Friday, April 01, 2011


Yesterday, I was determined to get everyone to bed early. At 2:00 am. That was my goal.  So I got everyone up early so they'd be tired.

Big mistake.

When I'm too tired, I don't think clearly enough to do things "right" to get to bed early.

Anda had been invited to a birthday party, and the boys were immensely jealous. To get them to stop crying and yelling at me over it (as if I had any control over the guest list!), and knowing the fussiest one only likes parties for the treats, I promised them birthday party food at home, too.

But I was too tired to make both that and breakfast and lunch. One of the cake layers fell, so I stuffed the hollow with marshmallows in the frosting to the cake would layer properly. So we had chocolate cake with fudge frosting and marshmallows for a late breakfast.

Then I needed popsicle sticks for a project we were working on (a chart to improve the "flow" of our school day). Sleepily not thinking through the details, I handed out popsicles to everyone and said "Eat these and give me the sticks." Then nobody wanted lunch. So we had popsicles for lunch.

By a few minutes before dinner (we planned hamburgers), everyone was crying, fighting, or spacing out. Benji had fallen dead asleep in the tent in the baby's room. Finally, Anda looked at me and said, through her tears, "Too much sugar! Don't EVER do that to us again!"

So we ate dinner.

But Nathanael was so exhausted, he fell dead asleep crouched like a little frog across the seat of his chair in the middle of the meal.

Me being sleepy, I thought the boys might stay asleep for the night. It was midnight, after all.

So at 1:30, I called everyone to have their last snacks and we started our bedtime routine. Oh, the kids realized just then they hadn't finished school yet! So they were scrambling to finish (or I wouldn't read to them in their room). Meanwhile, I realized Elijah had been dead asleep in my arms for an hour and he looked like he was out for the night.

Just at 2:00, Benji strolled in. Wide awake. He'd had a nightmare that spiders were breaking through the ceiling and they killed him and, according to his report,  he died. In his dream.  SO the kids all played "killing spiders" to help Benji feel better. It worked, but it got everyone all worked up, too.

Finally got everyone settled into their beds at 3:00 am. And then I discovered that somewhere in the bedtime chaos, the kids had woken Nathanael. And he managed to wake Elijah.

So I read to everyone, put them all in bed, and THEN Daniel mentioned that I had promised them cocoa and ice cream with their party food, and we'd skipped that. He refused to sleep until I kept my promise, which he'd been thinking about for three days straight.

Curses on rash promises!

I told him I'd get those things for him after the little boys went to sleep and begged him to stay in bed. An hour later, the little boys were still awake and Dan wandered out and asked if he could quietly draw pictures.

Sure, I said, not realizing that Benji would watch and make all the sound effects and dialogue for the action pictures Dan was drawing.

Did I mention that Benji has no volume control? And that he's stuck on "LOUD" all the time?

And that by now it was 4:30 am and everyone was still going strong?

At some point before 5:00 am, Benji disappeared. I found him sleeping, snuggled up to Anda on her bed.

And I found Anda was actually still awake.

Did I mention she had to be up to get ready for school by 7:30 am? Yeah. 2 1/2 hours.

Half an hour later, Dan was still up but Nathie had consented to lay in Daddy's bed with a bottle of milk and go to sleep. So I finally, grouchily, with a lot of near-shouting, got Daniel his promised ice cream cone and heated water for his cocoa.

Nathie heard the noise and had to have an ice cream cone, too.

And then who should appear but Caleb. "Is that vitamins or ice cream you just gave them?"

I sent him back to bed. He had to be getting up for school in TWO hours! And when I did, I noticed Anda was just trying to be asleep, but wasn't asleep.

Dan finished his ice cream and insisted on cocoa, which I gave him with a scolding for not being willing to wait until tomorrow as I'd been begging him to do for 3 hours by then. (Darn that decision I made to always keep my promises to my kids so they would trust me. And I could have shot myself for not thinking clearly when I made the promises!).

