Sunday, August 26, 2007

By gum, I wish I'd gotten more sleep

It appears that Elijah is teething again. There is a big hard lump on the right side of his lower gum. It's not right next to his current teeth, just a bit further down, which means it's probably his first molar. Fabulous. Can't these things happen in the proper order? This latest development, of course, has had a big impact on Elijah's sleep and subsequently, ours.

Meaning we're not getting any.

Last night, Elijah woke up screaming every twenty minutes or so. Bringing him into our bed didn't help. He wouldn't be comforted. It wasn't until we realised in the small hours of the night that he was repeatedly hitting himself in the head, that we thought it was possible he had a headache. So we got out the child-proof (read parent-proof) children's paracetamol and a syringe. Five minutes of choice swear-words later, we finally removed the lid and had drawn up the appropriate dose of painkiller.

Why is it that toddlers don't realise that you are doing something to help them? It's bad enough when I'm trying to cut Elijah's nails. Trying to get paracetamol down his throat was much worse. It took the two of us to restrain and get the medicine into him. How single parents do this, I have no idea. He was thrashing around and screaming, obviously in pain, but under the false impression that we were out to get him. I guess the wild look in my eyes caused by lack of sleep and an unwillingness to be battling with parent-proof medicine and thrashing, screaming toddler at 1am gave him that idea.

It wasn't until after he swallowed that we cottoned on the the fact that there may be other factors at play here. The drool was a big tip-off, though it appeared at first to be Elijah's vain attempts to expel the foul-tasting liquid painkiller from his being. His unwillingness to let me stick a finger in his mouth was another clue.

Low and behold, the pea-sized gum protrusion was discovered and Bonjella applied. Elijah quickly calmed down and Daddy, probably fearing for his own life, volunteered to put the boy back to bed.

Blissful sleep followed... until the painkillers wore off a few hours later and we had to go through the whole process again.

This time though, Elijah wouldn't go back to his bed. Ours was much more inviting. In fact, the most inviting prospect was not even touching our mattress, but laying his heavy little body on top of mine, making sure that I was as close to sitting up as possible. Of course, being the sneaky mother that I am, as soon as he was dead to the world, I gradually decreased the angle until I was in such a position that I was able to sleep.

I couldn't breathe, but at least I could sleep.


Lenina said...

I remember laying on my dad like that when I was little. It was the most comforting feeling in the world. Reading your blog throws me between being excitedly ready for children and looking at it as a very good type of birth control.

The Mumma said...

Parenting is like that in general - you flit between "Oh, I could have another ten children if they are all like you" and "Why did I ever think having a child was a good idea?" several times a day.