Monday, October 21, 2013

Three hours in...

Three hours into my first overnighter (3-overnighter, actually) with both kids. This will happen frequently, as Andrew often has overnight fieldwork; so it's good to start learning the rhythm of things, right?

This is my morning thus far:

(First, some background: Peregrine had a high fever yesterday, so despite the fact that he's feeling fine today, we still can't go to preschool. So I'm stuck in the house with a slightly-sick Peregrine. All of the energy, none of the patience!! Okay, on to the timeline.)

Sometime before 5 AM: Sylvia wakes up to nurse, goes back to sleep peacefully. All well and good and according to schedule thus far. I have a slightly harder time going back to sleep, which is annoying,   but I have a couple hours left in the night, so I don't stress it.

Sometime slightly closer to 5 AM: Peregrine wakes up, crying for Daddy. Daddy troubleshoots, but Peregrine really just wants to stall going back to bed. A drink of water resets him, and he goes back to sleep (or does he?).

5:00 Andrew leaves for the wilds of Canada and three days in the field, flying in helicopters and taking pictures.

5:15 Peregrine cries again. I go into him and try my best to explain that Mommy needs to sleep because Mommy's the only one taking care of Peregrine and Sylvia because Daddy's on his trip and Peregrine gets all excited because Daddy gets to go in a helicopter and I seize the moment to sneak back into bed.

5:20 I hear a gag, the sound of liquid splashing, and my heart sinks. Peregrine starts screaming in terror (that night when he threw up seven times in six hours is still far too fresh in his memory). On cue, Sylvia starts screaming too. I run into P's room and ask him if he threw up. He sniffs and sobs out, "There's crud on my pillow! There's crud on my bottle! There's crud on my dees!" And then, the final insult: "And there's crud on my ear!" I assure him I'll clean it up, and spend the next five minutes telling him I will come back, but I really need my glasses.

5:30 Vomit cleanup commences, complete with pillow change, bundle change, diaper change, sponge bath, and clothing change. All narrated by Peregrine, who orders me around quite happily and makes sure I don't miss a single spot of "crud." This is all interrupted by frequent trips to Sylvia's bed to replace her pacifier. She has stopped screaming and has gone all wide-eyed and owly on me, thrilled that the light is on and it's morning time.

6:00 P in bed, Sylvia starting to sleep again. P proceeds to use the next hour and a half to call me back into his room, crying, making me jump up in fear that he's vomiting again. When I ask him what he needs, he usually names something easily within his reach or starts happily babbling to me about police cars and owls. Despite my (ever more desperate) pleas to sleep, and explanations that if Mommy can't sleep, Mommy can't do a good job taking care of him, he continues to call me back. I am losing patience fast and realizing I likely won't sleep this morning at all.

7:30 P finally settles down. On cue, Sylvia starts fighting the mucus in her nose, which has stayed away all night until now. She is happy to be settled back down with a pacifier, but she loses it on average every two minutes.

7:45 Sylvia settles down. Peregrine wakes up. As it is now morning, I can no longer point out the obvious lack of light and tell him to sleep. I give up. So does Sylvia, who decides to wake up, too.

8:00 I throw both kids in the bathtub to try to solve Peregrine's smelliness problem and Sylvia's fussiness problem. All goes well and fine until Peregrine ignores my repeated instructions on how to treat his sister and throws a cupful of water at her face. She screams. A lot. And won't be calmed until she's out of the bathtub. Peregrine is very scared by her reaction. Secretly, I'm pleased. I love it when natural consequences do their job.

I'd say we're off to a good start, eh? Here's my theory: get all the drama out in the first three hours and then spend the remaining three days living in peaceful harmony with each other and sleeping through the night (except for short nursing sessions that remind me my daughter is alive and in good health). 'Kay?

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