I am pregnant. I am exhausted. I. Can't. Do. It."
He asked me what I wanted him to do and I cried in exasperation that I didn't care and I just wanted to sleep for an hour. Sixty measly minutes. I grabbed a pillow, stuffed it over my head, and found a comfortable position for my fat, pregnant ass. I don't know what he did or how he did it, but I woke up an hour later when he brought a happy Emmie in to our bedroom, joyfully yelling, "Momma! Momma!"
Jack didn't have a fever, so I sent him off to school. That's where he got this damn cough of doom anyway, so they could deal with it. I think the lack of sleep finally got to him, however, because he finally took a nap at school. I think his teacher almost fell over when she saw he really went to sleep, but he did. He came out to the car a little dazed, and cried that he wasn't feeling well, but perked up once we got home and he had a snack.
Emmie spent the day plowing through a box of Kleenex, clinging to me and generally acting like someone who will be seeing the doctor for an ear check in about two days if this keeps up. After he ultra-early wakeup, she took an awesome (insert eye-roll here) one-hour nap and woke up supremely cranky. Because she was sick, I let her have a cereal bar at each meal, therefor negating all the progress we have made in just saying no to cereal bars in the last two days. I am a sucker.
I spent the day wondering if it was naptime yet and trying to peel Emmie off my leg so I could use the bathroom alone. When I left her with my sister-in-law so I could run to Home Depot and pick Jack up from school, I think my ear drum ruptured from the screams she emitted. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law because thanks to her playing with the kids, I got to take a short power nap and woke up feeling slightly less like death was near.
I am guessing tonight is going to be much like last night and I am prepared to play the pregnancy card if I have to. Josh is working from home tomorrow and he is so doing the early-morning duty. My sanity depends on it.
Labels: Emmie, Jack, Sicky, Sleep