It all started on Monday afternoon, when I picked her up from daycare with a big fat fever. She was listless and miserable, only wanting to lie down with a binkie firmly in her mouth and her eyes open a quarter of the way. Anyone who has ever seen a toddler before, even for five minutes, can testify that they do not EVER sit still unless they are being bribed with either food or some incredibly engrossing activity (such as "drawing on the walls with markers" or "dropping various items into the toilet to see if they float") ... so for Audrey to just lie there on the couch absently watching TV was very, very odd. She didn't even care what we watched, which was ESPECIALLY crazy because she always has an opinion on that shit. She's even more of a remote-hog than Jesse is.
So, I pumped her full of baby Motrin and waited for her fever to come down a bit. Eventually, she started to feel somewhat better, drinking some juice and a squeezie pouch of food. Shortly thereafter, I put her to bed, and she fell asleep instantly and did not move a muscle.
But of course, OF COURSE, everything went to hell as soon as it was my turn to go to bed. (Jesse was away doing Army things for the night, so I was a solo act.)
Just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a single cry come through the baby monitor. A couple minutes later, another single cry. On the third little cry, I figured her fever must be coming back, so I grabbed the bottle of baby Tylenol and headed into her bedroom.
No fever. Only vomit.
She had coughed really hard and made herself throw up in her crib, and was just stuck there lying in it, letting out sad little cries every few minutes. Poor wee thing. I picked her up and started carrying her to the bathroom so I could clean her up, and she started coughing again rather violently. In a moment of parental instinct, I put my hand up in front of her mouth just in time for her to vomit directly into it. (It was all liquid, so I had to hold my hand cupped to keep it from dripping out onto the carpet.) But I was not disgusted, no sir. This was my sweet little baby! My only concern was how to make her feel better enough to have a good night's sleep.
Once Audrey was cleaned up (which involved running the bath, taking off her sleep sack, pajamas, and diaper, washing her in the tub, then dressing her again, all while she cried piteously), I decided the best choice was to bring her into bed with me. If I put her back in her own bed, I reasoned, I would hear her coughing through the monitor and would endlessly wonder if she had puked again and needed me. I mean, she had JUST NOW puked into my hand, so clearly it was a possibility. I'd be up all night walking back and forth between our rooms to check on her.
I thought that if she was in bed with me, I would sleep better. We both would.
How very, very wrong I was.
I laid her down on a towel, snuggled up next to her, and gave her a kiss. She fell asleep quickly, but was coughing every so often. Each cough woke me up. This was Phase 1. Phase 1 lasted around 2 hours, followed by Phase 2: the tossing and turning.
Phase 2 was not just regular tossing and turning, but full body flop-abouts that required an area the size of our entire queen bed to pull off. I found myself squished over to one side as far as I could go, all to give Audrey the space she needed to execute her maneuvers. She threw her body around without a care in the world. Kick Mommy in the stomach? She shouldn't have been lying there. Punch Mommy in the boob? Well, stay out of my area. Nearly fly off the edge of the bed despite the pillow barrier built to prevent that exact thing? NO PILLOW CAN CONTAIN ME. Phase 2 went on for longer than Phase 1 -- perhaps 4 hours.
Then we got to Phase 3: sleep-whimpers (perhaps she was having a bad dream?), so I grabbed her and pulled her close to me to calm her down. It worked, and she fell back to sleep.
But then Phase 4 stared: the flails. Apparently, Audrey is able to flail her entire arm without waking up. The arm will start down by her side, and then wrench upwards and punch me in the face, and then return to her side. Over and over again. She was completely asleep while this happened. I tried to scoot her away from me so that the arm could complete its up-down circuit without involving my face, but it seemed that no matter where I moved her, the arm would adjust its flight pattern to ensure contact. Her sleep-brain just desperately wanted to punch me in the jaw.
And let's not forget Phase 5, which involved her suddenly sitting up, shouting "Ommy!" (which is what she calls me), then lying back down and returning to sleep. She was probably asleep the whole damn time, actually. Just wanted to make sure that I wasn't. These shouts came every five minutes or so during our final hour of "sleep."
All told, she kicked me in the stomach and ribs at least twenty times, and punched me in the jaw no fewer than fifteen. She flailed, she shouted, she coughed, she flopped, and then at 4:15AM, she sat up and decided she'd had enough sleep and started trying to crawl over me to get my phone from the bedside table. All in all, I'd say I slept for about two hours in five-minute increments throughout the night.
The next morning, she was chipper and well-rested. All she wanted to do was play with toys, read books, and get into trouble. She'd never slept better in her life.
I, on the other hand, was in worse shape than I ever was when she was a newborn. I had called in sick to work so that I could keep her home from daycare and take care of her, but I felt so terrible after our night together that I ended up taking her to daycare anyway. I TOOK A SICK DAY TO WATCH MY SICK BABY, BUT I HAD TO USE IT ON MYSELF BECAUSE SHE WAS THAT SHITTY OF A BEDMATE.
The moral of the story? DON'T SHARE A BED WITH A TODDLER. JUST DON'T.