The Aftermath of a Party

Little boy ran into our room this morning at 6:30 and climbed into bed next to me. He snuggled up and semi-quietly waited patiently for the clock to turn 7:00 which is the official get up time. Often, we ask him to wait in his room till 7, but today I had the bed to myself. My husband was downstairs on the sofa.

At seven, little boy and I I traipsed downstairs and in my foggy headed headachy stupor, I prepared him a bowl of cereal and yogurt, turned on some lights and went back up to bed. I slept until 8:45 when little girl finally announced with great vigor that she was now awake.

She and I traipsed downstairs and in foggy headed headachy (though certainly better than before) stupor, I brushed my teeth, started some coffee and climbed up on the sofa next to my husband’s feet and snuggled into the blanket he had draped over him.

The floor was covered in books and puzzles and within moments of little girl’s entry, was also covered with markers and scraps of paper from the current art project table. Our floor was a disaster.

I drank my coffee curled up on the sofa while my husband slept and the kids played quietly. Little boy was in imagination land down on the floor talking quietly to himself about taking a tuna fish home and liking tuna because it is tasty. Little girl worked diligently on a birthday card she had already finished. She peeled stickers off and put them back on. She opened markers, walked across the room, returned to make her mark on the card and then repeated the process with a different color.

I finished my coffee and my husband woke up. I started his coffee and brought it to him so he could rejoin the family with good cheer and pleasantries. He broke into some sleep deprived obnoxious penny rhymes that he made up in his head.

Little girl went into the kitchen and rummaged in the recycling and brought us each an empty beer bottle. We laughed. And so little boy did the same. And then little girl did again. And then the dog sat up and the kids climbed up and all of a sudden we had coffee spilled on the sofa and the last drops of beer spilled on the floor and on little girl.

Everywhere one could see it looked like we were up late last night partying.

But – we were not.

We did indeed have a mess the previous night from friends over to dinner, but we’d cleaned it all up before going to bed. Everything. When we climbed the stairs to head to bed, our kitchen was clean, our living room was clean – everything looked pretty okay including ourselves! We’d had a nice night, cleaned up and then sat on the sofa playing on the computers. (We are definitely not living the fast life!)

So what happened between last night and this morning?

Little girl happened. Our dear sweet little girl who is an amazing sleeper (kinda) slept from bedtime till right when I fell asleep and then she woke up SCREAMING.

She’s not one to be calmed down through hugs and holding, though I tried that. I also tried her binky, another bottle, questioning, a change of location, a check of her body for injuries, a push on her tummy for gas.

She responded, “noooo” to everything.

I took her into our bedroom and sat in the rocking chair. No. She wanted her bed. We walked back to her bed and she got in and screamed some more. We went back to my chair. I ended up giving her some Tylenol because I couldn’t figure out what was the source of the screaming and this certainly was not her regular loud self. She then lay down on my chest and let me rock her.

She grabbed her binky and began snuggling in. All was relatively good except that now it was far past one and she wasn’t dozing off. I tried moving her back to her bed. No go. We went back to the chair.

Closer to two, I asked her if she’d like to go to her bed. She shook her head and said “no”. I asked if she’d like to stay in the chair. She again said no. (This is from our little girl who really only uses the word “up” but is all of a sudden understanding gobs and gobs of stuff). I asked about my bed and she immediately slid off my lap and went over to my bed.

Sighing – okay. We got in bed. She flopped down on my pillow as if she was going to go to sleep, but she’s never quite that quiet and so began the tossing and mumbling and flipping over and hands up my nostrils and feet with sharp toenails cutting into my neck, chest, leg and ear. My husband sat up and opted to hightail it to the downstairs sofa (a smart move) till she fell asleep.

She didn’t fall asleep until long past two and finished the night sleeping in her own bed.

And so little boy crawled into a bed with lots of extra room this morning at 6:30 and cuddled with me for a half hour before going downstairs to cuddle with dad on the sofa and to then bombard dad with requests for books and puzzles and more books. He probably enjoyed the new dynamics of the changed sleeping arrangements.

It’s rather funny how the day after a big celebration can feel exactly like the day after a lousy night of sleep for youn ‘uns.

And to those with little ones who still are experiencing this every night, it gets better. It really does. And then the rare night like ours last night serves as a poignant reminder that it is good to appreciate just how good we have it these days.

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