SNEEZE! My 10 year old looks at me with glassy eyes shocked as snot runs down her red nose. Then, SNEEZE! Another blast sends her on a coughing fit. As I reach to get her a tissue, I look at the calendar. It's January. Friday. 13th. Oh no...
Then SNEEZE, one of the 4 year olds has it. He's not so picky about Kleenex and brings his arm up to his sleeve. As I rush to stop him from wiping his nose, it's already on the sleeve and now on a bath towel. COUGH. SNEEZE! His twin brother, with autism, breaks down. He's more picky, but because he can't speak and is full of energy, he's off like a shot before I can keep him from rubbing his face all over our bed sheets. UGH! It's going to be a long day...and night.
I wake to sniffling and a bronchial symphony. I look over to my husband's side of the bed. He's gone. Sleeping on a sofa a foot too small for him. But neither of us can escape. It's raining. And it's cold. And they're sick. We're not going anywhere. You know it's bad because the 10 year old told me that her iPad was giving her a headache and she switched it off and lay down in bed. NEVER does she willingly switch off her iPad. The twins are going between hot and cold, cold and hot, in the bath, out of the bath, yelling and screaming, refusing to eat anything. And My Little Pony is playing non-stop. Night descends and each one is taking turns waking up on the hour with a new round of hacking and wheezing. My husband desperately tries to shove a table under the end of the couch as he knows what's coming. But it's futile. They're up and down all night again. Has the zombie apocalypse started?
Sunday. I've ended up laying sideways on the end of the bed. I'm seeing in double vision. The other three have intricately weaved their arms and legs together like a rattlesnake nest. But at least they are a little bit better. The hot and cold has now been replaced by clogged noses that make them all sound like they're out of the Godfather movies. It's Groundhog day and day 2 is repeating itself. This time though my hyperactive 4 year old falls asleep. You know that that means you'll be up all night if you don't wake him, but right now you could really do with the quiet while the other two are sleeping too. So you let him be. And yes, when he awakes he's on full blast the rest of the night. And so are you. You spend the entire night stopping him from turning on all the lights (the opposite of what he does during the day), screaming out loud and waking up his siblings by jumping on them... no sleep in sight.
Monday. I was right about the zombies. Three nights without sleep I'm now one of them. They won't be going to school today, but you better believe it, they're going in on Tuesday. If you want to get a sense of what I look like, have a look at our WooHoo Cards' Get Well card... (www.woohoocards.com)