If you value your sleep, don’t have kids.

At least don’t have ones like mine. As I’ve said before, my husband and I have created three amazing teacup humans, but they don’t sleep much.

At 11 o’clock pm someone activated the Monster Alarm, and two little boys and an Elf on the Shelf (who is overstaying, separate explanatory post coming), came filing out of the bedroom as part of the (well-practised) monster-alert-evacuation-procedure.

Crying. Half-asleep. Scrap that, the elder of the boy-children was actually asleep, being led out by his three year old brother, who was tearfully describing the horror of his nightmare.

“That. Monster. In. Mine. Room. Is. Trying. To. EAT meeeeeee!”, he sobbed once they had reached the safety of the appointed muster station (AKA my bed).

Once we’d all (yes, all; the wailing and sobbing and protesting had woken up the baby child), debriefed and determined the alarm to have only been a drill, it was time for the resettling to begin.

This is where outnumbered parenting is its most challenging. Exhausted parents, emotional preschoolers, sleepless baby. Not a winning combination.

Baby, being least disturbed, was placed back into her cot and fell asleep after minimal complaint.

Bean (5) eagerly hopped into our bed with Preschool Daddy and promptly fell back asleep.

I took Bug (3) back into the boys’ shared room, performed a thorough monster clearance check, and settled into his single bed with him.

For the next 45 minutes I endured the following:

Kicks to the kidneys
Hot stinky toddler breath point blank to the face
“A booger’s on mine finger- get it off”. You put that booger there you can figure out what happens next.
A booger being wiped on my arm.
“Me not tired. Me want watching raining.” (It’s not raining. Also, it’s midnight).
A chubby hand smacking and grabbing my face. Please let that be his non-booger-picking-hand.
“Me lub you muuuuum. Me lub Mimmy, me lub Daddy, me lub Poppa, me lub Poppy, me lub Noah, me lub Brother, me lub Kebin.” And so on and so forth until he listed everyone he loves. And, excepting me, he only likes male people.
“Me not lub spiders, me not lub caravans (maybe Camembert, or camera mans, his pronunciation is ambiguous at times), me not lub Santa, me not lub monsters, me not lub girl ones (and by this he means just, like, the whole entire female population).”

And this went on until the baby cried. Which, in turn, woke up the five year old. Who had no idea how he’d got to our room. Which led to a freak out.

And a fragile three year old.

And a crying one year old.

Which brings me here. Blogging on my phone with one hand, nursing the baby on my lap, patting the three year old to sleep with my other hand, and listening to my husband calm our disorientated and tired preschooler in our adjacent bedroom.

They’re almost settled. I can see the dark.

And at five-fifteen tomorrow (or today) a new day will commence. Only we parents don’t need an alarm clock, or to set our phone alarms, or to wait for the dawn sunlight to stream through the window.

Our own personalised wake-up call will arrive in the form of someone peeling our eyelids apart, or someone boing-boing-boing-ing on the end of our bed, or, less favourably, someone calling from the bathroom for an early-morning bum wipe.

Thank heavens for coffee and tiny-person-cuddles. Because truly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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