In fairness to them, they have been "sick" for quite some time now. Cole had strep and now a congested nose, Stella has had more snot than I ever seen in my life, and though Aiden has no sign of mucous, I like he might have PMS. None of them are truly themselves, so I shouldn't assume they are plotting, but I am.
Perhaps even their illness is part of their plan? What if Aiden has committed to fake washing his hands all day at school, possibly even licking playground equipment so he can bring the germs back here to spread to Stella and Cole? What if they are intentionally perpetuating this time of sickness for giggles?
I figure they meet sometime between 4 and 7 pm, when they are all awake and I am usually at my most depleted. Aiden probably has some sort of signal that he has taught the younger two, most likely involving clapping because he seems to be doing that more often than normal lately.
I assume their meetings consist of quick suggestions of torturous strategy, like Aiden committing to crying and refusing sleep for over an hour tonight because his fingers feel too funny after I clipped his nails. I also assume there must be a quick distribution of a scheduled time, or times, for each of them to wake with a variety of complaints through the night. From what I can tell, Stella is completely free styling her wake up times, sometimes overlapping with her brothers. She's just too young to fully understand, unfortunately she's turned out to be the most difficult.
I've been sick for over a week now and they have held strong in their continuous and perfectly scheduled disruptions to any attempt I have made to rest. Cole has peed through his pull up at least four times, he requests his lullaby CD be restarted over and over, and some nights he just wants some one to sing him a song. (Please note Cole: I do not sing well when filled with sleep deprived rage.)
Aiden has had a bloody nose, spilled water, and a suddenly developed a fear of sleeping by himself. Stella, well Stella is in a league of her own. Her coughing and general inability to sleep for more than an hour straight are killing me.
I can't get ahead of them, regardless of what I do. They just don't want me to sleep. They wake at midnight, 1:20, 2:55, 3:30, 4:15, 5:45....all close enough after a prior wake up, or just before morning, that I barely fall back to sleep, only to be awoken almost immediately again. It's just really mean.
Alex came home on Thursday, determined that we were going to beat them. He rushed me though dinner. He practically shoved me in the shower, and not in a good way. He actually yelled at me when I flossed, "that stuff will be there tomorrow! Get in bed!" It was a bit militant for me, but I understood what he was trying to do. He was determined to get in bed early enough to actually get some sleep before our kids realized we had gone to bed and felt the need to wake up.
I knew his efforts were useless, but I played along. We were in bed by 9:30. By 9:45, my body was so elated to be allowed to rest, I started to fall asleep, fooling myself in to believing that I might actually get some sleep before Stella started screaming.
How crazy am I? 10:30 brought the first of many of Stella's awakenings. They must have gotten word of our rest and decided action must be taken earlier than usual. I'm surprised I didn't hear anyone clapping.
I'm weak and completely defenseless against them. They are too organized. They have the perfect blend of attack and then withdrawal so that I start to feel safe again, only to be assaulted by a full blown screaming match over whether a car is gray or silver. For the love of God, is there a difference? And why does anyone under the age of 60 care about that?
I'm not sure how many more tears over socks or Lego injury can be inflicted before something snaps around here....probably me. Send prayers for sleep, or dart guns with tranquilizers which I could utilize when one of them approaches my side of the bed tonight. I'm not sure I can handle much more.
I'll keep you updated. I'm making a run for the bed. Wish me luck.