Everything is crappy in the middle of the night when your children aren't sleeping.
The last two hours have been filled with coughing, demands for water, demands for diaper changes, screaming (all the twins), a group snuggle on the couch, singing of Twinkle Twinkle, promises that sleep will come, more screaming (still all the twins), happy chit-chat, pleas for compliance, whining (again, the twins), more chatter, bedroom doors open, bedroom doors shut, a walk around the block (Mama; don't worry, my mom is visiting, so Maddie and Riley were not alone), more chatter.
The coughing seems to have died down. Riley is now just . . . talking. He's been talking, whining, or screaming for the past hour. Maddie seems to finally be asleep. I just keep second guessing myself: should I stop trying to play hardball since I'm not really following through? Should I just bring Riley out on the couch and watch TV? What would it hurt, really? What am I trying to prove?
I hate making these decisions on my own.
I feel fat.
I'm apprehensive about having The Talk with Mr. Coffee.
My job drives me insane.
I don't eat enough fruit and veggies.
I eat too many sweets.
I love my kids so insanely much, but being a single parent depletes my every reserve.
I have a giant zit.
The humidity is wreaking havoc on my hair.
My patience is running low. These days, when my patience is running low, I think about how Barack Obama maintained his cool when John McCain called him "That One" during the debates. If Mr. Obama—who I'm sure was even more sleep-deprived than your average parent, not to mention generally stressed out, run ragged, and sucked dry—can keep his shit together when called, "That One," then I can keep my shit together when dealing with sleepless babies.
But it's not easy.
What I really hate is how much better it makes me feel to yell. No, I have not yelled at the twins tonight, but I have really, really wanted to. To anyone who says, "Yell into a pillow!" I say, "Pshaw!" Seriously, yelling into a pillow? NOT THE SAME AS REAL YELLING. I've tried it. It just doesn't provide the same release. And since I live in a crowded, relatively urban area, going out in the backyard and letting the obscenities fly isn't really going to work for me either. The neighbors might have a thing or two to say. I wish I could figure out a yelling alternative that gave me the same release. Throwing stuff works, but it's rather destructive and can be noisy and destruction and noise are counterproductive to creating a calm atmosphere that fosters toddler sleep.
So instead I stew. And blog. And give thanks that I have yet to be called "That One."