The Night Shift

A typical night at our house

8:00 pm– kids brush their teeth and get ready for bed

8:30 pm – goodnight kiss, prayers, lights out

9:00 pm– remind Molly that it’s a school night and to stop reading. Teagan and Maggie are sound asleep.

9:30 pm– I get my PJ’s on and watch TV in bed

10:15 pm–  My eyes pop open and for a few moments I’m disoriented.  I realize I must have fallen asleep with the TV blaring and the lights on.  I get out of bed to turn off the TV and lights . It seems to be the perfect opportunity to check on the kids and yell “Goodnight” from the top of the stairs down to Ming.  He is in his man cave doing what men do. I think he was probably reinventing the wheel or watching Ancient Aliens. It’s hard to say for sure since I never made eye contact with him but it’s a safe guess for a Thursday night.


“You smart man. Smart man never waste rock. Smart man use middle of wheel for bar stool.”


10:30 pm– I crawl back into bed and feel a little giddy about having the whole bed all to myself. I dream about the awesome night of sleep ahead. (idiot alert)

11:30 pm– I wake up briefly when Ming crawls into bed.  I only open my eyes long enough to see the numbers on the clock and who is in the room.

Side note: Knowing the exact time your husband goes to bed is an excellent weapon for future nagging.  Example: “Well?  You are the one who thought it was a good idea to stay up until 11:30 last night.”

12:45 am– I am dreaming that I am camping in the woods.  It’s freezing cold and a wild boar is outside my tent snorting and rooting for food.  It’s an awful dream.  I just want that damn boar to shut up and stop nudging me.  I am aggravated.  How did I forget to bring a blanket?  It’s so cold.  The boar is snorting louder and louder.



Finally, I can’t take it any more and the snorting wakes me up.  I look around my room disoriented and agitated.  I am not camping.  I am cold because Ming is wrapped like a mummy in the comforter and I have absolutely no covers.  That was not a boar, it was my husband snoring so loudly that I am certain he will suck the curtains right off the wall and that nudging was Teagan. “Mommy?  I had a bad dream.  Can I sweep wif you?” 

12:45 am – I attempt to wake Ming up but he is in a deep sleep. I push him on his side and wedge a pillow behind him to cure the snoring and free up some space on my side of the bed.  There is no way in hell I can unwrap the blanket off of his body so I grab another one out of the linen closet.  I spread it out on my side of the bed and make a spot for Teagan right next to me.  We cuddle and it only takes a few minutes to get warm and cozy again.  We fall asleep.

2:30 am  Molly tugs on my arm to wake me up.  “Mom? I can’t stop coughing.”  She looks awful.  I feel her forehead and it is warm to the touch.  Does everybody have kids like mine?  They go to bed perfectly healthy and then out of the blue wake up in the middle of the night with a mysterious fever.  9 out of 10 times it’s gone again in the morning.  I don’t have the patience to take an actual temperature but according to my mom hand she is at least 100 degrees.  I’m so tired. I do what every good mom would do in this situation.  I drug her up good.  A dose of Ibuprofen, some cough syrup, a little Vick’s under her nose, and a drink of water.  Then I tuck her back into bed and encourage her to close her eyes.  A kiss on the cheek completes my motherly duties and I eagerly return to my bed to get some much needed sleep.

4:00 am My eyes pop open.  Maggie is screaming her head off.  I carefully move Teagan’s foot off my head and climb out of the bed to check on Mags.  I opened her bedroom door and my jaw dropped.  She is standing in her crib half naked holding her diaper saying “Poop!  Uh oh! Poop!”.  After a careful investigation, I determine that the word “Poop” really meant “Pee” in this situation.  Phew!!!   I clean her up, give her a fresh diaper, pour her some milk and tuck her back into her crib. As I close her door, I hear Molly call my name from her bed and I admit it..I’m instantly annoyed.

Molly: “Moooom?”

Me: [I dig deep for patience.] “Yes?”

Molly: “Can I sleep with you? Maggie woke me up and I can’t go back to bed.”

Me: “How bout if I lay with you for a little bit until you fall asleep?”

Molly: [crying] “You let Teagan sleep with you?  How come I can’t?”

