Okay, so this past week has sucked. The Horrible Tummy Bug has worked its way through my entire family. I managed to avoid throwing up, but between the gastrointestinal pain and the diarrhea that was a distinctly Pyrrhic achievement. I made it to work more than I probably should have, and definitely more than I would have if my boss hadn't been home with his daughters, who also had a tummy bug.
By Thursday, though, I was at least surviving, and I managed to put in a full eight hours of sleep that night. I wasn't at the top of my game on Friday, but I made it all the way through the day, came home, and did my part in putting the kids to bed. I made a real effort to get to sleep reasonably early, with the goal of getting nine or ten hours in. I even took a Melatonin pill, to help me sleep.
It didn't happen.
I think I went to sleep about eleven o'clock. Sometime after that, Baby Roland started screeching. I staggered into his room, and my wife handed him off to me so she could visit the bathroom. I cradled him - screaming the whole time, mind you - and soon after gave him back. Then I staggered back into Firstborn's room, and tried to go back to sleep.
It didn't work.
At two-thirty in the morning, I got up and went into the kitchen. I made food, and tea, and checked my e-mail. I added a Benadryl to help settle my allergies and carry me off to sleep. I settled in the bed in the back bedroom at three-thirty, and tried to go to sleep.
One of the cats woke me up, meowing, at four-thirty. I put him in his cage, but it didn't matter. He kept meowing - and every time he did, a fresh burst of adrenaline flooded my system and carried me back to (angry) wakefulness. It is, quite frankly, a wonder that we still have all three cats. So I gave up on trying to sleep in there. Instead, I went into the living room, and played video games (in an effort to get rid of the adrenaline) until about six-thirty. Then I dug out some ear plugs, and went back to bed.
I woke back up at noon. I didn't know it was noon, I just knew that Firstborn had found me in the bed and was waking me up. I staggered, swore, and eventually found my way back to the living room. My wife had made a real effort to let me sleep in - in complete ignorance of the midnight screaming baby, which she doesn't remember at all - and was very nice about waking me up. And I was furious - aimlessly, directionlessly, irrationally furious. Half my plans for the day had been spoiled, and the other hald were in a state of disarray. All because of something that had happened hours ago, that she didn't even remember, and that I couldn't seem to get over.
Frustrated, my wife eventually sent me off to do my errands, regardless of the lost time. Her instructions, specifically, were to go do whatever it took to get me out of this horrible mood. So I went off, and got some of those things done. One of them, unfortunately, involved changing out the front tires on my car - and that pretty well killed everything on the list after that. And I did, more or less, recover my good humor.
Unfortunately, in the process, I left her taking care of both boys... for most of the day. So by the time she got to her evening out - which she'd been planning for a couple of days - she was feeling angry and sad and put-upon. And maybe some of that is the aftermath of this virus - which really is a nasty, nasty thing - but a lot of that is me putting her in a position that she didn't expect to have to deal with.
So she went out to meet her friends at 5:45, and didn't get back until about 11:00... and naturally, she wasn't ready to settle in until about 11:30. I had dinner with my brother and his wife, and both boys went with me - and then I managed to bathe Firstborn and put him to sleep, and then feed Secondborn and get him to sleep as well. Once my wife actually got into her bed, I turned Secondborn over to her - he's still breastfeeding, and while he might have slept in my lap all night, he was likely to wake up hungry.
And now it's one-thirty in the morning, and the house is quiet. I'm the only one awake. And I'm still angry.
There's no reason for it. There's no point to it. There's no benefit, and frankly I wish it would fuck off. But I can feel it, just below the skin, waiting for any little thing to react to.
A friend of mine recently posted that she wanted a sparring partner. I am entirely sympathetic. I want to beat things, to hurt and be hurt. It's pointless, but it's the only immediate way I can see to be rid of this so I can rest. And of course I'm still awake: there are things I should be doing tomorrow, and every minute I don't sleep is going to make them harder. My usual remedies are useless.
So here's hoping that writing this out does the trick.