Sleep. Somebody I used to know.

4am. Been laying here awake, seriously considering buying some adult nappies. This is the 5th consecutive night in a row I have been woken, on several occassions, with the overwhelming feeling that I’m about to pee myself. And whilst I lay there contemplating getting up to relieve myself, or trying to go back to sleep in the hope it will just “pass”, his Lordship lays next to me, deep in sleep, snorting and grunting like a pig in the proverbial. Several attempts at gently nudging him, kicking him and smothering him with a pillow had sadly been, unsuccessful. It seemed that going back to sleep whilst sharing a bed with this beast, was not an option.

It’s no use. I can’t fight it any longer. The tiles are freezing as I dash to the bathroom, but that’s nothing compared to the Baltic temperature of the toilet seat which sends goosebumps to places they’ve never been before. As I sit there for what seems an eternity, pissing like a racehorse, I wonder if there is such a thing as a heated toilet seat, and my mind quickly wanders to product designs, logistics, patenting and Dragon’s Den where I will plug my innovative “Arse Warming Bog Lid”.

The toilet light flashes on, and it is only at this moment I realise I have been planning my rise to domination of the Toilet Empire in complete darkness.

“Morning Mummy!” sings my very chipper 8 year old, “Can I have breakfast, please?”

“At 4.30 in the morning?” I shrieked.

A tiny pitter patter of feet was followed by a delightful, “Morning Mummy!” My 4 year old appeared around the door. In light of my audience, I hurriedly leapt from the toilet seat (which was so cold it had welded itself to my skin, tearing at my thighs as I jumped up) and composed myself in front of my children.

“Boys, it’s 4.30 in the morning. It’s the middle of the night!” I urged, washing my hands.

“But you said it was the morning,” says my 4 year old looking puzzled. Why does he have to be so damn inquisitive?

“It is the morning, but it’s still night time…” I start to explain. Oh, who am I kidding! “Come on back to bed!” I usher them out of the bathroom and towards their room.

Cue meltdown.

My 4 year old dramatically drops to the floor and writhes around whimpering like a dying dog, pathetically crying “Cereal! Cereal!” Meanwhile, my 8 year old (going on 15 year old) drops his shoulders and head like a certain character from a Harry Enfield sketch show, scowls at me with a face of someone possessed, shouts “Mummy!” and storms off to his room with such heavy feet it makes the windows and doors rattle. I sighed a little. Am I seriously having to deal with this at this unearthly hour?? 

I pick up the starved, neglected dying dog under my arm like a rugby ball and carry him into his room with his just as malnourished and uncared for, evil possessed brother.

“Come on. It’s too early to get up, boys,” I say gently, trying to reason with them. “Please try and go back to sleep and we’ll all have breakfast together when you wake up.”

“But we want breakfast now!” wails my 4 year old. My 8 year old joins him in a painful chorus of “Woe is me, I’m so hard done by”. You know, that famous nursery rhyme that children have been singing since time began.

For a split second, I think, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’, but I put my mummy hat back on and get back to business. What can I do to resolve this situation? How can I calm my children whilst being firm and in control? What would SuperNanny do?

There was nothing else for it. “If you go to sleep now, when you wake up, you can both have a chocolatine and a biscuit with breakfast!”

Whinging ceased and was replaced with a victorius, “YES!” from both boys. BINGO! Straight from the Parenting handbook, chapter entitled “Bribes”. Never fails. Another successful triumph for Mum.

Friends again, we had kisses and cuddles before I left them to go to sleep, and take the tiles back to my bed where Darth Vader was still heavily breathing and completely unphased by the recent commotion. I lay there listening to the rasps and wheezes, and feeling his death breath upon the back of my neck, still reeking of red wine from the night before. I try to get comfortable, but my pregnant belly is starting to develop and my melon like boobs are swollen and painful. I can hear the boys giggling in their room together. So much for going back to sleep! Maybe I need to go back and revise that chapter on Bribes after all…

And just as my mind quietens and I begin to doze. BAM!

Bladder is full again. This is a joke, surely? Just keep your eyes closed. Dream through it. You can do this. It’s all a case of mind over matter. I start to doze again.

“Is it morning yet, Mummy?” Two beaming faces stare over me.

I pick up the clock. 6am. 6’oclock in the bleeding morning! Through gritted teeth I reluctantly growl, “Yes. It’s morning.”

“Yay. We can have our cereal, chocolatine and biscuit now!” cheers my 4 year old, “Can you get up Mummy?”

Get up? Wake up? What do you think I’ve been doing for most of the night? Not sleeping, I can tell you that! Not like Sleeping Beauty still comatosed next to me! I feel like taking that Parenting Handbook and ripping the chapter on Bribes straight from its seams.

But instead, I take a deep breath, smile sweetly and say, “Ok sweetheart. Mummy’s getting up.”

Like the walking dead I rise, and don my dressing gown, and take the tiles once more to our two boys who are chatting happily outside the bedroom. As I reach the door, a muffled voice says, “Can you keep the noise down, please. I’m trying to sleep.”

Words fail me.


Sweet dreams 😉







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