Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Night of a Thousand Interruptions

All right, I missed a day. I really wanted to do a post a day, oh well. Maybe I will try one day in the near future to do two posts in a single day. No real excuses for not posting. We were in Des Moines yesterday for an early holiday gathering, and I never found a good time to blog. Truthfully, I really didn't have anything worthy to write. How that has changed these last 24 hours.

While the day was good, the night was anything but. I went as far to call it "our worst night with two kids." At 10 pm last night, I was in bed with Sam on my left side sleeping in his pack-n-play and E was on my right rolling around on her air bed while Mike was finishing up homework in the living room. I was drifting in and out, while Ella was refusing to find dreamland. I finally relented and asked if she wanted to lay with me until daddy came to bed. Once she had the invite, she threw herself in the bed and quickly snuggled up to me. I must admit it was quite nice to have a warm little body to cuddle.

Shortly after 11, Mike found Ella and I buried under covers with E's arm draped over me. He quickly surmised that he might have to pull up a piece of floor. I woke up, briefed him on the agreement, and he gently moved Ella back to her bed. On cue, Sam started to whine. At home, I give him some time before I step in. With him an arms length away, I got out of bed and tried to calm him down. After a few minutes of coaxing, the boy was back asleep. A generous 45 minutes passed before Ella started rolling around and crying out in her sleep. In a few brief seconds, the innocent cries developed in blood-curdling screams. Mike and I have learned these night terrors just need time to pass. She doesn't want us to touch her or talk to her. If we do, it just enrages her even more. We just have to let her be. Well, that works when we were are in the comforts of our house, but not so well when we are packed together in one room within an ear-shot of others. Luckily, she didn't wake her brother. He stirred but never completely awoke.

After 15 very loud and long minutes, Ella mixed in a few words with her screams. It took some time but I was finally able to identify "mamma." I asked Ella if she wanted to lay with me again. Slowly, she calmed down and crawled next to me, and in a matter of seconds was back asleep. Mike took up residence on the floor wedged between the bed and the air bed.

A few brief hours passed before Mr. S decided to get in on the action. Those hours were not very restful as I spent them dodging feet and elbows sent sailing my way by my little girl. Unfortunately, it took the little man some time to calm down. Mike stood over the pack-n-play patting his back and shoosing him. Once he was asleep, we re-assumed our positions only for E to wake up a few hours requesting the blanket from her air bed which was the blanket Mike was using after we was kicked from the bed. He ventured back into the living room around 4:30 to track down a new blanket. What he did find was his grandma awake for the day. Here we are trying to say goodbye to the precious day and she is up ready to start a new one.

A few brief hours passed before Sam decided he wanted a bottle at his customary time of 7 am. I pulled him from the pack-n-play and dumped him with the first available grandparent. I went back into bed to find Ella awake and wanting to play. Again, opened the door and whisked her out to competent grandparents. Mike rose from the floor and laid next to me. Of course, sleep continued to evade me, so after an hour of trying, I gave in and decided it was time to start the day. I can't recall a night with both kids that was as rough as that. It was horrendous and I am just thankful it is over.

While we had fun with the family, it feels so good to be in my own bed with the kids sweetly tucked away in theirs. The lack of sleep was not today's only obstacle. More to mention, but I need sleep. Need to make up for what I missed last night. Part II to continue tomorrow....

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