Sleepless Nights – The Dark Side of Mothering

How do we find the will to survive a night without sleep when our children are sick? Why isn’t it sweet and magical like the mom giving her child Tylenol in the commercials? My 3yo son woke crying at 2am with a fever. Turning on the light to give him Tylenol meant a mini negotiation and a sticky stomach from spitting some of it out. “Take the medicine it will make you feel better.” “The monster got me mama. It made me hot.” (That was cute.) “Ok, this makes the monsters go away.”

Of course, at this point we couldn’t lay down and cuddle back to sleep. Suddenly he’s talking, and moving too much. We’re awake now! 3am we’re in mom’s room and 3yo says “I want to watch Joy.” Really kid? So I turn on Inside Out. Ten minutes in, we lose internet connection. WTF Comcast? We just talked to you on the phone hours ago. I decide it’s in the best interest of everyone if I contain the noise to my bedroom, which means rebooting the internet. So there I am, rebooting the internet in my 9yo daughter’s bedroom. Unfortunately her room is center to the house, so it just makes sense for the stupid wifi signal. “Mom? What are you doing?” “Go back to sleep, I’m just fixing the internet.” “What time is it?” …. “I think 3:30. Go back to bed.” Yeah, I’m winning at motherhood right now. Back in my room, my sick son is wearing a blanket like a cape and playing superman. Internet signal on the TV says strong, but no internet connection. Again, WTF Comcast?

Here enters Daddy, “Maybe you should just watch a dvd in the living room.” Mom has to go because for whatever reason my son is of the mindset that “Mama do it.” By it he means everything if mom is home. Otherwise yes daddy can do things. But where’s mama?

We cuddle on the couch with a movie. My son always sleeps with his own special pillow but of course tonight before climbing on the couch he adopted a second sleeping buddy. Suddenly he HAS to have the Mickey Mouse given to him on the day he was born. That meaning it has a rattle inside. It’s annoying as hell when you’re desperately trying to sleep on less than half of a couch. Somehow the smallest person takes the most space. As soon as I’d get into a form of restfulness, the mouse moved; if not the mouse, my son. At some point he has to pee and so I get up to help him. We start to resettle on the couch, and he rolls over right as I lay down. BOOM, tears in my eyes and my nose is on fire. “Ow, momma. You hurt me.” Takes deep breath, grinds teeth, “I’m sorry boo, let me kiss it.” And he’s all better.

It’s now a little after 5am, the movie is over and no we will not watch another one. It’s time for bed. “I sleep in daddy’s room.” (The other living room.) He knows I have no will power anymore. I follow him to the other couch. We cuddle up, I’m pinned on my left arm and somehow we manage sleep.

7:15 am… “Mom….Mom….” (My daughter) “WHAT?!” but really I whispered that. “It’s 7:15.” “Yea, ok. Tell Garrick to take you to school.” “Why?” “Do I look like I want to talk right now?!” I think she got the point. I now realize my arm is dead, and I’m covered in sweat. I’ve been pinned next to a sick kid and we are drenched. I get off the couch to head to bed for another short nap. I lift my shirt off and realize it’s pee. He had an accident. Neither of us seemed to notice nor care at the time.

I end this story by sharing that I love my son, I love being a mom, but everyone better just stay the hell away from me today.

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