The Night That Never Ended

June 4, 2009

Moo woke up at a quarter to six this morning, crying and coughing.  Half-asleep, I despaired but wasn’t surprised – we spent the last three days dealing with the misery of a particularly vicious cold.  Sunday night, she simply refused to lay down, and we were up pretty much all night, each of us grabbing bits of sleep that added up to less than five total.  She wouldn’t even LEAN.  Herbie and I both got so fed up that we both tried giving her a push, figuring she was so exhausted maybe she’d just fall over and zonk out.  But we underestimated her.  At one point, we gave in and let her get in bed with us, but even then, as Herbie and I began to doze, she sat upright between us, mumbling about all the things she would rather be doing.

“Maybe in the morning, we go swimming,” she suggested.

“Yeah, hmmm,” I mumbled, half-asleep.  “But Moo, we don’t have a pool.”

She was silent for a minute, and I opened my eyes to see her eyelids drooping, her head bobbing forward.  Then she jerked her head back up.

“Maybe we could go to the grocery store and buy a swimming pool,” she said.

After that, I set us up on the couch and figured we’d watch Baby Einstein videos until she fell asleep.  Because she had to fall asleep, eventually, right?  Uh, no.  She refused to even recline against a pillow, sitting bolt upright on the edge of the couch, and at 2 a.m. I admitted defeat.  That’s when I told her we couldn’t watch TV all night, and said I would lay next to her on the floor in her bedroom while she tried to sleep in her bed.  She agreed, until the moment I picked her up to put her back in her bed, and then – well, remember Jack-Jack, the baby from The Incredibles?  Remember how, when he discovered his latent superpowers, he was able to suddenly turn into a flaming ball of baby-fire?  Yeah, like that.

But I did not back down!  I plunked my furious child into bed, turned off the light, lay down on the floor, and began to sing.

“NOOOOOO, MOMMY!  I DON’T WANT TO GET IN, I WANT TO GET OUT!”

And so we continued for the next 30 minutes (felt like two hours), me crooning “Over the Rainbow” and Moo screaming, “NOT IN, OUT!  NOT IN, MOMMY, OUT!”  (Did she think I’d just misunderstood?)  Finally, I started bawling.  Herbie came into the room, lay down next to me, and said, “Moo.  Mommy is crying.”

She blurbled and stopped screeching.  “Why Mommy crying?” she croaked, her voice hoarse from crying and screaming for almost five hours straight.

“Mommy is crying because she knows that the only way for you to feel better is to go to sleep, and she doesn’t know how to help you.”

I silently praised my wonderful husband for phrasing it so perfectly.

Moo thought for a second and then croaked, “Mommy, why are you crying?”  I guess she wanted to check and make sure Daddy was on the up-and-up.

“I’m crying because I’m sad that you’re sick, and I want you to feel better, and I know that the only way you will feel better is to go to sleep,” I said, backing up Herbie.

We waited.  Moo said nothing, and then – THUNK.  She fell over in bed.  10 seconds later, we heard slow, rasping breathing.

It lasted for a whole hour!  And then Herbie took the 3:30-6:30 shift.

But thankfully, this morning when Moo woke up coughing before 6, she only moaned and fell back asleep until 8:30.  We spent the day picking out books at the library, picking out cards at Hallmark, and sharing a muffin at Starbucks in the mall.  Moo marched the length of the mall, introducing herself as Vincent the Goat to anyone who asked.  We danced and giggled and marveled at the cool candy machines, and after three days, we were friends again.

Thank goodness.

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5 Responses to “The Night That Never Ended”

  1. Leslie Says:

    I think you confused NyQuil with DayQuil

  2. kristi Says:

    PAINFUL. I’ve been there. Glad you’re friends again!!

  3. soniar07 Says:

    Oh…my…god…I’m exhausted just reading this. I gotta read this again when I’m annoyed with my teenager. Hang in their chica. You made it!

  4. from the wings Says:

    Follow up: The fallout from this was that Herbie passed out at 9pm on Wednesday evening and slept through to 7am. What does 10 hours of sleep mean to you?

  5. pam b Says:

    oh i feel your pain. and your husband and my husband must be cut of the same cloth!


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