I didn't get much sleep last night.
The girls were up coughing with the latest cold they've picked up from the church nursery and William rolled out of his toddler bed with a huge "THUMP!" at 2 AM. Henry fell asleep at 9 PM and slept soundly until 3 AM. After I nursed him for almost an hour, he made noises until I convinced Charlie at 6:30 AM to take him on a walk - with the dog - around the BIG block, not to be confused with the little block that only takes 5 minutes to circumnavigate. Unless he wanted to walk around it 10 times. Entirely, his choice.
Ever since William has been moved in to his own room, we've put a baby gate across his door so that he won't wander around the house when we're asleep. I no sooner closed my eyes this morning, when I heard William, with increasing intensity ask over and over again "Daddy, Why you do dat?! Daddy!!! Why you do DAT?! Daddy! Why you do DAT?!"
Recently, this has been the clue to let us know William is awake.
He is referring to the baby gate that stretches across his doorway and it deeply offends him that we've barricaded him into his room. So instead of shouting out "I'm awake! Come get me!!" he requires an explanation for the travesty we've inflicted upon him, each time he wakes up.
I pulled myself out of bed, shuffled down the hall and groggily explained "William. The gate is up so that you can't get out. We don't want for you to get in to things that would hurt you and/or cause financial damage to us. One day, you will understand."
I then lifted him over the gate with the armful of blankets that he was clutching, and tiptoeing past the girls' room whispered "Shh. It's still nighttime."
He looked at me with his big eyes and said "Mommy. I see the SUNSHINE. It not nighttime, the sun awake!!!" I threw one of the blankets over his head and said "No, no, see it's DARK. It's NIGHTTIME and you are still VERY SLEEPY." I brought him in to our bed and exhaustedly rubbed his back, hoping that he would discover that perhaps his mother was right and he still was sleepy. Even if just a little bit.
Or at least enough to lay there and not make a noise.
What seemed like mere seconds later, Charlie came back home. The girls woke up and William crawled over my face to go see everyone. When Charlie came in to check on me, he whispered those magic words ... the words that make me tingle ... the words that make my heart skip a beat and for a smile to spread from ear to ear.
He said "Jen, I got it covered. You go back to sleep."
And then, and this is the BEST PART, he closed the door.
But damn if he didn't open the family room sliding door, which is immediately adjacent to our bedroom, where all the windows were open.
Still, I was so tired, I quickly lost consciousness - while the hum of children getting in to everything that I'd neatly put away the night before started anew, became fainter and fainter.
I was dreaming that I was on a tropical beach lazing on a double wide chaise lounge, with striped organic slip covers, in a beautiful bathing suit. The water was turquoise, the sand was white. Palm trees were swaying over head and a few white clouds spotted the sky. I was beautifully tanned. I had no stretch marks, no rolls of excess skin on my tummy, no saddle bags on my legs that looked like they were packed with everything I'd need for my vacation. I was drinking something out of a coconut and thinking about what I would eat for lunch. Maybe an arugula salad tossed with cajun shrimp and a nice crusty French bread roll.
All I could hear were the waves softly lapping on to the sand and a gentle breeze blowing.
And then, out of no where, a partially sinking boat that had been set aflame, crashed on to the shore. A familiar looking man, jumped off the bow and came running towards me with his arms flailing and yelling "Mutiny!! Mutiny!! They want my BLOOD!!!"
It was a terribly disturbing image. I tried desperately to block it out.
But it was too late.
Climbing out of bed, more tired than I ever remember being in my entire life and on achy legs that I thought for sure would buckle, I wobbled in to the kitchen where the children were flinging the fancy pesto sausage at each other, that Charlie had bought earlier in the week.
Dishes were piled up in the sink.
Pans were on the stove.
Lunch supplies were scattered across the counter.
Henry was wailing from his bouncy chair.
Charlie looked frazzled and told me in a shaky voice "I'm COMPLETELY out of coffee."
Which, if you know Charlie, you know this is the worst thing imaginable.
I picked up Henry and sat down to nurse when Charlie informed me that he was taking the children to the zoo following breakfast. Since he was returning to work next week, he decided that this would be a nice gesture - leaving me home alone with the baby.
I rejoiced. I thought about the things I would accomplish. I would get dressed. I would eat breakfast. I would do a quick clean of the house. I might even go to the store and buy some arugula and shrimp. And a coconut.
Charlie left at 9:00. For the next hour, I rocked and nursed my newborn. I then put him in his bouncy chair and read him several books. Just as I thought he was dozing off and I could brush my teeth and get dressed, he began fussing.
I hate to hear him cry. So, I picked him up and rocked him some more.
I laid him in his crib. He cried.
I rocked him. He fell asleep. Until I put him down. And then, he cried.
I nursed him again. He spit up all over me. I gave him a pacifier. He fell asleep. Until I put him down. And then, he cried.
I thought about all the things that I wanted to do today and got a little antsy.
How could I clean the bathrooms or change the sheets if I am wearing Henry?
How could I do all the things I did yesterday, with FOUR children and today I can't even get dressed with one?
I am now wearing Henry. The only time he seems happy is when I'm sitting perfectly still and he is in a Bjorn with his mouth positioned a quarter of an inch from my nipple with his arms wrapped around my waist.
(Hence the reason I am updating my blog).
It is 1:00 PM. I haven't cleaned the house. I haven't made the bed. I haven't gone to the store to purchase my arugula for lunch. Heck, I haven't even finished my bowl of cereal that is sitting on the kitchen table.
So the moral of this story is ... one baby is a lot harder than four. And if Henry has caught the cold that the girls have - I will .... I'm not sure what. Cry, perhaps.
Hopefully, our raggedy looking van will pull in to the driveway soon - the door will burst open with excitable children - and I can finally get something done.