It’s official, I am never ever going to do something as foolish as say out loud (or on the blog) that my kids are germ free or sleeping well. Never ever again. Just last week I mentioned that it felt as though we’d survived another winter fairly unscathed, but the second after I pressed the publish button it went to pieces!
I’ve written before about the diabolical lack of sleep that often occurs in my house. I even made the much coveted Mumsnet Blog of the Day once with my musings on the subject. Of my three kids 3yo is a good sleeper; 5yo a terrible one; and although we got off to a great start the baby’s sleep went downhill from six months. Reaching a tortuous peak at the beginning of January, after becoming a co-sleeping, comfort feeding, waking every 40 minutes nightmare. We moved him into his own room, cut off the night time milk supply, increased his food intake and saw dramatic results. In fact for two blissful weeks he slept all the way through, and was a very happy boy for it.
Hubby and I weren’t able to do the kind of celebratory backflips you’d expect though, because as baby started sleeping our newly potty trained 3yo started waking up to use the toilet. I don’t want to grumble about this because I’m chuffed that she took to potty training as well as she did. It’s just a bit bloody ironic that our best sleeper started waking at the very same time as the baby started sleeping. Then (yep you’ve guessed it) 5yo joined the party and has been waking most nights, taking up to three frigging hours to go back to the land of nod! I have an awful feeling it’s linked to unhappiness at school.
Friday was a bad day, and bedtime horrendous which usually means we’re in for a treat during the night. Little one wet the bed and was very upset, it was unlike her but she was up and down for well over an hour, which woke her sister along the way. No sooner had 3yo finally settled 5yo was up ‘needing’ things – kisses, covers being put back on, the toilet, to ask questions about the meaning of life. By the time I crawled back into bed it was getting on for 4am, just as I was closing my eyes the baby cried out. He settled himself after a few minutes but could I drop back off? Nope! I was way too wired. In my clubbing days we used to have a saying “sleep is for the weak and week days only” – I feel this has now come back to bite me on the arse!
Needless to say Saturday was hard work, and the fun didn’t stop there my friends. I fell asleep on the couch at 8pm, went up to bed shortly after and had just under two hours kip before being woken up by a very distressed little man. I hugged him back to sleep numerous times but he woke the second I put him back in his cot. I have no idea what time it was when I admitted defeat and ended up sleeping in the rocking chair in his room with him on my lap. He was a real misery guts all day Sunday and a little feel of his gums revealed a pre-molar cutting through. I was relieved to discover there was a reason behind the wake up, at least it wasn’t for nothing.
Sunday evening he fed for two and a half hours before going down in his cot, but was awake again before I’d even walked down the stairs. Hubby hugged him back to sleep, and I just knew we were in for another corker. He woke up at 12:30 and in the process of getting him back to sleep both the girls were disturbed. 3yo did a wee, got straight back into bed and took the sensible option. 5yo still hadn’t settled when I attempted to go back to bed myself an hour later. Poor hubby was at breaking point by then, so I took over and had to go into her three more times before she finally went back to sleep. Just as I had closed my eyes the baby started screaming again. By now it was gone 2am and I didn’t even bother trying to get him down in his cot. I got myself as comfy as I could in the rocking chair and snatched some shut eye in between the wake ups.
Monday brought illness to the house – baby had developed a nasty croupy cough, snotty nose and intermittent temperature. 5yo also had a temperature and complained of a stomach ache so I kept her off school and we had a PJ day, which was a good move. Monday night was just as bad, I doubt I even clocked up three hours, but at least the girls both slept and for that I’m grateful. 5yo was better yesterday and went to school, but baby was still suffering. It was the little lady’s birthday, so we went to her favourite soft play and I had him in the sling so he kept his germs to himself. We had a lovely day playing and eating loads of treats, 5yo was well behaved after school too which always helps. Then poor 3yo caught her foot under the door as she was shutting it. Cue much blood and tears, and a horrid messy end to her special day.
If you are still reading then thank you. You’re probably wondering by now if I have a point, and I guess it’s this. I’ve learnt since having my third child that there will always be something going on with at least one of my kids. I think it will feel like a minor miracle if they are all well at the same time, and the nights that they all sleep through are to be truly cherished. The fact is when you have more kids than bedrooms, and thin walls it’s like playing dominoes. Only this game leaves you needing lots of coffee the next day!