I don’t feel I am remiss in thinking that my children are plotting against me. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they are working their way into breaking me down, night after night as they appear themselves to be sick with life-threatening illnesses. I then spend countless times getting up, checking on them, coaxing them back to bed, funneling medicines down their throats, and willing them to sleep through my powers of thought.
I thought this whole “sleeping through the night” thing was over 3 years ago when they passed through the baby stage of development. Clearly, I am a jackass for thinking that by ages 5 and 6, they would be content to sleep on their own in their own beds for the duration of their sleeptime.
Take last night for example. Claire was diagnosed with double ear infections and an upper respiratory infection early yesterday, and with the aid of antibiotics and on-schedule over-the-counter medicine dosing, she’s 90% of her normal self. I stupidly thought this would mean that with a dose of nighttime cough and cold medicine that she’d be able to sleep comfortably through the night.
That’s where the “stupid” part of my self descriptor comes into play. Not only does Claire never sleep through the night, she has a routine where she wakes around 11:30, sleepwalks into the living room or my bedroom, and demands to sleep in my bed. I take her back to bed (ie. her nap mat on Anna’s bedroom floor where she’s been sleeping for the last 6 months), threaten to put her in her own bed if she doesn’t go back to sleep, and use the power of The Secret to mind-control her to stay in bed. About an hour later just as I’m entering my own happy sleepy time state of asleepness, she comes back into my room, says she “can’t sleep good,” and I encourage/threaten/force her back to her “bed.” She stays there until sometime in the night when I’m somewhere in the state of dreaming between Dwight Howard carrying me like a baby and Edward taking me to our marital bed, at which point she climbs into my bed unbeknownst to me, and stays there until morning.
I’ve actually gotten quite used to this routine. As much as it needs to change, it’s our norm for now. While this nightly nighttime dance goes on with Claire, Anna is snoring her night away in her own bed, only getting up around 6-7am when she is allowed to come into our room and snuggles with Patrick. She’s pretty much my favorite kid overnight.
Until last night.
Anna was up several times with an earache, coughing, anxiety about drinking Tylenol, demanding I lie down with her on the couch with a throw-up bowl next to us just in case she pukes up the medicine. Life with a kid who suffers from anxiety is never dull.
So that I don’t sound like a jackass mother who has no sympathy for children who exhibit the signs of illness, let me show you the photo I just took and why I think they are systematically breaking me down.
These two jokers are clearly fully rested and feeling well while I am still in my PJs funneling coffee into my veins.