The "all-nighter" is something most parents deal with quite often when kids are little.

The "all-nighter" is something most parents deal with quite often when kids are little.

Some parents deal with colicky babies, night terrors and the like, and I truly do feel for them. What a difficult time it must be. As the parent of a child who has always slept well, who got me up only when she was a tiny breast feeder, I haven't had to experience any all nighters until recently.

My daughter caught one of the many cold bugs roaming around these days and decided that sleeping in her own bed, or horizontally at all for that matter, was not an option. She was extremely stuffy, so after several failed attempts at rocking her to sleep over my shoulder and trying to quietly put her in her bed, I realized I was going to be up for the night, sitting in a chair, holding her so she could sleep.

As a mom, it's the least I can do, plus I realized that if I made note of the date I would be able to use this against her later, should a good guilt trip become necessary.

I am kidding, of course. So there I was, sitting upright in a chair with a snoring child over my shoulder, a snoring dog at my feet and a snoring husband in the next room. I spent time thinking about what it would be like to be asleep, what items I needed from the store and exciting things like that.

I also thought about the all nighters I had in college. I could stay awake so easily just to put together a 20-page paper I had put off until the last minute. I would have lots of coffee and soda on hand, and would order a late-night pizza for the occasion. I really enjoyed those nights eating tons of junk food and getting jittery from all the caffeine.

My memories were abruptly interrupted when I heard what I thought was my daughter's pacifier hitting the carpet. I reached for it quickly so the dog wouldn't get a hold of it and after a second, I realized I wasn't holding a pacifier but instead had picked up a cold, wet present the dog had left for me. I screamed, the dog barked and my daughter woke up crying. Fortunately, my husband was able to sleep through the noise.

Once I cleaned myself up and got my daughter back to sleep, I realized that this all-nighter was really no different from those in college. Oddly enough, those too usually ended with screaming, tears and a 20-page piece of dog poo (better known as my homework assignment).