Poor little G seems to have taken the brunt of our latest tummy bug. M is grumpy and producing some, erm, interesting nappies, while other than one manic dash for the toilet and a lack of appetite, T has been pretty much her normal self. But G was been sleepy and emotional all week. She missed her beloved dance class on Monday as she fell asleep on the way home from gymnastics. The twins haven't had a daytime nap in about a year. On Tuesday, though, she seemed her normal self and headed off the nursery as normal. I figured we'd had a lucky escape.
Until 6 o'clock this morning. I woke up suddenly. Once I'd sucked the dribble off face and become conscious enough to form thoughts, I realised I could hear my eldest sobbing. G is a brilliant sleeper, and only ever cries out if she's poorly. I rushed (well, stumbled in a sleep-deprived haze, trying to force my arm into an inside-out dressing gown sleeve) into the girls' room. G was sitting up in bed.
'What's the matter, honey?' I cooed, stroking her hair. Her eyes were barely open.
'I'm not tired any more!' she sobbed, falling asleep in my arms.
Unsure of what else to do, I tiptoed back out of the room. But it only lasted 30 minutes.
When her cries woke me again, they unfortunately woke M too.
'I'm not tired any more!' G wailed as I tried to sneak the two of them out of the room without waking the third one.
Exhausted but realistic, I headed into our bedroom to collect my slippers before heading downstairs. While I got a grumpy but resolutely awake M out of her sleeping bag, G crawled up next to her daddy and promptly fell asleep. She stayed there until 9am. Even when she came downstairs, it was only to drink and then throw up some milk, then fall back asleep on the sofa. When, T suddenly sprinted upstairs shrieking that she needed a poo, I knew nursery was out of the question.
I called in, then explained to the twins that they wouldn't be able to go back until next week, to make sure the other girls and boys didn't get poorly too. Instantly, they both sat up straighter.
'But I'm not poorly any more!' insisted G, her eyes still not quite managing to stay fully open.
'I won't be sick,' T added.
As bad as I felt having to insist they stayed at home, I admit I was pleased. We've finally turned that corner. Since returning from the Easter holidays, the twins have been really enthusiastic about preschool. They talk about their friends, and practically run to the door. G is still very shy with the teachers, but she managed to stand up and do a show and tell about her beloved Mickey Mouse, and is really coming out of her shell. T's shell is long gone. She bursts into that building full of smiles and showing off her dress of her hair, grabbing G's hand whenever her sister hesitates.
I confess I still get a bit fluttery and can't quite relax and enjoy my time without them, but knowing they're not pining for me really helps.
I can't help it. I just like being with these monkeys!
But today, they had to make do with Mummy. They coped well. G perked up a bit, and we managed to enjoy some time in the garden. They all passed out as soon as their heads hit the pillows, so I hope they're all sleeping off any remaining ill effects. I feel utterly shattered. Sleep-deprived, yes, but I hadn't realised how much a creature of habit I'd become. Wednesday afternoons usually mean dropping the twins at nursery, then hoping M goes for a nap in the buggy so I can do some shopping or grab a coffee. Having to entertain them instead felt very odd.
I think maybe this will be my turning point. Nursery isn't just fun for the girls, it's good for me too. Having those few hours apart helps me be a better mum when we're all together. I'm more determined than ever to start really using that time for myself. Not shop for food or tidy or simply clock watch until I get my babies back. They've started to enjoy time away from me, and I should follow their lead. When they next head for nursery, I will sit down, relax and enjoy it... promise...