Me: “Stop crying.  Please. You will wake the others.  I’m so tired.” I motion her to come to me and we head toward my bedroom to get some sleep.[This is awesome parenting.   I basically taught her to cry and she can get whatever she wants.]

Teagan wakes up as we climb into bed.  I attempt to put both girls next to each other and keep a spot on the edge of the bed but this causes an all out war at 4am

Teagan:  “I was here fuwst!  I want to sleep next to mom.”

Molly: “I need a turn too Teagan.  I don’t feel good.”

Me: [I snap] “ENOUGH!  It’s 4 in the morning.  I am sleeping in the middle.  Not another word or you are both going to your rooms.  Is that clear?”

They agree to stop arguing but continue to toss and turn for the next half hour.

4:30 amMolly: “Mom?  I can’t sleep in here with dad snoring like that.  I’m going to my room.” [she quickly hops out of the bed] OK? Apparently she feels better?  She walks down the hall and then without warning…Teagan magically follows.  All I had left on my side of the bed were the stuffed animals they carelessly left behind.  I pushed them aside and closed my eyes for a solid 10 minute nap.

If you see Molly and Teagan please tell them to save us.   We haven't slept a wink with all of this snoring

Molly and Teagan left us here with the snore king. #haven’tsleptawink #stuffedanimalsalwaysgetscrewed

4:40 am I kick Ming so he stops snoring.  He wakes up pissed off because I interrupted his beauty sleep????  There are no kids in our room and as far as Ming knows I have been sleeping soundly all night.  It’s laughable and definitely not worth explaining. Whatever.  At least the snoring stopped.  I drift off to sleep again.

5:15 am  The wild boar is back. [Sigh.]  I have an hour left of this glorious night before my alarm goes off so I climb into Flynn’s bed.  His room is quiet and he has a queen bed. Ahhhh!  Peace!

6:00 am I open my eyes. Flynn is tossing and turning and rubbing his foot.  He seems to be in pain or injured.

Me: “What’s up?  Why are you awake?”
Flynn: So annoyed he looks like he is going to cry.  “I woke up a few minutes ago.  My stupid toenail needs to be cut.  Can you cut it for me? Why are you in my bed ?”

Me: “I needed a quiet bed to sleep.  Is that ok?  [he nods in agreement]  It’s 6am.  I am not cutting your toe nails at 6 am. Go to sleep.  I’ll do it before school.  

Flynn: “But it is almost time to go to school.  Can we just do it before I get in the shower?  It actually kinda hurts.” 

Me: “Hurts?  A toe nail does not hurt.  Puuuuleaase!  Go! Back! To! Sleep!

For the next 30 minutes I close my eyes but I can’t sleep.  He is on his itouch playing Minecraft.  The volume is turned way down but I have mom ears and I can still hear everything.  I fake sleep.  I think I must have been in denial.  How could my night be over?  Did it ever begin?

6:30 am -My alarm goes off to start the day. Nothing like starting the day completely exhausted.

Me: “Why don’t you turn that game off and hop in the shower buddy?”

He jumps in the shower and I turn off the alarm in my bedroom.

Ming wakes up and says “Good morning!”.  I suppose it is a good morning for him. He got plenty of sleep. Grrrrr!

“Yup!” I roll my eyes and head downstairs to start breakfast.

7:30 am – Just about the time when I want to collapse from exhaustion Flynn walks into the kitchen and gives me a one arm hug and rests his head against my chest. “Good morning Mom”.  I kiss the top of his head.  Then Molly comes downstairs with a smile and asks what’s for breakfast. I am pleasantly shocked at her chipper attitude.  “You seem to be feeling better.”  “Much “ She says with a smile.  “Glad to hear it.” I start to make breakfast and Ming, AKA the wild boar, walks in holding Maggie.  She has 1-year-old bedhead and is thrilled that the whole house is awake.  Teagan is only a few steps behind and makes her way over toward me. She is wearing a Cinderella nightgown and throws her hands up for a hug.

All of a sudden I don’t feel so tired.  The room is filled with 100 reasons why I don’t mind working the night shift.  I’ll catch up on sleep one day.  For now I will embrace the loving moments and be grateful that God gave me these beautiful souls.  My cup is very full. Speaking of cup, I need coffee.

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