I'm not a big 'sleeper' really...but all the kids and I are fighting off colds and whatnot and I've been trying to get a good night's sleep so I remain rested and able to provide that extra oomph my immune system needs.
I am also used to getting up with Max through the night, as an infant she woke up screaming bloody murder about every hour, as a toddler she was up every two hours, sometimes stretching into three, but for the last few months it's been relatively peaceful through the night, and if she gets up, it's only once, it's usually handled in a few minutes and best of all, with no blood curdling screams.
Last night Max decided to bring sleepless back in a whole new way. Hours of torture.
Jeremiah and I watched two episodes of The Wire and afterward I headed to bed. I went into Rose and Olivia's room and turned off the t.v. (I know, I'm the devil...letting kids have a t.v. in their room is a Mommy 101 'no no'). I checked on Rose, who had been home from school for two days with a stomach bug.
I go into Max and Elijah's room and noticed that Max had turned on the auxiliary light at the far end of her room. She calls it her 'nightlight' but I hate leaving it on because it's so bright and bothers Elijah. So I turned it off and went to bed. I flipped the channels, turned off the t.v. and went to sleep. It was 12:15 am.
1:57am (the witching hour):
Max tiptoes across the room.
"Momma. Momma. Momma."
I wake to find her inches from my face beside my bed.
"MAX. Holy Cow. You scared me. What's the matter?"
"I need a drink."
"Ok Max...go get a drink of water from the bathroom. Your water cup is still there."
She lets out a low gutteral sound that makes my skin crawl. I am well familiar with that sound, she is getting ready to FREAK OUT.
"MOMMMMA....I can't...breath...you make me so....mad....I need....a drink...."
I carry her to her room, get her a drink of water and sit on her bed continuously hushing her and reminding her that everyone else in the house is sleeping.
She feigns concern for Jeremiah, who fell asleep on the couch.
"Jeremiah isn't in bed. Maybe I could go check on him and then get back in bed after I go downstairs."
"Max, I'm going back to bed. Please go to sleep."
She cries, but it's weak. I figure she'll be asleep before I even lay down.
2:06am: Max is back in front of my face. I curse (in my head, of course) what the fuck.
"Maxine what do you want now?"
She starts crying so loud I actually shoot out of bed.
"MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAA someone turned the night light in my room off. And I'm not tired."
"Max, everyone is asleep, you have to be quiet. I'll turn your nightlight on."
Upon entering her room, Elijah stirs in his crib. Shit shit shit.
I tuck Max back in, remind her that it's time for sleep (like she hasn't got all this crap totally figured out already) and I get back into my cozy bed.
This time Max is yelling at the tops of her lungs for me from her bed. I don't hear anyone else up, so I decide to ignore her for a few minutes. The cries issuing from her room are near to horrifying.
"Momma MY THROAT." "I NEED ANOTHER DWINK" "MOMMA CAN I WATCH T.V. IN YOUR ROOM I CAN'T SLEEP IN HERE ANYMORE." "I NEED YOU TO COME HERE MOMMMMMMMMMAAAAAA" "MOMMMMMAAAAA I CAN'T STOP CRYING UNTIL YOU COME HERE.......MOMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAA.......DID YOU HEAR ME MOMMMMMAAAAAAAA?"
I hear Rose stumble out of her room and stop in the hall in front of mine and Max's room...she shuffles into my room and starts to whine.
"Mom is there anything you can do about her? I need to sleep. I have school tomorrow and so much make up school work...and a test mom. A test."
"Ok, ok. Rose go back to bed. I'll see what I can do"
I enter Max's room and she's covered in tears and snot. I can tell she's made a big effort to leave all the gooey crap on her face for added effect.
Elijah is amazingly still sound asleep.
I take Max into the bathroom, clean off her face and give her a drink of water. I calm her down, tell her how proud I am of her for being such a big girl and sleeping in her own bed, and how I don't want to ruin it by letting her sleep in mine.
"Mom...Jeremiah isn't even in the bed. He won't care and if you let me sleep with you I won't pee in my pull up."
"Max, you shouldn't be peeing in your pull up anyways."
She looks almost sheepish here, which is strange for Max. I put her back into her bed and get back into mine.
I hear stirring and I think it's her getting out of bed again, instead it's Elijah jumping in his crib.
"MaaaaaaMaaaaaaa. Wo Wo Wo Wo Wo Wo. (water)"
I get out of bed, get him a drink, kiss both him and Max AGAIN and get back into bed.
Max is inches from my face. At least she isn't crying.
"Momma. I peed in my pull up. My bed is wet."
I get up, change her bed clothes, clean her with a warm washcloth, get a new pull up on her. Put her back in her bed, properly tuck her in to escape any further complaints (silky first, the sheety, then comfy blanky). Take the bedclothes down to the basement, turn off the blaring living room t.v. (JEREMIAH! Turn off the t.v. when you're not watching it!) and get back into bed.
Max is sobbing in her room. I ignore her. At least she is sobbing quietly. I feel bad for her, but I'm very tired and I know that I have three other children to take care of in the morning. Finally after ten minutes of her sobbing I go and check on her.
"Momma, why do you close your bedroom door? Just leave it open."
Ok kid, you want to stay up, we'll stay up.
"Max...when momma was a kid I couldn't sleep...just like you, obviously. But instead of torturing my parents I would read in my bed, or make up stories in my head.... When I was older and in school I had to get more sleep because I had to get up early in the morning, but I still couldn't sleep. Sometimes I would cry, just like you, in the middle of the night. But my parents had to sleep too, so I would read or make up stories in my head...."
She was asleep. I didn't even get to the best part.
I left my door open last night. The whole way.