Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Slowly Cracking Mommy

Hold onto your seats Gentle Readers. Tonight I am armed with 4 days worth of single parenting, 16 hours cumulative sleep over 3 days, stress of having to pack for 3 people for 4 days out of town and a sick child, just for good measure. What this boils down to is a whole lotta' grumpy complaining and irritation with a hint of bitterness for added flavor. Although it is Thanksgiving Eve and by tomorrow I would expect every other blog to be gushing about what they're thankful for, but I'm not there yet and need to relieve my gripes now. Check back with me tomorrow if you were expecting sunshine and rainbows on my pretty blog.

Here's your chance. Click away now if you just have no tolerance for whiners. Ready, set, click away.


Is anyone still there? Okay. I warned you.

Let me do a quick rewind. Oh, how about Monday. My kids are cute aren't they. Did you love the videos? Me too. What I didn't tell you is that Monday Elaina was sick. Throwing up sick. Call- off- work- to -stay- home-with-your-kid-sick. Eric had left on Sunday for his annual week long hunting trip in West Virginia and missed all of the fun. After I finally made it to bed about 1 a.m., I was startled awake by Elaina coughing, crying and yelling at 4 a.m. I tear into her room to discover that she had gotten sick all over herself, her bedding, and her pillows. Wanna know how I discovered that in the dark? Yeah, that's right. Ugh. After new jammies and relocating to my bed, I laid down a giant, thick bath towel beneath her and had her cuddle up close to me. Just when we were almost asleep; 5 a.m., another spew and another clean up. 6:00 a.m, repeat the same. Much to my surprise, by 9:30 she must have cleaned her system well enough that she was actually feeling much better. She was actually hungry, which never happens and she was pleasant and happy. So, the videos that I posted were actually taken around 7 p.m. and yes, my kids were still in their pajamas.

Tuesday was relatively decent. The last class of tumbling wrapped up and each and every kid there (only 4) acting like a monkey on the loose from the lab. Slightly exhausting, but we all made it through the evening.

And then there is today. Oh today. Lack of sleep is catching up with me, but look what I'm doing. Blogging. Not sleeping. Blogging. Not folding the two stacks of laundry that are holding down my sofa. Blogging. I haven't even packed a bag or stitch of clothing for our trip tomorrow as we head to my parent' house for Thanksgiving. Nope. Blogging and venting and complaining.

This evening was a struggle. A struggle in which I had to swallow back every expletive from falling out of my mouth. At certain times this evening, my kids met at a crossroads of crying, whining and fussing. Both at the same time. Lincoln was so tired, yet could not put himself to sleep. Does anyone remember how I mentioned that we had to change Lincoln's formula every few months from milk-based to lactose-free? and then vice-versa? Yeah, well, that switch was mandatory tonight and he suffered to try to get that point across to me. Poor little guy.

Here's some big news, I also failed to mention that I played a rotten trick on my 2 year old. Devious, rotten and sly. That's me. So, you know how Elaina was sick on Monday morning? (How could you forget, I wrote it a whole 4 paragraphs ago.) (No sleep. Remember? first paragraph.) Well, typically when Elaina isn't feeling well she wants her binkies all day long. Two binkies for that matter. One for her mouth and the other is rolled around between her fingers and pressed against her face and in her eye. Monday morning she didn't even show an interest in her binkies. Whaaa? My binky addict queen? Several bink-free hours passed before her naptime and then she then finally asked for them. Being the fast thinking Momma that I am, I told her that her binkies are the reason that she became sick and that she wouldn't want to get sick like that again because it made her tummy feel so bad. Surprisingly, she accepted that and put herself to sleep without anything further. (This is where Mommy does a happy dance out of pure shock and surprise!)

After Monday's successful nap without a binky, I decided to try my luck and push for a full fledged binky rehab for my 2 year old. When bedtime rolled around, the binkies were hidden and not even a single request was waged. Other than naptime at the babysitter's house (which will be a work in progress), we are on our way to becoming a binky free home. I should be ecstatic, right? Well, when you give up any lifelong habit, like a binky, you're bound to feel the effects of withdrawal. In Elaina's case, the effects are resisting sleep. She hasn't been able to put herself to sleep quite as easily as she could before. For the past 3 nights, we've been experiencing bedtimes up to 90 minutes later than usual. For a single parent caring for a child who flops around restlessly and comes up with 786 excuses why not to go to sleep and a baby who just wants to be held andthe center of attention, 9:30 bedtimes are completely unreasonable. My week has been insane!

Yes, I'm happy about seeing Elaina giving up her binky in the very near future, but Good Lord Almighty, I never knew that we would be going through this when Eric was out of town. I knew it wouldn't be easy for her, but I just didn't know what kind of withdrawal symptoms she would face. This has been a tough week for Elaina so far. This has been a tough week for me too. When I pick up the kids from the sitter's house and walk through our door, my evening doesn't stop. And when both kids are finally in bed just before 10:00, that's when Round 4 of my evening begins. Washing bottles, packing my lunch, doing laundry, cleaning up messes and preparing things for the next day of work. And when I feel like this, I become bitter, hostile and angry at my husband for being gone. Not only this week for hunting season, but for his extra-curricular commitments throughout the week. And then I get just plain, old mad. And then I turn to my computer and prove what a grump I can be. And then I feel better and call it a day.

Edited to add: Upon finishing this entry, I checked on Lincoln who was running a slight fever and dosed him with Tylenol as he slept. And I was so tired that I failed to publish and instead saved only as a draft. Typical as my week has been.

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