I recently wrote about Finnegan, our friendly family pet. I mentioned that when Finn was a pup, I lost more sleep than when Liam was a newborn. What I didn’t mention, but now feel compelled to, is that dear Finnegan STILL keeps us up at night.
Our kids are amazing — they were ALL sleeping through the night between three and six months. Of course, between the five of them, we are always up for something — a lost “WaWa”, a trip to the bathroom, a bad dream, a bad cold or a teething tot. Even so, on most nights, we get a solid 6-8 hours of uninterupted sleep. Unless Finnegan happens to be in our room — in which case, it’s more like 6-8 hours of constantly interupted sleep!
Take last night, for instance. I nodded off just before midnight. At 3 AM I was awakened by what can only be described as a loud flapping noise that seemed to be getting closer and closer… and frankly, had an accompanying odor, whine and whimper. As Des rolled over and hid under the covers, I found myself face to face with Finn. As he nuzzled his head next to my pillow I realized what the problem was, Finn had yet another ear infection. Amazing, isn’t it, that with three kids in the house of ear-infection age, it’s the DOG that has one and is waking me up!
For a few minutes, I tried to ignore him. For a few minutes, I tried rubbing his head. At a loss by 3:30, I invited him to hop up on the bed. No sooner had he jumped up though, when he had an ear flapping, ear itching self-imposed attack that created an effect I’ve only seen in the movies –it was that Vacation movie when Chevy Chase puts a quarter in the bed and it starts to gyrate and shake… who knew that kind of fun could be had for free if only you invited a 96 pound dog with an ear infection to join you in the middle of the night?!
Poor Finn flapped his ears to and fro with such vigor that he actually FELL OFF THE BED. Needless to say, when 96 pounds of dog hits the floor it, it pretty much makes the whole house shake and roused me out of bed as well. I took Finn downstairs and as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, I found the stuff to flush his ears along with the meds from his last ear infection, which fortunately hadn’t expired. After a rousing game of hide and seek — which is oh so fun to play with a dog dodging ear drops at 3:45AM — I finally cornered him and administered what I hoped would be some relief.
As the town bells chimed 4AM, I bid adieu to Finny… leaving him with a kiss on the nose and an apology as I slammed the door that would keep him downstairs so that I might finally get upstairs to log in a few zzz’s before sunrise… which I did. When I got up this morning and admired the dark circles under my eyes, it dawned on me that yes, Finny may be man’s best friend but he’s really also just one of the kids… and he’s lucky that he’s their best friend as well or I wouldn’t have been nearly as sympathetic to his night-time antics!