When I was younger (and single), New Year’s Eve was all about staying up as late as possible. Or shall I say as early as possible. I didn’t go to bed until at least 4 am, competing with my brother.
Since I became a mum, this changed irreversably. I can’t actually remember when was the last time I stayed up to greet the New Year.
So, for a change, this year I happened to actually greet the New Year. We were watching an interesting movie, so rather that retiring to bed at my normal time, I decided to watch it to the end. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? I can always have a nap tomorrow if need be.
Little did I know what was the worst that could happen. What, honestly, felt like a night from hell.
To start with, my two-year daughter has got a pretty nasty cold. She hadn’t coughed since she went to sleep, but when I went to bed, she just wouldn’t stop coughing. After waiting for it to calm down, I decided to take action. Cleaned her nose, gave her cough drops, so she happily drifted off again.
But did I? Nope. I’ve got a cold myself. As do the rest of my family. I’ll come to that soon enough. I didn’t manage to go to sleep for ages, as my own sinusitus was a bloody pain. Eventually, at some point well after 1 am I must have fallen asleep. Yupee.
2 am. I woke up suddenly from being violently shaken. Or so it seemed. My nine-year old son came to complain of headache. Yup, he is under the weather, too. I vaguely recollect my husband giving him a medicine, then I sent him off to bed. His whining woke his sister up. D’oh. Children are oblivious to the needs of others.
Who knows when I managed to go back to sleep.
3.20 am. My son must have shaken me again, this time crying even harder. Bless him. Out of all people, I know what it feels like to have a bad headache. I’ve been suffering from those all my life. So, as much as I sympathised, all I could suggest was that he went to bed. He wouldn’t take my advice, so went to his dad, only to hear the same suggestion. By which time I was wide awake.
This time, after tossing and turning for a while, I decided to take a sleeping pill. Only a herbal one that helps me drift off. And a migraine tablet, as, surprisingly, I got a headache by then. And decongestant pills. Stuffed myself with chemistry.
5.20 am. My husband suddenly left the bedroom and went downstairs. Must have responded to our son’s request that I missed in my sleep. A few minutes later I realised that wasn’t the case. He was severely shaking. That was his own cold taking its toll.
This time I didn’t need help going back to sleep. Too exhausted.
6.10 am. My daughter woke up demanding her dummy. Damn.
8.00 am. End of game. She was fully awake. So was our son, excitedly explaining how his headache had gone. My patience threshold was too low (anyone wonder why?), so I sent him back to his room, hoping to doze off again.
Typically, of all mornings, it was today that his sister decided to be lively. She did lie in bed with us for some time. And, as much as it is annoying to be woken up before I’d like to, there is nothing more comforting that her body pushing against mine for closer contact, and her little hands giving me a cuddle and messing up my already messed up hair.
This is when I forgot the bad night. Shall we just say that this was the last night of the old year? I am sure that tonight will be a different story and a better start of the New Year.
And if it isn’t: well, this is the price tag parenting comes with. I’ll know better next year. 9 pm is the new midnight, then!