Your five year old coughs in the middle of the night – you hear it over the baby monitor. “Cough, cough, cough.”
“*groan* Nooooo!” you think, half asleep.
And again, “Cough, cough, cough.”
Over and over again, she coughs. You finally get up, or kick your husband with your very cold feet until he gets up, give her a dose of children’s Robitussin (Dear Lord, thank you for Children’s Robitussin!), and fall back asleep.
Over the baby monitor, you hear the angry sounds of Baby Dill #4, complaining about the boob that is missing from her mouth. You get up, fetch Angry Baby and change her diaper. Ahoy, you are thirsty, and your I’ve-had-four-children-bladder complains painfully about the addition of cold water to it’s holding tank.
It’s now 4:30am. You’re sitting on the toilet, silently pleading with your body to quit being a pansy and finish peeing already (Remember – four childbirths. Four.). Angry Baby has one arm down your pajama shirt, the other arm flailing around as she screams at the top of her lungs for you to nurse her (without words. Angry Baby doesn’t say words yet).
Then, you hear it. The sound of your sister in law’s alarm clock going off. And her door opening. No! The door to the bathroom is standing wide open! (This is a common occurrence at the Dill Residence – for there is no reason for the door to shut – four children will come bursting in the moment that latch clicks, regardless of their state of contentment prior to their Mother’s restroom break.) Quick as a whip – you lean forward and slam the door shut, lest sister in law see you in this less-than-perfect-state!
Heart still pounding from that adrenaline rush, you finally are able to exit the bathroom (after juggling angry baby – whose arm is still inside your PJ shirt, groping you, and whose voice is still shrieking the injustice of her situation to the world), drink another glass of water, and stumble across a sea of legos (where did those even come from?!? You definitely remember crawling around on your hands and knees after bedtime, picking up every single item from the living room floor.) to your bed.
Now, to get INTO your bed, you must first hoist Angry Baby up to your shoulder, with one arm, use the other arm to climb up over the foot of the bed, lean the elbow of the Angry-Baby-Holding-Arm onto the railing of the crib that Broken-Legged-Toddler is sleeping in, and carefully balance your over-sized body as you lean forward to clamber into your side of this sleeping haven. Watch out! There’s Broken-Legged-Toddler’s cast! Don’t sit on it! Hold Angry baby with one arm (STILL GROPING YOU!), and rearrange BLT (hehehehehe, BLT…. Bacon…) into a more comfortable looking position.
There, ah…. Settling down on the fifteen pillows behind you, you simultaneously lower Angry Baby, begin to nurse her, arrange the boppy pillow just so beneath her, pull the blankets up around the two of you in a way that keeps you both warm and doesn’t suffocate Fat Baby (Now that she has what she wants, she is her adorable, Fat self again). Comfort. Ah…
Sleep-Nursing is wonderful. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. The wonderful nodding off to sleep with your head awkwardly leaning on your own shoulder, so you can pop your eyes open every few seconds to make sure she is still nursing/breathing/asleep. The lovely tingly feeling in your hand, when your arm has gone to sleep – but knowing if you move your arm, Fat Baby will become Angry Baby again. The sweet, adorable feeling of well-overdue-for-a-nail-trim Fat Baby Toes, digging into your belly button when Fat Baby wriggles away to her own sleeping space next to you. And by “next to you,” of course, we mean “on top of you.” Sleep nursing is just marvelous in so many ways!
After re-arranging Fat Baby to a more cooperative sleeping position (forget about climbing back out of bed while holding her in one arm, trying not to wake her, tripping over princess toys and dirty laundry, and easing her back into her own, cold, lonely crib), you settle back down, making sure to keep Fat Baby both warm and safely covered with her own little fuzzy blanket you stole from BLT’s crib. Your eyes shut, and sleep comes so quickly. And then, over the baby monitor, you hear, “BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP!”