Meanwhile, Nathanael couldn't finish his ice cream. He was too tired. Somewhere in there, Elijah fell asleep, too, but Nathanael's fussing woke him. So Daniel sweetly thanked me for keeping my promise and then put himself to bed and fell right to sleep.

And I quickly found myself rocking Nathanael in my lap and using my foot to rock Elijah in the car seat. They both fell asleep right at dawn.

I staggered into my room and slept for exactly one hour before I had to wake the kids for school.

While they were getting ready, Anda just started crying. I said, "What's the matter?" "I'm just too tired!" The kids know that out-of-the-home school is always optional, never required. So she opted out today and went back to bed. Caleb, despite troubles with the seams on his socks bugging him, went to school. He had been practicing a magic trick to do for the school talent show for a week, and he wasn't about to miss the auditions!

We have no car, so I had arranged for one of the other families to give him a ride. Did I remember to mention that in the foggy, sleep-deprived chaos the day before I had managed to make two cheesecakes? Finally discovered the secret of perfect cheesecake in my oven (baking them at 300 instead of 325). So I made one for us to test it, and when it worked I made another to give to the family taking Caleb to school to thank them.

So Caleb went off to school on 2 hours of sleep, to attend a school that runs exactly concurrently with our usual night. (It would be like sending your kids to school from 11:00 pm until 5:00 am).

I was worried about Caleb making it through the day, so I left the phone on. But I went back to bed.

At 11:30, the phone rang. Worried that it was Caleb saying he didn't get to audition for some reason (like he forgot to sign up), I hopped out of bed and ran to answer it.

It was the furnace technician, asking if he could come in half an hour to measure the space for the new furnace.

Yes, of course.  So I threw my clothes on and went back to bed until he arrived.

Then I sat there while he measured. I remembered to ask him what kind of furnace they were installing? He said, "It's a 90% efficient Payne furnace, made by Carrier. We're required to install the furnaces that are highest rated by Consumer Reports because we do all the maintenance for them for free as long as you're on LEAP" (so for at least this year, and, depending on how Tim's career is going, maybe for a couple of years).

Vaguely, my brain told me that all products would be improved if the companies had to do all service on them free for the life of the product......

Then he left and I went back to bed.

Sometime shortly after noon, my brother called asking for a recipe. Normally, I wouldn't have answered--I would have gone back to bed, but I'm particularly fond of my brothers and would never turn down a chance to talk to them. So I answered it and chatted with him, and then typed up and emailed him a recipe I thought he'd like.

Then I went back to bed.

An hour later, the dentist's office called. I was still worried it was Caleb calling, so I hopped out of bed again. This time, I missed the call and didn't call back. I was too sleepy by then. But I did check the message on my email to see what they wanted.

Then I went back to bed.

At 3:20, Caleb and his friend (who was bringing him home) knocked on the door. Caleb was cheerfully home, none the worse for the lack of sleep, and his friend said thanks for the cheesecake, they love cheesecake.

I tried to send Caleb back to bed, but then Nathanael drifted out of bed. Then Elijah woke up and I had to feed him. Then Benji woke up. And it was 3:30 pm, after all. NOT time to go back to bed, even on my shifted schedule.

And did I mention that I also had to deal with the usual things that wake moms at night--had to nurse the baby once or twice, had to hold Nathanael until he fell back asleep (we're getting him off bottles at night, but that means he's learning how to self-soothe all over again, and that takes contact with mommy), had to push Dan out of the way and send him to another bed because he'd twisted around in bed and was kicking Elijah in his sleep, had to send Benji potty and try to convince him to go back to sleep in his bed (but I found him snuggled up to Dan, head-to-feet, when I sent Dan out of my bed).

In other words, I haven't slept enough in two days now.

Everyone is sleepy. Everyone is spacey. Everyone is grouchy.

Oh, and did I mention they ate the leftover chocolate cake for breakfast because I was too tired to manage?

Here we go again.....

No comments: