I am Zombie Mom. No, it’s not my Halloween costume for this weekend, it’s my current state of being. As a parent we all go through periods of little sleep, and when you have kids and things go wrong, you often find when it rains it pours. Well, it’s been like biblical flooding the last week around here.
I spent most of last week sick myself, battling a fever for five days, and trying to make it through the day. I accomplished very little, and thank God my husband was doing dishes and laundry in my stead because it would have taken me another week to clean up the mess. I trudged through my week, and by Friday I was shaking my fist at the powers that be when I woke up with a toothache too.
Friday morning I woke up a sick baby to take her to school so Jake could get his pictures done, otherwise I would have just gone right to a dentist. Jake picked out his own shirt which I ironed and we talked about how if he smiled nice we’d put his picture next to Joey’s preschool photo. Since Jake wants to do everything his big brother does, this strategy typically pays off. Not this time. Jake cried and threw a fit, so no school picture for him. His teacher had to hold him to get him in the class photo.
Friday afternoon I was busy packing for a weekend trip to Pittsburgh, when the baby started with a fever. We haven’t seen my husband’s family in a while, so they said to come out even if the baby wasn’t feeling great. Packing and cleaning continued and I debated on taking my Motrin with wine but decided that might add liver damage to my ailments and just tried to hang in there. I knew I’d get more done once the kids were in bed and then….Bang! Jake slips and smashes his mouth off the end table. Blood, crying, a front tooth out of place, and an after hours call to the doctor. Bleeding stops, swelling continues, and I look for more Motrin and that bottle of wine. We try to get to bed early but all of the kids are up on throughout the night.
Saturday we stay home to reach a pediatric dentist. Finally get a hold of one and after describing Jake’s mouth, he says it can wait until Monday and the tooth may “just” need to be pulled. Baby wakes up with a high fever, and Joey is seemingly the only well child. I debate on strapping a helmet to his head. He is excited to go to his “best Buddy’s” birthday party around lunch, but by mid-morning has greenish yellow boogerish material weeping from his left eye. Itching and redness commence, and I give him an easy pink eye diagnosis. Cecilia’s fever gets worse Saturday night and Jake looks like he lost a fight with a table. Cecilia doesn’t fall asleep until 12:30am, Jake pees the bed at 2am, and Joey screams and cries cause his siblings woke him up and now has pink eye in both eyes and thinks he’s blind.
Sunday morning rolls around and I double my coffee intake before anything else happens. I call the doctor’s office and wait for them to call me back about eye drops for Joey’s eyes. They call back and Joey overhears me say he has pink eye, and cries because he thinks his eye color has changed to pink and pink is “just for girls.” While I am on the phone with the nurse the baby wakes up with a temp of 104. I feel panicked for an hour until Motrin kicks in and her temp comes down. Joey flips out after we give him eye drops, Jake smiles and has swollen purple bruised gums and a crooked tooth, and the poor baby is fussy all day. Sunday night feels like I’m in the movie “Groundhog’s Day” where Bill Murray’s character relives the same day over and over. Sleep eludes me yet again.
Monday rolls around and I am thankful and irritated to have Joey home from school. He feels fine, but needs the eye drops administered for 24 hrs before he can return to school. I listen him whine about wanting to go to school all day. The baby has a low fever but seems better. Jake’s mouth improves. I’m pissed cause Joey missed his school pictures. Monday night the baby now wants to be rocked again after all the coddling when she was sick. Her bed time this night is around 1am.
A muggy Tuesday morning finds me barely able to function, and despite a morning shower, I have a frizzy afro. I battle Joey with the damn eye drops, the baby is feeling better because she’s back to climbing and her usual destruction, but Jake gets progressively more whiny all day. By 4pm Jake has a 102 temp, and after an exhausting five days, I went to bed at 9pm. Jake is in my bed by 10pm with a 103 fever and a really stuffy nose. By 1am we finally get him settled in our bed and his rolls, kicks and snores all night. I know his temp is rising again because he feels hot as his throws his arms and legs over me, but since he’s sleeping, I let him go. At 6:15am this morning I wake up to a warm wet feeling, and realize the sick toddler has now just peed all over himself, my bed, and me.
I know there is not enough coffee to get me through the day today as I stand in the shower, and catch myself dozing off under the warm water several times. I am on my third cup of coffee of the day, and I think it will be a triumph if I make it until 3pm when I have to get Joey from school.
So excuse the ranting and the raving and the whining and complaining, I know we all have shitty days…I just feel like spewing it back out into the universe. If anyone has any suggestions on what sacrifice I can make to the gods of sleep, please let me know. I’m almost positive it’s not humanly possible to live like this.
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