Sunday, February 10, 2008

not like the all-nighters I pulled in college

There's nothing quite like going to bed two hours earlier than you normally do, after cleaning the house and mopping the floors, only to turn on the television and catch the second half of "Sleeping with the Enemy".

And then, once the movie ends, see that they are showing "Sleeping with the Enemy" again, and since it's been 16 years since you've seen this suspense film from the beginning, you decide to watch up to the point when you tuned in, earlier in the evening.

But, instead, you watch the whole thing just to see if you are as freaked out when Julia Roberts opens the kitchen cupboards and sees all the cans neatly aligned. And before you know it, you are going to sleep an hour later than you normally would and full of fear that some psychopath will sneak in to your house in the middle of the night and line up the fringe on your bathroom towels.

Just as you are about to fall asleep, after suffering a dry coughing fit that lasts for a solid 30-minutes, you are soon startled by one of your children screaming that they are wet, but when you run in to their room before they wake up the whole house, the first thing that you notice is the smell of vomit.

And when you turn on the lights, you see that there is vomit everywhere. All over the bed, pillows, blankets, walls and guard rails. The child that is screaming is covered in vomit from their head to their toes and another child is screaming that there is "Bomit all ovah BUNNY!"

After you give the vomit-covered child a bath and your spouse changes all of the linens on their bed - including the waterproof mattress pad and waterproof slip covers on all of the pillows, you bring the freshly cleaned child back in to their bedroom and as you prepare to put them in bed, they begin vomiting again all over the floor that you had just mopped.

You reconsider putting them in bed and instead, decide to let them sleep on gymnastic mats in the family room. So you haul pillows and blankets - and waterproof pads - and make a sick bed on your floor, while your spouse cleans up the floor and sets up a sleeping station on the couch so that he can be near in case they are sick again.

Stealing a glance at the clock on your way back to bed, you calculate that had you not watched the stupid movie twice, you would have been asleep for four hours before this wake-up call, you've been up for two hours dealing with it, and chances are excellent that your fourth child will be awake within an hour.

No sooner do you lay your head on your pillow and start to fall back to sleep, but you hear the familiar cry of your baby. As you groggily climb out of bed, you notice that the sky is turning lighter. You return to bed with your baby and are hopeful that maybe you'll be able to close your eyes for just a minute...

But instead, you are startled by a shrill little voice proclaiming "The sun is up for the day evwybody wake-up!!"

When you stagger out to the family room and place your baby on your snoring husband's chest, he turns and looks at you with bags under his eyes that are large enough to hold your entire wardrobe. On the ground is a sick child with a bowl that had previously been used as a catch basin on her head, and your young son is pretending that his tangerine is a soccer ball and demanding french toast for breakfast.

Knowing that I've got a full day before me ... I feel more desperate and pathetic than I ever did walking in to a Calculus final.


  1. Why did we even HAVE children?

    I think again and again, by the way, of when your husband left you that note that said something like, "I love my LIFE, I love my WIFE, I even love my KIDS." It can't quite work its magic on the kind of night you describe--but I find it helpful to think of on other, less awful mornings.

  2. Oh bummer. Let's hope the vomiting remains with single said child!

  3. Hang in there! It'll be over before you know it. You can do it, Jen.

    *Lots of cheering from my side*

    (I know - it can't be easy - but that's all I can offer from my side - support and perhaps a prayer - hope the kids get well soon.)

  4. Sometimes I get so depressed reading your posts. You my friend do indeed have your hands full. Yes I know that you have heard it a million times before. I get the same damn comment. I have been there, and undoubtable will be there again. Unfourtunately I dont have a husband that can function for late night help. Hugs.

  5. This completely and totally describes my nights occasionally. It never fails that when I've prepared to go to be early, instead I'm up late reading blogs and then by the time I get in bed someone is beckoning. It sure was lots more fun to watch the sun coming up while in college!

  6. ugh. so sorry, hon. hope things get better soon.

    and here's my catchphrase for everything: this too shall pass...

  7. That's waaaay scarier than waking up to realingned fringe.

    Hope you can catch a nap today.

  8. I recently discovered your blog and I so enjoy reading it. As cathartic as it is for you to write, it is for me to read. My triplets are two, and we have a 5 yo daughter. While some the circumstances are different, I find myself reading your blog and saying, "Oh yeah, I know!"

    I can deal with any poopy, but vomit is the worst!!!

  9. Jen- I still haven't read your whole post, but get this....

    I watched the end of the first Sleeping With The Enemy TOO. Then I let the kids play in the garage by themselves and then let them watch videos in the other room for 2 HOURS so I could watch the second Sleeping With The Enemy and THEN they all ran in right as he came back to life and grabbed the gun. How's that for fantastic parenting???????

    Okay, now I have to go read your post! I nearly jumped off the couch when the cans were all lined up in the cupboards again.

  10. OH MY GOD! I only have a migraine today! I can't believe your kids have the throwing up thing again! Jen, that's HORRIBLE! Hope that passes quickly!


    Watch out! I don't believe it is possible to clean up that much vomit and not catch it yourself!

    It began with my two-year old Exorcist vomiting in the car on Thursday. Friday at 2 a.m. I'm nursing the baby ON THE TOILET because I think I'm going to have the runs and I realize I'm really going to vomit. My little Henry nursed the whole time while I vomited in a bowl I usually soak laundry in while futilely calling for my sleeping husband. He, by the way, began vomiting Sunday around dinner time and baby Henry vomited for the first time in his short 7 1/2 month life at 4:00 this morning and rolled in it.

    Figure you have about a day and a half in between carriers.

    Good luck.

  12. Of all the 'firsts' our children experience, my favorite was when they were old enough to know what 'that feeling' was and vomit in the toilet and not just all over everything!! Um, I think you have a long way to go, sorry! Hoping this is just a 24-hr thing and no one else gets it.

  13. Calculus...hehehehe...remember when you got us kicked out of class? Don't deny it! LOL!

  14. What a horrible feeling when the sun comes up and you know that you never went to bed...and you have a whole day ahead of you. That's the worst!!

  15. Wow. And the fun just keeps on coming! We had one of those days/nights on Thursday, except it was the four year old who wouldn't stop throwing up and me dealing with the triplets while spouse extraordinaire dealt with all things vomit.