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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

 

Coughs and Tantrums

Both kids have been sick the past ten days. Nothing too bad, just runny noses and coughs. My son happily missed one day of school, his first absence since kindergarten. During the day they sound fine and they don't miss a beat with play activity. But when nighttime rolls around and the kids are climbing into bed, the coughing begins. It lasts for hours. I'm sitting here listening to my son hack up something as his brain tries mightily to win the battle for much-needed sleep.

So then the problem becomes lack of sleep for both kids, because they're coming up a couple of hours short and that makes a big difference in their behavior. Today, before dinner, my son wanted to play Monopoly, so I agreed to a quick game - about an hour. We had a great time, he bought properties like a madman, mortgaging some to buy others, and then cackling with glee when I landed on his built-out lots. But when it came time to stop play and we counted up the cash and properties, I ended up exactly $110 ahead. Which led to a sore-loser tantrum by my son.

Usually he's a good sport about games. When he was a toddler I would make sure that he won some and lost some, just so he knew that the point of the game wasn't always about winning but in having some fun with friends and family. But this time he threw one of those slow-burn silent tantrums where he hides under the table and glares out at everyone, occasionally wiping a tear from his eye. Eventually he spoke, informing me that I was a terrible daddy for beating him and why don't I just throw that game in the garbage.

Lack of sleep = tantrums... Even when they're almost eight years old! Amazing what missing a few hours of sleep each night can do to a child. After my son had a warm shower and read a book he was ready to look me in the eye and act like nothing happened. He was so tired he didn't even remember being mad.

In the five minutes it took me to type all this, the coughing stopped. Looks like both kids are going to catch up on their sleep tonight.


8 Comments:

Blogger snowyhorse said...

LOL, Sounds like my 7 year old... who happened to stay home today too because he was sick..... anyway we are constantly playing a "quick" game of monopoly and whenever he looses or it's time to quit there is always a fit or two. Kids, lol, even our 15 year old has the tantrums too. ttfn, nina :-)

10:33 PM  
Blogger Bre said...

HA! I'm 25 and still throw a tantrum when I don't get enough sleep. =)

10:44 AM  
Anonymous brettdl said...

We went through that cold last few weeks, so I know where you're coming from. As to winning and losing, I do the same thing: Seth sometimes wins and sometimes loses.

Nothing is worse than letting a kid win all the time. That's a sure-fire way for problems down the road. I've seen it in person and it is UGLY.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Daddy L said...

Do I get to throw tantrums? Our five and half month old doesn't let me sleep.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I feel your pain...our littlest has an awful cough and now our son is complaining of ear pain after a week or so with a cold. He's just whining all the time, not that I blame him. My daughter doesn't know when to slow down, so she'll run around and then start hacking like crazy. It's like an awful symphony of whines and hacks and me, groaning.

7:22 AM  
Blogger KC said...

Yep, not enough food or sleep is a problem here too. My girl just gets busy, argues about naps, won't eat much... and at times we really have to force her to put the brakes on whatever she's doing and get her to nap or eat or both.

As for the sick kid not sleeping, I do try to help with cuddles in my lap (keeps her upright) and sometimes medicine that will help with the gunk.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Kristen, my kids don't know when or how to slow down either. The only things that will stop them is a story or a TV show. Illness hasn't slowed them down a bit.

And on top of all that, now I've got one limping cat and one barfing cat. Sometimes I forget that I have four children instead of just the two.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Darth Daddy said...

I'll say the first thing they taught me not to say (in my counseling grad program) - "I feel your pain!"

I think we're finally reaching the fringe of our sickness here. The coughing, the waking up every 2 hours crying , the cranky attitudes during the day from lack of sleep- it's been hard to deal with.

On top of that, now that the 1 and 3 yr old are finally ending their sickness, they gave it to me. But I gotta admit - now that they are sleeping through the night (and it's safe for me to take nighttime medicine - I'm sleeping like a baby.

8:17 PM  

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