Sleep, why must you torture me?
It is exactly 12.47 am.
Meaning the whole house is bloody asleep. Even the bloody poodle is currently spread eagled, on his back, legs akimbo getting some shut-eye. I should obviously be asleep too, and yet here I sit like an old grandfather clock wide awake and twitching to chime. I want to wake everybody else up you see (except the baby clearly) why should I be the only one unable to sleep? When I am clearly the most knackered?. At the very least I want to wake the bloody dog up! I mean hello! He is supposed to be guarding me! Saving me from intruders! Fat lot of good he’d be! He is like the doggy equivalent of R.C Nesbitt right now!
I tried to sleep. Oh yes. I was a good mummy! I had an early night. An early night was needed! An early night I so desperately wanted! An early night was possible!! (Due to me running around like a blue arsed fly finishing all my tasks between the hours of 7am and 8pm!) An early night was deserved!!
I climbed in to bed excitedly at 9.22 PM. I know this as it was 22 minutes later than my scheduled bedtime. ( I was distracted by An idiot abroad.) I was calmly and quietly (baby still in the room with us – bad mother!) climbing between the covers, anticipating the warmth my new winter Duvet would provide and totally ready for a good old snuggle and stretch before quickly and efficiently drifting off to never- never land.
My early night lasted all of 11 minutes. No sooner had I shut my eyes and commenced the snuggle procedure, it was over. Because at 9.36 PM precisely, all hell broke loose. If you are going to read on, I would like you to play the Benny Hill theme tune in the back of your mind during this next passage. Can you remember it? Are you ready? Ok? GO!
Baby howled in to the night like never before. Heart pounding, eyes wide mummy sits bolt upright and reaches out to soothe said baby. Baby is wide eyed and clearly spooked. Mummy is wide eyed and also clearly spooked. Mummy cuddles baby. Baby starts to drift off . A moment of calm is interrupted by the doorbell. Which makes the dog bark. Which makes the baby jump. Which makes mummy jump which makes the baby howl. Which, yep that’s right, makes the dog bark again, just in case we missed the doorbell the first time. Mummy winches herself and howling baby off the bed and steps on the dog. Dog howls, baby howls, doorbell rings again. Mummy apologises to dog and picks up ‘door phone’. Nobody answers. This makes mummy nervous (have you watched Scream??) which makes baby howl all the more. Which makes mummy need a glass of wine. Mummy makes baby bottle while stroking injured dog with right foot and frantically searching for a dummy. Mummy also pours small (ahem) glass of wine. Mummy makes her way to the sofa where mummy inserts bottle in to howling baby’s mouth. Howling baby stops howling and sucks for 2 seconds before falling asleep. Mummy takes gulp of wine and rests head on back of sofa and sighs in relief……Doorbell rings! Repeat entire process. (The dog should have learnt his lesson and yet insists on sitting under my feet each time!)
Fast forward 3 hours, 2 wee breaks, 2 more doorbell rings, 1 litre of wine, at least 6 swear words and 3 circuits around the house to the door and back, finally my home is quiet. Well, apart from the constant drone of the dryer spinning obviously. I am back in bed. Ready to get 20 of the 40 winks I was promised.
Imagine now if you will, cartoon like, a small ‘thought’ bubble cleverly starting to materialise above my head as I lie peacefully in bed. (You know the ones. They look like sheep.) This particular ‘thought bubble started off tiny, only 1 thought allowed! But oh those thought bubbles! They are conniving, they are sneaky! They start off small and have a habit of growing in to empire state sized ‘thought’ bubbles! And now it wouldn’t matter if the house was peaceful or not!! I could be in a bloody library and I wouldn’t sleep! My mind is like a steam engine, more thoughts lead to faster thoughts which lead to more thoughts and before I know it, my mind is racing! I am laying, face up, wide awake, staring at the ceiling. There are thought bubbles everywhere!!! The room is bloody littered with them.
So there I was, most un-cartoon like, all ready to head off to the promised land, and before I know it I am having an internal crisis about the possibility of not finding a birthday present for my dad, while listing in my head, the number of animal deaths in my 31 years of living, I could be blamed for.
I have no idea why I was thinking these things. I just was. I have no explanation. No excuse. My mind owns me. Not the other way around. Do you think I wanted to be awake listing off a load of dead animals, feeling guiltier and guiltier with each passing one, when I could be asleep? No! I wanted to sleep. But the mind is a very powerful thing. The mind wants what the mind wants. And my mind seems to be totally random with its torture antics.
So as I’m lay there, pondering over ‘Speedy the tortoise’ (Died tragically in 1987 after being fried in the afternoon sun, I forgot to bring him back in the house and he baked.) and ‘Bruce the hamster’ (Drowned in 1991, fell out of my pocket and in to a bucket of bleach. I couldn’t make this shit up.) I realise I have not a hope in hell of getting any sleep for the immediate future. So as I continue to mull over whether I would have gone down for 1st or 2nd degree murder for Bruce, it being accidental and all, I start to think about the shopping list, and what I mustn’t forget tomorrow. Which leads me on to remembering there is a single chocolate digestive biscuit lurking in the kitchen cupboard, hidden behind the oatmeal. Which leads me to worrying about money. I shouldn’t be buying chocolate digestives. Which leads me to my weight issues and how much I still have to lose. Which is another reason I shouldn’t be buying chocolate digestives. Which leads me back to money. Which, in turn leads me on to dreading returning to work in February and having to get up and leave my son every day. Which then leads me to how much time I have left on Maternity leave, which leads me on to Christmas day, which leads me back to worrying about money, which reminds me again of the chocolate digestive sitting all on its lonesome, hidden behind the oatmeal in the kitchen cupboard.
I don’t need to tell you what happened next do I?
Because It’s obvious. I am here. It’s the middle of the night and I am writing.
Here I sit, guilty as charged. Biscuit wedged in between my teeth.
Sat on my computer at 1.26 AM. Unable to switch off.
Maybe now would be a good time to take a hammer to the doorbell.