Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bedtime on Speed

Three out of the four munchkins have been down for the count with coxsackie virus (hand-foot-mouth, or otherwise known as sheer misery). The middle two had relatively mild cases, but Z was a mess. For the first day, he just wanted to sleep and when he wasn't sleeping, he was fighting a fever and being held. Then he got the sores and decided that sleep was for the weak. And he wanted to be held. Except he didn't want to be held. But don't put him down. And he didn't want to eat. Oh, and forget about drinking. And? He had a nice little ear infection to boot.

So we were bleary-eyed, watching for dehydration, and praying for this mess to leave.

Anyway, he's feeling MUCH better today. He's actually sitting on the table, eating a bowl of cereal while dancing to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." He's sitting on the table because I'm so happy to have my kid back to normal that he can do just about as he pleases.

Or, my house looks like a tornado hit and coated everything with a sticky residue and a thousand dirty dishes so letting him sit there allows me unload the dishwasher in peace.

Because seriously, holding a baby for three days straight while the older three ran rampant, (before they got sick), doesn't exactly lead to a neat and tidy home.

But whatever. I'm stoked that we'll be out of quarantine tomorrow.

Anyway, like last time, being sick leads to interesting habits with my kids. Bedtime is particularly interesting. Last night, Shaun was out, so I was gearing up for a solo bedtime routine. Usually, this isn't a big deal.

The boys and I sat in the girls' room and I regaled them with a ridiculous story about a runaway dragon who needed his toenails painted and to be rescued by a superhero. Yeah, or something like that. I gave them kisses, tucked them in, turned out the light and took the boys out.

Sayer got his own kisses and hugs and a brief story and I tucked him in as well.

He puffed his lip out and said, "But... but... MAMA! I want a snuggle. No, TWO. No, EIGHTEEN!"

Now, I'm not quite sure how to quantify snuggles, so I gave him a bunch of squeezes and counted to 18.

Meanwhile, Z was climbing into S' bed and dive-bombing the elder brother and giggling. I knew no one was going to sleep at that rate, so I told S I'd be back to check on him and dragged the baby into my room to rock.

He was almost asleep when S appeared in the doorway. S doesn't seem to know how to whisper. And with one, "But MAMA, I am not dat tired!" Z was wide awake again. I gave S The Look and he trotted back to bed.

(It only took me four kids to perfect The Look).

Z drifted off again and I started to get up when Lex came in with the most dramatic pout on her face that I've ever seen and said in a louder-than-normal-speech stage whisper, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FALL ASLEEP!"

Because she hasn't been doing it every night for over 6 years or anything.

Another Look, another kid begrudgingly trotting back to bed.

I looked down and Z was peering up at me with bright, not-at-all-sleepy eyes. When I met his gaze, he bonked me on the head, giggled, and rolled off of my lap.

I scooped him up and went into S's room to see if maybe Z would drift off better if he heard the white noise. Besides, maybe my presence would lull S to sleep too.

Not... exactly. Z pretended to fall asleep several times only to sit straight up as soon as his body hit the mattress. Meanwhile, S was poking various limbs out of the window on his bed tent and periodically saying, "SHHHHH!"

Finally, I realized resistance was futile and took the boys in the living room.

Z was incredibly put-out that I dared to set him on the floor and he flopped face down and pouted. S laid next to him and patted his head and gave him kisses until Z was smiling again.

(That little exchange of sweetness made me want to delay bedtime every night. Almost).

Then Z decided he wanted to wrestle and ended up sitting on his older brother and sticking his fingers in S's nostrils. Sayer was cracking up. Z was cracking up.

And of course, Lex heard the commotion and ended up in the fray. It was 8:30. We had started bedtime at 7:15.

(Caly had fallen asleep by 7:20. She was totally the golden child of the day).

After much negotiation and a few stories, S was back in his bed and off to dreamland.

L wanted me to come in and say goodnight again. I told her no because Z would end  up waking up Caly and I wasn't about to deal with that mess. At this, Z turned towards me slightly, grinned, waved bye-bye, and took off towards the girls' room, laughing wildly as I chased him down.

That boy is too much.

Lex went to sleep and I spent the next 15 minutes diving after a very stealthy boy as he attempted to go raid the rooms of the sleeping children.

Shaun walked in the door and I handed him the baby and disappeared to eat my weight in guacamole.

Five minutes later, Z was out like a light. Of course.

Then we had to put the chickens to sleep. And that? That's a hilarious story for another day.

Anyway, I'm glad my people are nearly back to normal. I'll take a little craziness for that. Besides, when these kids are teenagers? Here's my documentation as to why I get to mete out payback. Oh, I will have my fun.

At 6am.


(He thinks that face will get him out of trouble. He's kind of right... don't tell him that. Whatever, he already knows).


  1. I cannot get over how big Z is!! my goodness, I need to come for a visit soon! thanks for the laughs :)

  2. Putting kids to bed at this age is much easier than waiting up for teenagers to get home. You know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing, even if it is mischievous. So, be careful what you wish for! It will happen before you know it! And have fun holding them- they won't let you do that forever either!

  3. That is complete craziness - I expect to have some of the same experience in a few weeks when I take 35 youth on Work Camp for two full weeks. Well, yours might still be crazier!

  4. Just catching up here! But I have to ask: With four very energetic kids, you thought you needed 12 more chickens to put to bed each night? You're crazy lady! :p


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