At one point this morning as we were getting ready for Mass, Dom looked at me and said, “We’ve gone past the stage of wanting to cry and are right into composing the blog post in your head!” I had to laugh because that’s exactly what I’d been doing. Last night wasn’t quite the worst-case scenario for the DST “losing an hour of sleep” craziness; but it was still pretty epic.
I think it all started when Anthony gashed open his eyebrow at bedtime when he fell against the stool in the kitchen. Or, rather, I should say that Anthony’s injury was but a harbinger of the adventures that followed.
Bedtime actually went more smoothly than usual. Especially considering it was a Saturday night when we bathe all the children and the girls then have to have their wet hair brushed and braided, all of which adds a considerable amount of time to the bedtime routine. Still, the girls were in bed not long after 8 and Anthony followed not long after that. Ben took longer. (Ben always takes longer. He hates going to bed and needs a lot of attention at bedtime. I t think the root of it is that he doesn’t get enough one on one time during the day and he knows if he stays up after the other kids then he gets our full, undivided attention. So he’s got plenty of incentive to resist going to bed. ) But Ben did go down by 9. Theresa read to him while I was putting Anthony down and then I read him a couple more books and he fell asleep on my lap during the second book. So we were able to watch a tv show together for the first time this week, which has been especially bad for getting Ben to go to bed.
But Ben woke up screaming right as I was getting out of the shower. I went in and there was no problem I could see, though he did keep sneezing and sniffling. I sat still beside his bed for a minute and he eventually climbed into my lap and snuggled for a bit and then fell asleep there. When he was out again I put him back into his bed, figuring grimly that as he’d fallen asleep in my arms twice I was going to be in for at least one more wake up when he woke and realized I wasn’t there. At that point I would probably put him on the couch for the rest of the night, which is really his preferred sleeping place.
I was in bed before midnight, which is about standard for me. I’m such a night owl—Ben definitely takes after me. I fell asleep listening to Night Prayer on my iPhone so when Dom came in to ask for help I had to untangle myself from the headphones. But the first wake up wasn’t Ben. It was Sophie. Because we’d done baths before dinner, we’d put her in her pajamas after bath but with underwear rather than a pullup. Then we forgot to put her in a pullup at bedtime. She’d gone to bed in her underwear with predictably disastrous results. I had to help Dom because Sophie was in a panic as two of her quilts were soaked and she absolutely could not be tucked in unless all her blankies were there. So I had to run the wet things through the wash and the dryer at 1 in the morning. Sophie dozed on the couch but kept waking and needing to be resettled. I knew that I couldn’t go to sleep until her quilts were at least in the dryer so that if she woke again I could tuck them round her.
Eventually I was able to go back to bed. Anthony was still sleeping soundly and Dom was snoring. It didn’t take me long to get back to sleep. And then Ben woke up screaming at about 4 (which was actually 3 but you know the whole time change thing had deprived me of an hour of sleep by this time.) This time Ben did not calmly crawl into my lap to fall asleep. instead his screaming got more and more hysterical. I tried to tuck him in on the couch but I think the fact that Sophie was already there just made him more confused and upset. I lost my temper and screamed at him after the third or fourth time he threw all his blankets off the couch while screaming at me. I just couldn’t figure out what it was he needed to be able to settle down and I was too tired and frazzled after Sophie’s mess. I stormed back to the bedroom and sent Dom in. Dom got Ben to sleep at long last but then he woke up again. Dom, just as tired and frustrated as I was came back to the bedroom and let me know it was my turn again. This time I was more patient—I’d finally given in and recognized that I wasn’t going to get a good night’s sleep—and I got him to tell me that he wanted to cuddle with me. So I settled on the recliner under the electric blanket and put Ben on my lap with all his blankies on top of him. I was too wired to sleep like that but I relaxed and rested a bit and Ben soon was fast asleep.
At about 5 by the cable box’s clock Sophie stirred and resettled herself curled up with no blankies on her. I also heard Anthony stirring. So I wriggled out from under Ben and settled him onto the chair. I fetched her blankies from the dryer and tucked her in. Then I went back to bed for the last time. I got to sleep maybe an hour and a half before Anthony woke up wanting to nurse. He actually slept through the night, which was the one great blessing of the whole night. He nursed on one side and then the other and then settled back to sleep between Dom and me. I woke at about 7:30 and nudged Dom—we’d have to hurry to get ready for church. I crept out of bed, leaving Anthony asleep with pillows on either side of him to keep him from rolling off in his sleep. (He can climb down when he’s awake or if he’s not up to that he will yell until we come to get him.)
Ben and Sophie were already awake and playing in the living room. Dom and I launched right into preparing breakfast and things seemed to be going pretty well until Dom heard Anthony waking. He called to me from the bedroom, “I need help! There’s poop everywhere!” Oh no! All over my bed!? Yes. When I changed his diaper at 6 am I didn’t bother to put Anthony’s pj pants back on. I guess I’d also fastened his diaper a bit lopsided. He was smeared with poop all down his right leg to his toenails and all up his right arm past the elbow. And it was all over the quilt and comforter. Oh what a mess! As I was trying to clean him up he stood on the changing table and got poop all over it so that when I lay him down the poop was smeared all up his back and neck and shoulders. The only thing for it was obviously going to be a bath. While I was scrubbing the baby in the bath and Dom was trying to clean up the bed, Bella woke up and informed us that she’d had an accident in the middle of the night but hadn’t told us because she didn’t want to wake us up. So then Dom had to go help strip her bed and I had to supervise getting her wet clothes off and into the washer. Fortunately she’s quite calm about it and was able to take care of her things quite nicely. Still, there was that feeling of doom about it: of course this was the night she would have an accident after she hadn’t had one for weeks and weeks and weeks.
At that point I finally got around to getting my sister out of bed to help us. I’d promised to wake her with a cup of coffee, but I realized that not only was she going to have to get her coffee herself, I was going to need her to help me with the kids since we were already an hour behind in getting ready for Mass.
Somehow with all that we managed to make it to Mass with ten minutes to spare. Thank God for that! Then after we got home Ben threw up into the kitchen sink while Dom was making pancakes. He was picking things up out of the sink and licking them. I guess he’d tried to suck on the sponge and got a mouthful of nasty soap and other gunk. It seemed the perfect cap to a perfectly wretched string of events.
Now Sophie is cranky and I’m feeling snappish but that’s pretty par for the course on a Sunday afternoon. I suppose what stands out most is how much we took it all in stride. I didn’t make it through the night without owing two dollars to the rice bowl; but we did make it through the night and with our sense of humor intact all through the morning so that we arrived at church in good humor.