14 December 2006

New Low: How to Have a Seriously Crappy Evening and Night

I really, really want to post something positive. It's Christmastime, I spend a lot of time complaining, and there are some good things going on with me. I even have some posts brewing that are not about me, my husband, or the twins, but are rather actual thoughts and reflections and maybe even insights.

But today I have to vent. Today, I give to you:

How to Have a Seriously Crappy Evening and Night
by snickollet

1. Make sure it's a treatment Wednesday so that your husband will fresh off the chemo drip.
2. Extra points if it's a new treatment, meaning that he's been at the clinic for hours waiting to see his doctor, sign consent forms, and actually get the treatment.
3. Extra extra points if he's actually going back on an old treatment that was stopped because of the severity of the side effects.
4. Extra extra extra points if tumor marker numbers and liver function tests are at near all-time highs.
5. Make sure your husband does not get home until it's bedtime for the babies so that you have to race around frantically to get things ready.
6. Have a long, depressing conversation with your husband once the twins are in bed, peppered with comments from him such as, "If something happens to me, they won't even remember who I am." (where "something" = "death" and "they" = "Maddie and Riley).
7. Finally stagger to bed only to have your son start yelling five minutes after your head hits the pillow.
8. Bonus for your daughter waking up and starting to cry while you try to console your yelling son.
9. Knowing that your husband needs sleep, temporarily abandon screaming children to find him some earplugs. Give him earplugs and instructions to go to sleep. Take children into their room (they still sleep in ours) and deposit them into crib. Declare this "Baby Boot Camp" night.
10. Two hours later, after repeated attempts to cajole your son into sleeping in the crib (on his back, on his stomach, with a blanket, without a blanket, letting him cry, rocking him to sleep only to have him wake up when you try to lay him down . . .) give in and let the boy sleep in his car seat. Only by now he's totally awake and upset, so swing the car seat back and forth for about 10 minutes, during which you think your back will break in two.
11. Pause for a moment to be grateful that your daughter has been asleep since 11:00.
12. Get up at 2:30 with shouting son. Feed him.
13. Get up at 2:45 with crying daughter. Feed her, but first conk her head on the wooden arm of the glider so that she screams for a while.
14. Do the up and down routine with daughter until 3:30.
15. Collapse. Sleep.
16. Get up at 5:00 with shouting son. Swing car seat again.
17. Get up at 6:00 with crying daughter.
18. Give daughter to husband at 6:20. Try to sleep a bit more, but instead get up with awake son at 6:30.
19. Take shower. Feel vaguely human. Pack up kids for day care and go out to car. Discover parking ticket on said car. Curse humanity.

I am seriously going insane. I thought about not coming to work, but I'm really behind and when I negotiated my work-one-day-a-week-at-home deal, my new boss, who HAS MY JOB, said flat-out to me, "I've supervised people who work at home before and their productivity always drops. We'll be reviewing this arrangement in six months." GREAT. So here I am, blogging! Heh.

I'm so tired and so scared. I'm at my wits' end with the sleeping stuff. I don't want to do cry it out, but I'm running out of options because I cannot work full-time, take care of our house, take care of my husband, and take care of my kids on four to five fragmented hours of sleep. I just can't. But I also know that Riley is capable of screaming at the top of his little lungs for two hours because he did that once when I was home alone with him. That will just do me in if he does that. And if he doesn't sleep after screaming for hours? Oh, I can't even contemplate.

I think tonight GH and I are going to divide and conquer. GH is going to keep Maddie in our room (she sleeps pretty well when Mr. Yellyellyell isn't right next to her) and I'm going to sleep with Riley in the twins' room. We'll see how that goes.

Is parenting specifically designed to make you feel like you can't do anything right?

I just don't know if I can do this. I really don't. Boy do I wish that we lived near my family.


Anonymous said...

that sounds INCREDIBLY hard! i'm not a fan of CIO, but for the sake of all of you, you need to teach your children how to sleep.
the more consistent you are, the more it helps your children. when you're consistent, they don't have to try different things to get your different responses, they learn that no matter what they do, you will always respond the same way and then they can relax and go to sleep!
agree to do the same thing every time with your husband, and then do it. what works for us is to comfort our baby the first time by singing by his bed for 2 minutes, tuck him in, tell him its time to go to sleep and its okay for him to be sad, and leave. then we go into his room at increasing intervals (1 minute, 2 min., 4 min., etc) and re-tuck him in and tell him its time to go to sleep and its okay to be sad put NEVER pick him up or sing again.
(if riley cries for two hours, and then you pick him up, you just taught him to cry for two hours.)
its REALLY REALLY hard, but it REALLY usually only takes 3 nights. the first night is hell, the second night is better, then the third night is hell. but the 4th night? maybe you'll all sleep 5 hours in a row!
i hope i'm not dumping on you when you're already tired and stressed, but you're an optimist, right?

allthisemmie said...

I'm so sorry! that sounds terrible. CIO is truly not the end of the world. You may be shocked at how fast it works and how well it goes. I had t eat a lot of humble pie about CIO, but I'm so glad we did it. I think that for many babies, learning to go back to sleep is a learned skill. That, and you ahve to do what's best for your whole family. I hope it gets better soon

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

Umm, that last comment was from me - not sure what happened to my blogger profile.

Menita said...

This sounds incredibly hard. We were at our wit's end, and I was terrified and just falling apart and exhaustion, so we finally got a baby sitter that comes Mon-Thur, 10-1, and you cannot even begin to imagine the difference it has made.
Is that an option for you?
Either D or I are at home while she's there, but it lets us get things done without losing our sanity.

Rev Dr Mom said...

{{{{{Snickollet}}}}} I hope this hard time passes quickly.

Snickollet said...

Menita--I'm at work all day Monday through Thursday, so a babysitter coming in would only be so helpful. What would be helpful is taking time off work, but that's not really possible right now. Having weekend or overnight help would also be good, but overnight help is so, so expensive. I do need to think about some coping strategies, though, so suggestions are helpful. I'm glad the sitter is helpful for you.

Re: CIO, from what I know, once you decide to do it, you really need to be committed. I'm not quite there yet and I fear I would waver, so I'm holding off for now. But we all need to get some sleep soon, so the option is certainly on the table. It's nice to hear from people whose parenting I respect (Emmie!) that you did CIO and it worked and you are happy with that decision.

OTRgirl said...

Wow. That sounds horrible. I can barely deal with life after a long, hard conversation with Jrex. I can't imagine having to go from that and survive the kind of night you had to endure! I have no helpful tips but lots of sympathy.

Cathy said...