What the blazes is that?!?! Oh. It’s 5:30. Insane Nine Year Old seems to think she needs to be awake at 5:30 every morning. Every evening, she sets her alarm for this absurd hour, so excited about getting up before the sun. And every morning, she sleeps through that wretched alarm.
You kick your husband. Again. “Whatsginngon?” he mumbles.
“The alarm! Go in there and turn off that alarm!” You whisper angrily. How can he sleep through that?!?
“What? I don’t hear anything!” he grumps, rolling back over to go back to sleep.
“Go IN there! I KNOW you can’t hear it – that’s why I woke you up! *I* can hear it! And I have the Baby, I can’t get up! GOOOO!”
What a sport, that husband of yours. So helpful! He sneaks in, shuts off the alarm – through which the nine year old never even once rolled over – and comes back to bed, asleep before he even lays back down.
Lucky man. It takes a good 15 minutes for you to settle back down and fall asleep again.
“beeeepity beeeeeep beeeeeep boooooopity boooopy booop!”
What?!?! Oh. Your alarm. 6am. Why?!?! Why is it already morning?!?
Snooze. Four times.
Drat. Now we have to rush.
Very very very carefully, you ease your arm out from underneath sleeping Fat Baby. You carefully replace your warm body with a squishy pillow, right next to her angelic self. You distribute your weight evenly across the bed, so no springs creak as you climb over the foot of the bed. You turn around and readjust the covers, so that Mr. Dill has plenty of warmth, and the blankets aren’t entangled around Fat Baby. BLT needs a blanket adjustment as well, so you quickly re-tuck him in before dashing out your bedroom door.
Whispering as quietly as you can, because you forgot to turn off the baby monitor again, you awaken Nine Year Old. “Go lay in front of the heater in the living room, I’ll wake you up again in just a minute.” She wraps herself in her entire comforter, and stomps, stumbles, and groans across the house. “Psssst… ” You reach for the five year old, wrap her up like a burrito in her quilt, and carry her to the warm spot in the living room. “Five minutes, and then you have to get up, girls!”
Quickly now, for time is of the essence, you throw lunchables, capri suns, napkins and ice packs into two different lunch boxes. You scan the girls’ backpacks to make sure they have everything they need, sign the paper you were supposed to sign ten days ago, and zip up their bags. After much prodding, coaxing, and threatening, the girls are up, dressed, and even have their teeth and hair brushed when the bus arrives. It was a very snowy and icy week, so you help Sneezey (Five Year Old) skate across the driveway to the bus. Sweet, loving smiles and waves as the bus leaves with your eldest children. Now, dash back to the house!
*Yawn* This is it. The big decision making moment of the day. Do you:
A) Begin doing household chores that are well overdue to be done, will only get done if you do them, and must be done before 4pm today (a visitor is coming)? Being productive this early in the morning has always produced grand results – you know you will be more ready for your visitor, not feel rushed, and will feel good about yourself if you choose this route.
B) Carefully crawl back into bed, snuggle under the covers, and sleep for two more hours before Fat Baby and Gimpy Toddler get up for the day? You will then be so sleepy that it will require four cups of coffee, all of the leftover donuts from the weekend, two more hours of netflix and facebook browsing, and breakfast for the babies before you are able to function enough to do any household chores. You know you will feel rushed and anxious about getting the house ready for a visitor if you choose this route. But, you are so tired. And your night was rough. You deserve this extra sleep. You need it. Your body needs it. You know you love the sleep.
*sigh* Today, you make the right decision. Today, you choose productivity. Today, you make a pot of coffee, change the laundry, clean the children’s bedroom, fold laundry, sweep and mop the kitchen floor, and sort dirty laundry to be washed – before the babies wake up.
With awake babies, you change two diapers, buckle them into their high chairs, scramble eggs and make toast, attempt to eat a few bites in between fetching the five hundred things Gimpy needs in order to be able to eat (fork, spoon, not THAT spoon, ketchup on eggs, NO – BBQ sauce, eggs with no sauce, a new plate, cheese, not THAT cheese, a drink, not water, chocolate milk, that needs warmed up, not THAT HOT, a napkin, a wet napkin, no- a wet washrag, and – done – plate in the floor!).
