The kids have been a symphony of dry coughs the past few days, following on the heels of a goopy/crusty cold last week. For about half a day they both crossed over into that croupy seal bark, but everything quickly settled back down to “normal” – if incessant – coughing.
This doesn’t mean any of us has been sleeping well, however. Three nights ago, Nicholas had two separate wee-hour coughing/moaning fits that woke us all up. Two nights ago, more of the same, though one of the wake-ups necessitated intervention by Daddy in the form of a midnight delivery of a sippy cup full of water, which Nicholas gratefully guzzled down.
I naïvely thought that last night might be better. I was mistaken.
Lorelei’s cough picked up right as Nicholas’s was slowing down, so Eric brought her a sippy cup of water around 10:00.
We all fall back asleep until around 12:30, when I hear both kids happily chattering away. I go up to find Lorelei hanging out in Nicholas’s room. Both kids are checking out the display his Cars-themed nightlight is projecting onto the ceiling. (The nightlight is not remotely new, mind you; it’s been shining there in his room, unchanged, for at least the past year.) I shoo Lorelei back to her own room and tell Nicholas to go to sleep.
Cut to 12:30 (yes, again 12:30 – apparently the previous wakeup was some unspecified time before that, which I was too addled to register properly), when Nicholas is moaning, over and over, “Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy!”
I stumble back into the kitchen, figuring he’s thirsty, and assemble a sippy cup of water that I promptly spill all over the kitchen counter.
“Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy! Mooommmmmy!”
Take 2. I more or less successfully fill the sippy cup, stagger upstairs, and offer it to Nicholas, who is now standing up in his crib like a wolf baying at the moon.
“No water! I want cookie! I want cookie, Mommy! I want cookie, Mommy!”
No dice, kid. He may well be hungry – having joined the general familial revolt against the salmon I served for dinner, a choice motivated in part by the fact that I wanted us to start eating better so that everyone would get healthy again (note to self: this doesn’t work if nobody actually eats the healthy dinner). But he ain’t getting cookies.
As I am trying to explain this to Nicholas – which goes about as well as you might expect, given that he’s 2, sick, and sleep-deprived – I notice a glimmer of movement in Lorelei’s room next door. She’s standing to the side of the door adjoining the kids’ rooms, stealthily peering through the crack like a Peeping Tom. She announces that she has to go potty.
She goes and returns as I unsuccessfully try to spell out the “no cookie” situation for Nicholas. On the way back from tucking Lorelei in once again, I place Nicholas back down in his crib, explain one last time that there will be no cookies, and go back downstairs. The bellowing continues. “I want cookie, Mommy! I want cookie, Mommy!”
For the first time ever, I make the conscious decision to turn off the baby monitor in the bedroom. Nicholas may be loud – astonishingly so, come to think of it – but he’s not in any kind of real distress (unless the “O” in “SOS” stands for “Oreo”). Even with it off, I hear him alternately screaming for me, and for cookies, for the better part of the next hour.
Eventually everyone falls back asleep until about 6:30, the kids’ normal wake-up time, when Nicholas rises for the day and immediately requests peanut butter toast.
I turn on the coffee maker and plop him into his booster seat to get the toast together. When it’s ready, I place it before him, where it remains untouched. He is completely indifferent to it, though not at all unhappy.
“Aren’t you going to eat your toast, buddy?”
He smiles and replies sweetly, “No.”
Life with littles. It’s really something.