You quickly rinse off all the dishes, even washing a few of them (because you’re really trying to keep on top of things like dishes and laundry, woo hoo for you!), before abandoning the kitchen.
Two tiny children are dressed in clean, warm clothes. Dirty clothes are taken to the laundry piles. A carton is turned on for two clean, tiny children. You turn to begin another task – but wait! Angry Baby needs to nurse! NOW!
While nursing that Fat, Adorable thing, you grab a notebook and begin making your grocery shopping list.
You mentally scroll through your entire pantry contents, then your fridge, then your canned goods shelf. You think about the events you have going on this week and next, how many meals will be just you and the kids, how many will Mr. Dill be present for. You meal plan, or try to, using things you already have, know how to make, and know the picky person in the house (Mr. Dill) will eat. Ahoy! Happy Fat Baby is ready to play with Gimpy Brother!
You dash away while both babies are content with a pile of Thomas the Train toys, take a cold shower (for the hot water is being siphoned to the washing machine, and throw on the clothes you grabbed from the clean stack of your laundry that you so carefully (and quickly) folded this morning.
Upon emerging from your blissfully independent shower time, you hear the most disturbing noise any mother could ever hear. Silence. And then, a giggle. Oh. No.
Fat Baby and Gimpy Toddler have taken it upon themselves to “help” fold the rest of the laundry. Which means they have pulled all the already-folded laundry across the room into new piles of fun, comfy, lounge areas, and have used quite a few clean articles of clothing to clean up what appears to be a spilled chocolate milk cup from yesterday’s morning snack time.
You resort the laundry, tossing the now-dirty stuff to the every-growing to-be-washed-piles. You re-fold everything, this time taking the time to put away (or at least put in the correct room) most of it. The duo of trouble makers is happy again, playing with trains. This seems like a good time for a Parenthood episode on netflix, a calm cup of coffee, and some facebook.
Ah…. You are so peaceful, sitting in your chair, surrounded by folded laundry. You have so much accomplished already this morning. You – wait, what is this on your notebook? Why is it all wet? Why is the table all wet? It smells like…. Your lap is wet, too! Nooo! The coffee is leaking out of the bottom of your cup!!!! All over you!!!
It is now 10am. You grab yet, another (hopefully full) set of clean clothes, and dash to the bathroom to wash coffee (well, really it’s the coffee creamer that is the problem) off yourself. The freshly mopped kitchen floor now sports several splats of said coffee, the dirty laundry pile is waist high, the grocery list needs to be redone, one of those babies has a suspicious smelling diaper, and the other baby is angry and wants to nurse again.
“Beep! Beeep! Beeeeeep!” The washing machine is ready to be changed.
“Beeeepity Booop Booopity Beeep!” The alarm on your phone, alerting you to the time Mr. Dill needed to get up, goes off.
“Duh, Dah, dee deet-ity dooo doo doo!” The phone rings – it’s someone from your church with a prayer chain message that you need to relay to four other people by phone as soon as possible.
“Knock, knock, knock,” the propane man is here, with a receipt for the tank-filling-up he just did (did he see you run through the house without a shirt on just now?!?).
“AAAAAAAA!” Angry Baby needs you!
“MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!!!” Stinky Toddler REALLY needs you!
“Duh, Dah, dee deet-ity doo doo doo!” The phone rings again, it’s your father, inquiring if you will be able to deliver 9-year-old’s history project to the school today, or if he should do so.
Mr. Dill hollers from across the house, for you to bring him some pants.
You still haven’t mopped up the coffee from your favorite chair.
Angry Baby And Stinky Toddler have discovered three kleenex boxes, which are so much fun to empty!
And the coffee you did manage to drink this morning is now racing through your digestive system, send you racing back to the bathroom.